Grapefruit
GRAPEFRUIT.
INTRODUCTION

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The grapefruit also known as grapefruit or pamplemusa, is the fruit of the tree namesake that belongs to the genre Citrus of the family of the Rutáceas. This family understands more than 1.600 species. The botanical genre Citrus is the most important of the family, and it consists of approximately 20 species with eatable fruits very abundant all of them in vitamin C, flavonoides and essential oils. The fruits, called espérides, have the peculiarity of which his pulp is formed by numerous vesicles full of juice.




ORIGIN AND VARIETIES

The origin of the grapefruit is not known by accuracy, although numerous investigations point out that it is a question of a natural crossing between the sweet orange tree and the pummelo (a different species) produced in Barbados, in the West Indies. From there, his cultivation spread over the whole Caribbean Sea, and later to the United States, where his large-scale production is begun. To today, the grapefruit cultivation is carried out in numerous tropical and subtropical countries and his world production overcomes the 3:8 millions of tons, being the United States the leader with more than 2,3 million tons, and where 45 % is assined to the consumption in fresh air. He is followed in importance by countries as Argentina, Cuba, Cyprus, Israel, Mexico, Mozambique, South Africa, China, Turkey and Spain (principally in the communities murciana and Valencian).


The different grapefruit varieties qualify according to the tonality of his pulp.

White or common varieties: they are those who have the pulp of yellow color, and in spite of being most cultivated increasingly they turn out to be displaced by the varieties pigmentadas. Duncan: there are considered to be the reference grapefruits on the market as for quality. They differ in his big size, his firm and juicy pulp, excellent flavor, good acidity and high levels of sugar; in addition to his numerous seeds (30-50 for fruit). This variety is used in the industry for the juice making and is cultivated almost exclusive in Florida. Marsh (Marsh Seedles): this variety was obtained from Duncan's seeds, and at present it is considered to be the most important variety on a global scale. The fruit has an average size, something smaller than Duncan, with a weight of about 300 grams. The crust is very smooth, lightly gross and the pulp is of clear color. It contains very much juice and scarcely it has pips (2-3 seeds for fruit). His flavor is sweet, although to the beginning of the campaign it turns out to be very acidic.

Varieties pigmentadas: there are grapefruits with the pulp of pink and reddish tone and they owe his color to the pigment licopeno. His popularity and consumption has increased in last two decades in many countries. The showy color only takes place if the cultivation temperatures are high. Thompson or Pink Marsh: it was the first variety pigmentada without seeds and it arose for spontaneous mutation of the variety Marsh. For it, the fruits make alike to the said variety, although it differs in the color of his pulp, lightly hoar-frost, which tends to disappear with the time. His juice does not acquire coloration. Ruby, Redblush, Ruby Red, Network Marsh or Network Seedless: it represents the variety pigmentaria more cultivated, although soon she will turn out to be overcome by more recent varieties. These grapefruits arise for spontaneous mutation of the variety Thompson with that they share similarity, although it presents better quality and a major external and internal reddish tone. The fruit is of minor caliber that the previous varieties and few ones or no seed has. Burgundy: it is the smallest fruit and one believes that also Thompson originated from the variety. It is a late variety that is supported in the tree until summer beginning in good conditions. The yellow color of his smooth crust does not correspond to the intense brown tone of the pulp. Scarcely it has pips (1-2 for fruit) and his pulp is firm, very juicy, with sweet and flavor not bitter at all. One considers of low quality with regard to other varieties pigmentadas, by what scarcely it is cultivated at present. Star Ruby: of average size, scarcely it has seeds (1-2 in some fruits). His skin is very thin, it dies and smooth, yellow with reddish tonalities, and the consistent being allows to peel. His pulp acquires an intense red color and provides abundant juice of flavor more sweet and less bitter than others. It is a fruit that deteriorates very rapidly; while a lot of varieties can be stored in good conditions for several months, this one tends to get damaged in some weeks. Henderson, Ray Ruby and Rio Red: there are the most recent varieties and they are destined to replace Star Ruby, since his fruits are of major size and the trees that produce them are more resistant and manageable.

HIS BEST EPOCH

The grapefruits bloom during the spring and his fruits mature according to the varieties between the autumn months and winter, therefore his best epoch of consumption is between October and March.

CHARACTERISTICS

It forms: the grapefruit is a fruit with form of sphere lightly flattened, although sometimes they can have pear form.

Size and weight: this one citric usually has an average diameter of between 10-25 centimeters, being the average size of 7,5. The calibrated one of the grapefruits, as that of all the citrus fruits, is expressed by the maximum diameter of his equatorial section in a descending scale between the 1 and 9, being the caliber 1, the 9 centimeters fruits and 9 of approximately 3,5 to 4,0. The weight of a grapefruit ranges between 250 and 450 grams.

Color: the crust is thick and resistant although also it can be thin or rough. Initially the skin is of green color and as it is maturing the fruit, it becomes yellow, and even orange reddish. This fruit combines the form of a big orange and the yellow color of a lemon, although there exist varieties of green color, similar to the skin of the lime. Down the skin finds a pulp split into 10 ó 12 segments replete with juice, with a tone that goes from the yellow one to the reddish one.

Flavor: the flavor of the grapefruit is very particular and it disconcerts many people who proves it, who meets a taste less sweet than that of the orange, less acidic than that of the lemon and something was bitter.


HOW TO CHOOSE IT AND TO PRESERVE IT


The citrus fruits if they are juicy must be weighed, for what we will choose the grapefruits that have major weight with regard to his size, since this indicates that they are full of juice. Since the grapefruit is very sensitive to the molds attack and deteriorates with facility, we will reject any copy that has in his rind area hardened or excessively soft and does not resist with steadfastness to the pressure of the fingers. To temperature ambience the grapefruits survive in the perfect state for one or two weeks, although they can be refreshed, and both the juice and the rind admit the freezing.



Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 27,6
Carbohydrates (g) 6
Fibre (g) 0,8
Potassium (mg) 190
Magnesium (mg) 10
Provitamina A (mcg) 1,8
Vitamin C (mg) 40
Acid fólico (mcg) 18
mcg = micrograms
NOURISHING PROPERTIES


The water is the principal component of this one citric, therefore the grapefruit possesses a scarce caloric value, to expenses basically of the carbohydrates. As for the vitamins, he stands out for his wealth in vitamin C and acid fólico. The content in carotenoides, pigments that award to the vegetables the orange - reddish color, is not significant except in the varieties of pulp of dark color, with independence of the color of the skin. With regard to the mineral content, they emphasize the potassium and the magnesium. The acids abound in the grapefruit málico, oxálico, tartaric and citric, the last one promotes the action of the vitamin C; responsible for his flavor and on that there depend diverse properties that assume to the grapefruit. The fibre quantity is not representative and this one is especially in the white part between the pulp and the crust, therefore his consumption favors the intestinal transit.


The vitamin C intervenes in the formation of collagen, bones and teeth, red globules and favors the absorption of the iron of the food and the resistance to the infections. The provitamina A or beta caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The above mentioned vitamin is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system. Both vitamins, they fulfill also an antirust function. The acid fólico intervenes in the production of red and white globules, in the material synthesis genetically and the formation antibodies of the immune system. The potassium is a mineral necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse and for the normal muscular activity, it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell.




AS REGARDS THE HEALTH
To get accustomed to the individual acidic, bitter and sweet flavor of the grapefruit does not need of a lot of time if one thinks about the benefits for the health that brings the consumption of this one citric. A grapefruit juice only or combined with orange and lemon it is an intelligent way of beginning the day with a good vitamin dose C, between other nutrienes.

Antirust and free radicals

The antirust ones block the harmful effect of the so called "free radicals". The respiration in the presence of oxygen is essential in the cellular life of our organism, but as a result of the same one there take place a few molecules, the free radicals, which cause along the life negative effects for the health across his aptitude to alter the ADN (the genes), the proteins and the lípidos or fats ("oxidation). In our body there exist cells that are renewed continuously (of the skin, of the intestine...) and others that not (cells of the liver...) . With the years, the free radicals increase the risk that genetic alterations take place on the first ones, favoring the cancer development or, reduce the functionality of the second ones, what is typical of the aging process. There exist certain situations that increase the free radicals production, between them: the intense physical exercise, the environmental contamination, the nicotinism, the infections, situations of stress, diets rich in fats and her on exhibition to the solar radiation. The relation between antirust and cardiovascular diseases, it is today a well sustained affirmation. It is known that it is the modification of the called "bad cholesterol" (LDL-c) the one that redeems a fundamental role both in the beginning and in the development of the aterosclerosis (illness that consists of an engrosamiento and abnormal hardness of the internal covering of the blood glasses, due to a deposit of greasy material and cells, which prevents or makes the step of the blood difficult). The antirust ones can block the free radicals that modify the called bad cholesterol, helping to reduce the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk. On the other hand, the low levels of antirust constitute a risk factor for certain types of cancer and of degenerative illnesses.

Vitamins

On the other hand, a juice prepared with two grapefruits covers 100 % of the recommendations of vitamin C. The situations as the pregnancy and the lactation, nicotinism, employment of certain medicines, stress, intense practice of sport and pathologies as the cancer, the AIDS and the chronic inflammatory illnesses, increase the organic needs for the above mentioned nutrient. In these cases, the habitual consumption of entire grapefruit is particularly recommended or in juice. And for the rest of the population, to take grapefruit can be especially interesting during the winter months and in the seasonal changes, when the ups and downs are frequent in the defenses system, and one is inclined to contract colds or infections.

The acid fólico is an essential vitamin in the processes of division and cellular multiplication that they take place during the first months of gestation, therefore the consumption of juice of grapefruit turns out to be interesting for any pregnant woman, although for his acidic composition it can provoke acidity those gestantes with the delicate stomach.

For the sportsmen, for his content in potassium, vitamin C, carotenoides and other nutrients, constitutes a good alternative to restore the minerals and the liquid lost after the physical activity and to minimize the injuries risk and to promote the defenses. His juice mixed with water, bicarbonate and sugar can do perfectly the functions of remoisturizing drink during the competition in sports that have a duration bigger than 90 minutes, in which the losses of glucose, water and electrolytes are more marked.

In case of anemia ferropénica, it is very useful and advisable to consume this fruit accompanying to the food rich in iron or to the supplements of this mineral. The vitamin C increases significantly the iron absorption and this accelerates the recovery.

Organic acids

The high content in water, potassium and citric acid (alcaliniza the urine), they convert to the grapefruit into fruits with effect diuretic, beneficial in case of hiperuricemia or drop and litiasis renal (it favors the elimination of uric acid and his salt), arterial hypertension or other illnesses associated with retention of liquids and for those who take diuretics that eliminate potassium. Nevertheless, the persons who endure renal insufficiency and who need of special diets controlled in potassium, will have to moderate the consumption.

The content in citric acid does of the grapefruit a fruit with antiseptic properties on the digestive and urinal routes. This substance, together with other organic acids, they provide the characteristic acidic flavor to him to the grapefruit, therefore his consumption can provoke inconveniences those who suffer rupture of hiatus, acidity of stomach, gastritis and gastric ulcer or gastroduodenal.

The bitter substance of the grapefruit, opens the appetite and favors the bile production, hence it is considered to be to the grapefruit a digestive and beneficial food for the liver.

The scarce fibre of the grapefruit is principally in the white pulp that exists under the skin and between the segments, and frequently it is rejected, especially when a juice is prepared. It is a question of soluble fibre, which retains water, therefore his consumption helps, although in small measurement, to favor the intestinal transit, on having increased the volume of the dregs and to make them more fluid.


CURIOSITIES
To the grapefruit also he is met by the name of toronjo, grapefruit or pamplemusa. Sometimes the grapefruit makes a mistake with the pummelo (Citrus grandis Osbeck), a tree that provides a few fruits very similar to the grapefruits but of major size, even of several kilos. There are excessively acidic fruits and on a global scale they have scarce commercial value, although they are much appreciated in the distant East. There exists another tree, the citron tree (medical Citrus L.) to whose fruits also meet them like toronjos or grapefruits in many countries, what it can take to confusion.

In China, the grapefruit is considered to be an article about gift much appreciated during the new year.

The grapefruit, for years, has been considered to be a fruit - miracle species, since the property was assuming of burning the fats of the organism on an empty stomach, this one lacking motivated of scientific base, by which it is recommended in multitude of systems of slimming.


HOW TO PREPARE IT

Two basic possibilities of taking the grapefruit are: I inform (to segments, coffee with a dash of milk in tracks or for the half), covered lightly of honey or sugar to compensate his acidity and bitterness; and in juice. Of the latter form it is much consumed in some countries, and it constitutes the fundamental ingredient of the breakfast. It is a question of a good alternative to the juice of orange or lemon, or it can mix with any of them. On having squeezed it, there is obtained a considerable quantity of juice, of sweet, bitter and acidic flavor simultaneously.

In addition to consumed how are fruit, certain varieties of grapefruit used to prepare jams, jellies, syrups and cocktails. Also, it turns out to be a surprising ingredient in fruit salads and salads and it is possible to cook to accompany plates of pig, chicken and shellfish.

The skin of some very well washed varieties can be consumed sweetened, and from her there is extracted essential oil that is used in perfumery and distillery. Also the grapefruit tinned in segments is commercialized, much used to prepare salads, fruit salads and of garrison of plates of meat and shellfish.




SALAD OF CITRUS FRUITS

4
40'
way

Ingredients

- An escarole
-1 grapefruit
- 2 oranges
-1 cucumber
-1 lemon
- a few dill branches
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and black pepper

To peel the oranges and the grapefruit, to separate the segments and to eliminate the skin trying to waste little juice. To place in a salad bowl the sheets of the clean escarole and troceada and to arrange above the segments of orange and grapefruit. To add the thin cut dill and the washed, bare cucumber cut in tracks.

To mix six or eight olive oil spoonfuls with one or two of lemon juice, to beat and to spill the dressing on the salad. To season with salt and pepper. To keep in the icebox until now of eating.



 
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