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The Fruit


Scientific Name: Citrus sinensis

Synonym: Citrus aurantium ssp. sinensis, Citrus aurantium, Citrus aurantium var. dulcis

Popular Name: Orange, orange tree

Family: Rutaceae

Division: Angeospermae

Origin: Asia

Life Cycle: Perennial




The orange is one of the most cultivated fruit in the world, produced by Citrus sinensis, a tree from the family Rutaceae with medium height and dense, round, perennial crown. Originated in Asia - probably in China - about 4,000 years ago, orange fruit was introduced in Brazil by the Portuguese during colonization period, 16th century.


Essentially, an orange is compounded by many juice sacs protected by a waxing skin, the peel. In the peel we find substances responsible for the aroma and the colour of the fruit. The eatable part is composed by segments that contain juice sacs and seeds. The natural juice of the orange fruit contains sugar, acids, vitamins, minerals, pectin and pigments, among other components.


Actually, there is a variety of citrus species. Although they share general characteristics, the different types of oranges diverge in size, colour, sugar content, seed, acidity, harvesting period, etc. There are hundreds of orange varieties throughout the world. In Brazil, the most common ones are oranges Bahia, Pêra, Natal, Valência, Hamlin, Westin and Rubi.