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The orange is the fruit of the sweet orange tree, tree 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 hespérides, have the peculiarity of which his pulp is formed by numerous vesicles full of juice.

The sweet orange tree is most cultivated of all the citrus fruits, being the most important species of the genre Citrus. After her his most next relatives follow him in importance: mandarin orange trees, lemon trees, grapefruits, limes and kumquats. It is not necessary to confuse the sweet orange tree with the bitter one (Citrus aurantium L.), cultivated from ancient like ornamental tree and to obtain fragrances of his fruits.



The sweet orange tree comes from the regions surorientales of Asia, in particular from the southeast area of China and the Malay archipelago. His cultivation is realized in the South of China for thousands of years, where from it spread over the whole Asian Southeast. Later, there expanded both the sweet orange tree and the bitter orange tree to any East for the Route of the Silk. The sweet oranges were much appreciated by his flavor (although they were still very bitter) and by his curative properties. The Arabs introduced the bitter orange tree in Europe in the South of Spain in the Xth century, nevertheless, the sweet orange tree does not begin to be cultivated until the XV - XVIth century. The Arabs named it naranche, name derived from the term arangus with that the Persians were referring to this fruit. In the second half of the XIXth century there was discovered in Bay (Brazil) an orange that was more sweet, juicy and beautiful, without pips and with a bellybutton in the end opposite to the stem. The variety known today like Navel was taken to California, where it turned years later into the queen of the oranges, Washington.

The cultivation of the citrus fruits extended from Europe the United States, where there are flourishing cultivation areas in Florida and California; to South America, where Brazil enjoys the highest quota on the world market of oranges and orange juice); to South Africa and to certain parts of Australia. At present, the orange tree is one of the fruit trees most extended all over the world, being the principal producing countries: Brazil, the United States, Spain (Valencia, Murcia, Seville and Huelva), Italy, Mexico, India, Israel, Argentina and China.

Numerous orange varieties exist with peculiarities in his flavor, succulence, size, different conditions from cultivation and productivity. This allows that to be able to be elected the guy most adapted for every concrete employment; well be for his consumption like a fruit of table, juice, for the manufacture of different derivatives (jams, fruit salads...), etc. there are known two orange species, each one with numerous varieties that differ between themselves especially in the flavor. The sweet oranges are the oranges of excellent table, while the bitter oranges have such an acidic and bitter flavor that they usually do not consume in crude oil and are reserved for the making of jams and the securing of essential oils.

The sweet narnajas qualify in four big groups:

Group Navel: these varieties have adapted themselves very well to subtropical climates and have in common that are fruits of big size, with a bellybutton in the area opposite to the stem, easy to peel and lacking in pips. As fresh fruits are of excellent quality, but they do not turn out to be adapted to prepare juices, since they award an unpleasant bitter flavor, apart from the fact that they provide minor quantity of juice than other varieties. The alone bitter flavor is appreciated when they are squeezed, since during this operation the limonina becomes detached, responsible compound for this typical bitterness.

Bahianinha: excessive size and small bellybutton.

Lane Laten: with thin skin and longitudinal grooves about the fruit, minor quantity of limonina. His compilation takes place from January and lasts on the markets till the end of May.

Leng: very thin crust and skin of very good color.

Navel: crust of living red color. His presence on the markets is very wide, since it appears in the first November two weeks and is supported until the last days of April.

Navelate: slightly apparent bellybutton, juicy, very sweet. It is supported on the market from the ends of February till the end of May.

Navelina: very productive variety, of sweet flavor, is ideal to take like dessert. It appears on the market in the first days of October and it is supported until middle of February.

Newhall: variety that it usually confuse with the previous one, since his characteristics are practically identical, except the index of ripeness that is more anticipated.

Ricalate: one of the most late varieties that reaches the enough coloration later that any other variety.

Washington or Bay: variety with strong implantation in Spain, good coloration and excellent quality. The consumption period is usually from beginning of February until middle of April.

Group half notes: They produce fruits of flattened or egg-shaped spherical forms, of average size to big and without bellybutton. The fruits present colorations that go from yellow - orange to orange intensely. Some varieties have numerous seeds, which in spite of turning out to be a disadvantage for his consumption in fresh air, are interesting to produce juice.

Ambersweet: the skin is firm and slightly thick but easy to peel and the pulp has a flavor similar to that of the tangerine Clementine.

Hamlin: variety very resistant to the cold, too small fruits for his commercialization, difficult to peel, rich in juice of sweet flavor although something insipid.

Pear: crust thin and adherent but easy to peel, of sweet and slightly acidic juice although something insipid.

Salustiana: crust lightly rough and average thickness, his high place contained in sweet and tasty juice makes her ideal to take it in juice and scarcely it presents seeds. The compilation is realized from December and extends until April.

Jaffa or Shamouti: the oranges easiest to peel, with a very rich and sweet flavor although with scarce juice.

Valencia Beats: more important variety in the whole world, fruit lightly elongated, thin and consistent crust, with pulp of good color and high content in flavor juice sometimes too acidic, lacking in seeds. Late ripeness, between April and July.

Group bleeds (Blood or Sanguigna): there are varieties very similar to the Half notes, but they differ in that they synthesize red pigments (antocianinas) in the pulp and sometimes in the skin. This alone process takes place if low night temperatures happen, and the fruits do not acquire the reddish tonality up to the autumn or winter, acquiring the juice a special flavor that he reminds to that of the cherries or the raspberries. These varieties only are cultivated in the Mediterranean region.

Double Dies: ancient Spanish variety that was the most important orange of blood, fruits with void or intense pigmentation both in the rind and in the pulp. There are fruits of little juice but with a characteristic flavor.

Maltaise: high quality variety, fruits with the orange or slightly reddish external coloration and slightly colored pulp. It has an extraordinary sweet flavor with acidic touch, without seeds and with high place contained in juice.

I reside: the color of his pulp goes from the yellow one to the burdeos, with or without seeds and it is easy to peel.

Sanguinelli: Spanish variety much cultivated formerly. It has the brilliant crust and pigmentada, his pulp contains red seams with a high place contained in juice also reddish very sweetly and something acidic. It appears on the market from the middle of January at the beginning of March.

Sanguinello: variety much cultivated in Italy. Fruits without so many coloration as other varieties and they detach smell of essential oil when they are peeled.

Group Sucreñas: There are varieties with minor - acidity and lightly insipid, therefore at present they are very little cultivated and are not suitable for the industry. The most important are: Succari, Sucreña, Lima, Vaniglia.


Thanks to the different orange varieties, it is possible to enjoy this fruit during the whole year. The orange trees bloom at the beginning of the spring, with a period of maturation that includes from autumn middle to almost initiated the summer, therefore during these months they are in his best epoch.


It forms: it is a question of a fruit in spherical form, more or less flattened by the poles.

Size and weight: an average diameter has from 6 to 10 centimeters. The oranges calibrate in a scale of descending diameters between 0 and 14. The number 14 corresponds to the fruits of minor size and 0 to those of major diameter (concerning 100 millimeters or more). His weight ranges from 150 grams up to 200 grams without the skin.

Color: his rind, call epicarpio, is very colored and it is provided with oily vesicles (flavedo). Under the smooth or rough rind as the variety appears the second white skin that wraps the fruit protecting the pulp or albedo, the last one very spongy and of orange color.

Flavor: the pulp is replete with 8-12 elongated and curved segments that provide abundant juice of sweet flavor with acidulous, more or less marked tones according to the variety.


The oranges are commercialized you mature, since there are not climacteric fruits and others, they do not mature once gathered.

The citrus fruits if they are juicy must be weighed, for what the oranges that are in his best moment of ripeness, turn out to be bores with regard to his size. There have to be rejected the copies that sound to hollow on having struck them, they present blows or bruises or have smell to mellow. The color of the skin does not indicate safely the quality of the fruit, since there are mature oranges with the green rind.

The oranges that are commercialized in 2 kilos networks are usually of class I and II, while those of extra class are stored in wooden boxes and some of them appear wrapped in cellophane role.

If the oranges are going to be consumed in a little time, ambience can be left in a fruit bowl to temperature. Nevertheless, to preserve them for weeks it is convenient to support them in the refrigerator. The oranges do not have to be piled up some on others, but they have to arrange one to themselves next to other one, supporting certain separation between them.

Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 36,6
Carbohydrates (g) 8,9
Fibre (g) 2,3
Potassium (mg) 200
Magnesium (mg) 15,2
Calcium (mg) 41
Vitamin C (mg) 50,6
Acid fólico (mcg) 38,7
Beta - caroteno (provitamina A) (mcg) 49
mcg = micrograms

Of his nourishing composition, he emphasizes his scarce energy value, thanks to his high content in water and his wealth of vitamin C, fólico acid and minerals as the potassium, the magnesium and calcium. The last one scarcely is absorbed by the organism. It contains valuable beta - caroteno quantities, responsible for his color typical and known for his antirust properties; in addition to the acids málico, oxálico, tartaric and citric, the last one promotes the action of the vitamin C. The fibre quantity is valuable 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. 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. The magnesium is related to the functioning of intestine, nerves and muscles, is part of bones and teeth, improves the immunity and possesses a soft laxative effect. The acids málico and citric they possess an action disinfectant and alcalinizan the urine.

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