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The orange is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus sinensis in the family Rutaceae. The orange is a hybrid between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata). Orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Orange trees are widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates for their sweet fruit. The fruit of the orange tree can be eaten fresh, or processed for its juice or fragrant peel. Orange juice is an important part of many people's breakfast . Drink juice in moderate amounts. The high sugar content of fruit juices can cause tooth decay and the high acid content can wear away enamel if consumed in excess. Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties and especially oranges, by virtue of their abundance in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, have many proven health benefits.
The Orange is a tropical to semitropical, evergreen, small flowering tree, with an average height of 9 to 10 m (30 to 33 ft), although some very old specimens can reach 15 m (49 ft). Its oval leaves, alternately arranged, are 4 to 10 cm (1.6 to 3.9 in) long and have crenulate margins. Although the sweet orange presents different sizes and shapes varying from spherical to oblong, it generally has ten segments inside, and contains up to six seeds (or pips) and a porous white tissue – called pith or, more properly,mesocarp or albedo—lines its rind. It has a tough shiny skin. Orange skin is often called "Orange Peel". When unripe, the fruit is green. The grainy irregular rind of the ripe fruit can range from bright orange to yellow-orange, but frequently retains green patches or, under warm climate conditions, remains entirely green. The flower are small , white in color with five petals and smell very sweet which attracts many bees. Orange blossoms yield very little pollen and orange growers do not practice artificial pollination. The leaves of this tree are dark green and quite shiny in color.
Sweet orange trees were brought to Italy, Spain and Portugal from India in the fifteenth century. There are several different types of sweet orange. Mandarins, small flattened oranges with skins that come off easily, are believed to have come from China. Now there are several varieties. These include "tangerines" which are redder than most mandarins, and "clementines" which are large, smooth and plump. Oranges are generally available from winter through summer with seasonal variations depending on the variety.
There are many varieties of oranges like, Persian orange, Navel Orange, Valencia orange, Blood orange. Some blood oranges make juice that is ruby red. These are all sweet oranges. There are sour variety of oranges too like, amara, Seville orange, Bergamot orange, Chinotto orange and Daidai.
Orange trees are a symbol of love and marriage in many cultures. Brides traditionally wear orange blossoms in their hair or carry them in their bouquet at their wedding. Orange blossoms are often part of the decoration on a wedding cake.
The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholestrol . It is Juicy and sweet and renowned for its concentration of vitamin C. Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A,is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Since they’re full of soluble fiber, oranges are helpful in lowering cholesterol. It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates.
Orange is consumed in many ways. It is eaten raw, , it is used in baking like cakes, its juice is relished in most of the countries in the breakfast time, its marmalade is so yumm!! that most the people use them as a bread spread and eat them on spreading on cookies, toasts, and pies too. Orange jam is called "Marmalade". Traditionally, it is said to have been first made for Mary Queen Of Scott or Marie Antoinette when they were sick. Neither of these stories is true, as marmalade was made in Portugal for many years before either of them was born. The term "marmalade", originally meaning a quince jam ("marmelada" in Portuguese), derives from the Portuguese word for this fruit marmelo. Drinking orange juice regularly prevents kidney diseases and reduces the risk of kidney stones. Orange fruit also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is such an important component for our body because it helps to control our heart rate and blood pressure.
Oranges are full of dietary fiber which stimulates digestive juices and relieves constipation. It protects the skin from free radicals and prevents the signs of aging. Sundried peels of the orange can be used in the face packs to give your skin a smooth soft feel with a bright glow. It is natural and can be made at home. You can keep the powder in an air-tight jar and can use it for months. I mix in different things like, raw milk, sometimes fresh cream, rose water etc.
The most important product made from oranges in the United States is frozen concentrated juice, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the crop. Essential oils, pectin, candied peel, and orange marmalade are among the important by-products.
Refrences taken from encyclopedia, wikipedia, britanica, fresh for kids, whfoods.
(all the pictures are extracted from internet)