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Originally from southern China, where it was already established 1000 years BC, nowadays oranges are grown all over the world in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Orange trees can grow to up to eight metres tall and live for up to 100 years. They first start to produce fruit after three years. In the 16th Century, the Portuguese brought the sweet-tasting fruit to Lisbon. It soon became popular throughout Europe. The German word “Apfelsine”, which is particularly common in North German usage, derives from the Dutch word “appelsien” or “sinaasappel” and means “apples from China”.
Ingredients and nutritional values
The “most important citrus fruit in the world” is prized primarily for its high vitamin C content, since vitamin C promotes healthy, firm connective tissue and increases our capacity to absorb iron from food. Oranges also contain minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorous. They are therefore an especially good choice when it comes to healthy eating. They strengthen the immune system and boost the metabolism. One orange provides up to 75 percent of an adult’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C. In addition, the flesh of the fruit contains substances known as bioflavonoids, which are phytonutrients and which can help prevent cancer.
based on 150g raw weight, corresponds to one small orange, peeled.
|Energy:||63 kcal/266 kJ|
|Vitamin C||75mg (75%)*|
|Folic acid||63 µg (16%)*|
Source: The large GU Nutritional Information table, 2006/07. The recommended daily intake amounts correspond to the reference values for nutrient intake (2000) for an adult. * of the daily recommended intake
There are over 400 different varieties in the world – round, oval, yellow, orange or red. The navel orange is one of the important orange varieties in Germany. During the main season of availability, from November to April, oranges are imported from the Mediterranean countries; from May to October they come from South Africa, South America and Australia. They are therefore available almost the whole year round. Depending on the variety, their skins can be thin and smooth or thick and pitted. Because oranges do not ripen after being picked, they are generally harvested when they are fully ripe. When shopping, it’s therefore important to check that the oranges already have a strong colour and that there are no damaged areas evident on the skins.
The longer the fruit stays on the tree, the more its acidity decreases and its sugar content increases. Stored in a cool place – although not in the fridge – oranges will keep for up to 11 weeks. The best place to store oranges is in a cellar, or other cool area kept below room temperature. Oranges will not ripen more after being stored for a long time. The storage temperature is less critical to the fruit’s quality of flavour, but is much more important for preventing mould from developing. It is important that the skins remain intact, so as not to spoil prematurely. If storing oranges for a long time, therefore, it is essential to check for damage occasionally, to prevent an infestation of mould.
Oranges are mainly eaten fresh. Fresh fruit is easy to peel and divide into segments. They are also delicious when used in fruit salads, desserts, tarts and mousses. Oranges are used in large quantities for making juice and marmalade. Freshly-squeezed orange juice is especially refreshing and a natural source of vitamin C. Oranges also add a certain something to meat and fish dishes, as well as being used to decorate dishes attractively.
Oranges are not only healthy, they are also good for your figure. Anyone who likes munching on this wonderful citrus fruit can eat it with a clear conscience. A medium-sized, 150g orange only contains around 63 kcal. Oranges are therefore an excellent choice for a figure-friendly snack between meals. They also provide a healthy snack for diabetics. One fresh, medium-sized orange corresponds to around 1 carbohydrate unit. The white pith under the orange skin contains the majority of the bioflavonoids. It’s therefore good to leave a little “white” on the orange when you’re eating it.