The Info List - Bergamot Orange

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bergamia, the bergamot orange (pronounced /ˈbɜːrɡəˌmɒt/), is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime, depending on ripeness. Genetic research into the ancestral origins of extant citrus cultivars found bergamot orange to be a probable hybrid of lemon and bitter orange.[3] Extracts have been used to scent food, perfumes, and cosmetics.[4] Use on the skin can increase photosensitivity, resulting in greater damage from sun exposure.[5]


1 Etymology 2 Description

2.1 Chemistry

3 Taxonomy 4 Production 5 Uses

5.1 Food and drink 5.2 Fragrance 5.3 Toxicology 5.4 Skin care 5.5 Medicinal properties

6 References 7 Bibliography 8 External links

Etymology[edit] The word bergamot is etymologically derived from the Italian word "bergamotto",[6] ultimately of Turkish origin: bey armudu or bey armut ("prince's pear" or "prince of pears").[7] Description[edit] Citrus
bergamia is a small tree that blossoms during the winter. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit.[citation needed] Chemistry[edit] The active ingredients in bergamot juice are neoeriocitrin, naringin, neohesperidin, ponceritin, melitidin, and mitrocin and 0.69% miriflin with 0% moisture brutieridin.[8] Melitidin
and brutieridin, only recently discovered, exist only in citrus bergamot and exhibit statin-like properties.[9] Synephrine
is not present in citrus bergamot. Taxonomy[edit] See also: Citrus
taxonomy § Oranges The bergamot orange is unrelated to the herbs known as bergamot or wild bergamot, Monarda didyma
Monarda didyma
and Monarda fistulosa, which are in the mint family, and are named for their similar aroma. Citrus
bergamia has also been classified as Citrus
aurantium subsp. bergamia (i.e. a subspecies of bitter orange).[10] Citrus
bergamia is sometimes confused with (but is not the same as):

medica – citron, the yellow fruit of which is also known as etrog; or Citrus
limetta, the "sweet lemon" or "sweet lime".


A bergamot orange from Calabria, Italy

Production is mostly limited to the Ionian Sea
Ionian Sea
coastal areas of the province of Reggio di Calabria
in Italy, to such an extent that it is a symbol of the entire city. Most of the bergamot comes from a short stretch of land there, where the temperature is favourable. The fruit is also produced in Argentina, Brazil, Algeria, the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and South-East Asia where it has its roots. Citrus
bergamot is commercially grown in southern Calabria
(province of Reggio), southern Italy. It is also grown in southern France[11] and in Côte d'Ivoire for the essential oil and in Antalya in southern Turkey
for its marmalade.[12] The fruit is not generally grown for juice consumption.[4] However, in Mauritius where it is grown on a small-scale basis, it is largely consumed as juice by the locals. One hundred bergamot oranges yield about three ounces (85g) of bergamot oil.[13]

Bergamot orange
Bergamot orange
tree in Maricopa County, Arizona

Adulteration with cheaper products such as oil of rosewood and bergamot mint has been a problem for consumers. To protect the reputation of their produce, the Italian government introduced tight controls, including testing and certificates of purity. The Stazione Sperimentale per le Industrie delle Essenze e dei Derivati dagli Agrumi (Experimental Station for Essential Oil and Citrus
By-Products) located in Reggio di Calabria, was the quality control body for the essential oil Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria
Reggio Calabria
DOP.[14] During World War II, Italy was unable to export to countries such as the Allied powers. Rival products from Brazil and Mexico came on to the market as a substitute, but these were produced from other citrus fruits such as sweet lime.[15] Uses[edit] Food and drink[edit] The fruit of the bergamot orange is edible.

Bergamot marmalade

An essence extracted from the aromatic skin of this sour fruit is used to flavour Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas,[10] as well as confectionery (including Turkish delight
Turkish delight
[16]). It is often used to make marmalade, particularly in Italy. In Sweden and Norway, bergamot is a very common flavourant in snus, a smokeless tobacco product.[17] Likewise, in dry nasal snuff, it is also a common aroma in traditional blends.[18][19] Carpentierbe, a company based in San Giorgio Morgeto, makes a digestiv liqueur derived from bergamot marketed under the name Liquore al Bergamotto. Fragrance[edit]

Bergamot essential oil

Bergamot peel is used in perfumery for its ability to combine with an array of scents to form a bouquet of aromas which complement each other. About one-third of all men's and about half of women’s perfumes contain bergamot essential oil.[citation needed] Bergamot is a major component of the original Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne
composed by Farina at the beginning of the 18th century in Germany. The first record of bergamot oil as a fragrance ingredient was in 1714, to be found in the Farina Archive in Cologne. Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot essential oil
is popular in aromatherapy. Toxicology[edit] In several patch test studies, application of some sources of bergamot oil directly to the skin of guinea pigs was shown to have a concentration-dependent phototoxic effect of increasing redness after exposure to ultraviolet light (due to the chemical bergapten, and possibly also citropten, bergamottin, geranial, and neral).[20][21] This is a property shared by many other citrus fruits. Bergapten
has also been implicated as a potassium channel blocker; in one case study, a patient who consumed four litres of Earl Grey tea
Earl Grey tea
per day (which contains bergamot essential oil as a flavouring) suffered muscle cramps.[22] Bergamot is also a source of bergamottin which, along with the chemically related compound 6',7'-dihydroxybergamottin, is believed to be responsible for grapefruit–drug interactions in which the consumption of the juice affects the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs.[23] Skin care[edit]

Bergamot orange

Bergamot is used in many skin care creams.[citation needed] In the past, psoralen extracted from bergamot oil has been used in tanning accelerators and sunscreens. These substances were known to be photocarcinogenic since 1959,[24] but they were only banned from sunscreens in 1995.[25] These photocarcinogenic substances were banned years after they had caused many cases of malignant melanoma and deaths.[26] Medicinal properties[edit] A highly concentrated extract of Bergamot has been shown to be a 'natural statin' that is beneficial in patients with dyslipidemia (an abnormal amount of lipids, such as triglycerides and cholesterol) in the blood. In a group of 107 patients with confirmed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the extract significantly improved all measured biochemical and ultrasonographic characteristics of the disease in 120 days without reported side effects.[27] Other studies have shown that Bergamot juice reduces serum levels of lipids, attributable to its high content of neoeriocitrin, neohesperidin and naringin. A study of 80 subjects with moderate hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) found that a daily dose of a Bergamot extract significantly reduced plasma lipids and improved the lipoprotein profile. Subclinical atherosclerosis, which was assessed by carotid intima-media thickness, was also reduced significantly over a relatively short time frame of six months. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol were reduced, while HDL-cholesterol increased.[28] Evidence is insufficient to indicate that bergamot oil is of medical benefit for some of its claimed uses.[5] Use on the skin can be unsafe, particularly for children and pregnant women.[5] Potential side effects of drinking large amounts of bergamot oil can include convulsions and death in children.[5] The juice of the fruit has been used in Calabrian indigenous medicine in malaria.[29] References[edit]

^ The International Plant Names Index, retrieved 2 June 2015  ^ Porcher, Michel H.; et al. (1995), Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (M.M.P.N.D): Sorting Citrus
Names, The University of Melbourne  ^ Franck Curk, Frédérique Ollitrault, Andres Garcia-Lor, François Luro, Luis Navarro, Patrick Ollitrault; Phylogenetic origin of limes and lemons revealed by cytoplasmic and nuclear markers, Annals of Botany, Volume 117, Issue 4, 1 April 2016, Pages 565–583, https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw005 ^ a b Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food (2006). Second Edition. Ed. Tom Jaine. p. 75. ISBN 0192806815.: "The bergamot orange is not edible and is grown only for its fragrant oil, although its peel is sometimes candied." ^ a b c d "BERGAMOT OIL: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings". WebMD. Retrieved 2016-01-04.  ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com.  ^ "Collins Dictionaries - Free Online". collinsdictionary.com.  ^ Cappello, AR, Dolce V, Iacopetta D, Martello M, Fiorillo M, Curcio R, Muto L, Dhanyalayam D. (2015). "Bergamot ( Citrus
bergamia Risso) Flavonoids and Their Potential Benefits in Human Hyperlipidemia and Atherosclerosis: an Overview". Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry. 16: 1–11. doi:10.2174/1389557515666150709110222. PMID 26156545.  ^ Di Donna, Leonardo; De Luca, Giuseppina; Mazzotti, Fabio; Napoli, Anna; Salerno, Raffaele; Taverna, Domenico; Sindona, Giovanni (2009). "Statin-like Principles of Bergamot Fruit: Isolation of 3-Hydroxymethylglutaryl Flavonoid Glycosides". Journal of Natural Products. 72 (7): 1352–1354. doi:10.1021/np900096w. PMID 19572741.  ^ a b " Citrus
bergamia". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service
Agricultural Research Service
(ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2011-09-07.  ^ "Bergamot Orange - Citrus
aurantium ssp bergamia". tradewindsfruit.com.  ^ Aktas, Ali (26 October 2004). "Reçellerin gözdesi, Bergamut(The most prominent marmalade: Bergamot)". ZAMAN. Retrieved 26 April 2012.  ^ Brannt, William Theodore; Schaedler, Karl. A Practical Treatise on Animal and Vegetable Fats and Oils ^ "Decreto 15 novembre 2005 – Designazione della Stazione sperimentale per le industrie delle essenze e dei derivati degli agrumi quale autorità pubblica, incaricata di effettuare i controlli sulla denominazione di origine protetta "Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria", registrata in ambito Unione europea, ai sensi del regolamento (CEE) n. 2081/92" (PDF). ISMEA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-25.  ^ Board, Niir (2011). "Oil of Bergamot." The Complete Technology Book of Essential Oils (Aromatic Chemicals). p. 75. ISBN 978-81-7833-066-2. ^ Garbee, Jenn (2011, January 06). Three generations of Turkish delight in Southern California. Los Angeles Times. ^ "Svensktsnus.se". general.se.  ^ Mohr, Melissa (17 November 2014). "How did we get from snuff to vaping?". OUP Blog. Retrieved 2 March 2016. snuff could be colored and flavored in hundreds of combinations, including orange flower, rose, bergamot, musk, and tonka bean  ^ "FAQs". Wilsons & Co. (Sharrow) Ltd. Retrieved 2 March 2016. The recipes known only to two members of the Wilson family in each generation since 1737, natural oils such as Bergamot, Attar of Roses, Jasmine and Sandalwood are added in precise measure to delight the nose.  ^ Girard J, Unkovic J, Delahayes J, Lafille C (1979). "Phototoxicity of Bergamot oil. Comparison between humans and guinea pigs". Dermatologica (in French). 158 (4): 229–43. doi:10.1159/000250763. PMID 428611.  ^ Kejlova K, Jirova D, Bendova H, Kandarova H, Weidenhoffer Z, Kolarova H, Liebsch M (2007). "Phototoxicity of bergamot oil assessed by in vitro techniques in combination with human patch tests". Toxicology in Vitro. 21 (7): 1298–1303. doi:10.1016/j.tiv.2007.05.016. PMID 17669618.  ^ Finsterer, J (2002). " Earl Grey tea
Earl Grey tea
intoxication". Lancet. 359 (9316): 1484. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08436-2. PMID 11988248.  ^ Bailey, David G.; Malcolm, J.; Arnold, O.; Spence, J. David (1998). " Grapefruit
juice–drug interactions". Br J Clin Pharmacol. 46 (2): 101–110. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.1998.00764.x. PMC 1873672 . PMID 9723817.  ^ Urbach, F (1959). "Modification of ultraviolet carcinogenesis by photoactive agents". J Invest Dermatol. 32 (2, Part 2): 373–378. doi:10.1038/jid.1959.63. PMID 13641813.  ^ Autier P, Dore JF, Schifflers E, et al. (1995). "Melanoma and use of sunscreens: An EORTC case control study in Germany, Belgium and France". Int. J. Cancer. 61 (6): 749–755. doi:10.1002/ijc.2910610602. PMID 7790106.  ^ Autier, P.; Dore, J.-F.; Cesarini, J.-P.; Boyle, P. (1997). "Should subjects who used psoralen suntan activators be screened for melanoma?" (PDF). Annals of Oncology. 8 (5): 435–437. doi:10.1023/A:1008205513771. ISSN 0923-7534. PMID 9233521. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 27, 2014.  ^ "The Hepatic Effects of Citrus
Bergamot Polyphenol Fraction (BPF) on Patients with Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Metabolic Syndrome". Journal of Clinical Lipidology. Elsevier Inc. Retrieved 2017-11-20.  ^ Toth, PP; Patti, AM; Nikolic, D; Giglio, RV; Castellino, G; Biancucci, T; Geraci, F; David, S; Montalto, G; Rizvi, A; Rizzo, M (2015). "Bergamot Reduces Plasma Lipids, Atherogenic Small Dense LDL, and Subclinical Atherosclerosis
in Subjects with Moderate Hypercholesterolemia: A 6 Months Prospective Study". Front Pharmacol. 6: 299. doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00299. PMC 4702027 . PMID 26779019.  ^ Krippner, Stanley; Ashwin Budden; Michael Bova; Roberto Galante (September 2004). "The Indigenous Healing Tradition in Calabria, Italy". Proceedings of the Annual Conference for the Study of Shamanism and Alternative Modes of Healing. San Francisco: Chair for Consciousness Studies at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 


Dugo, Giovanni; Bonaccorsi, Ivana (2013). Citrus
bergamia: Bergamot and its Derivatives. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles ( Book
51). CRC Press. ISBN 978-1439862278. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Citrus

Bergamot by Citrus
Variety Collection of the UCR Citrus
bergamia BBC news story on the farming of Bergamot in the Calabria
region of Italy Information about the hard candy bergamote de Nancy

v t e


True species

Australian and Papuan wild limes Byeonggyul Citron Clymenia Indian wild orange Ichang papeda Kumquat Mandarin Mangshanyegan Micrantha Pomelo

Major hybrids

Grapefruit Lemon Lime Orange

True and hybrid cultivars

Alemow Amanatsu Bergamot orange Bizzaria Bitter orange Blood lime Blood orange Buddha's hand Cam sành Cara cara navel Cherry orange Citrange Citrumelo Clementine Daidai Dekopon Fairchild tangerine Florentine citron Hassaku orange Hebesu Hyuganatsu Imperial lemon Iyokan Jabara Jaffa orange Kabbad Kabosu Kaffir lime Kakadu lime Kalpi Key lime Khasi papeda Kinnow Kishumikan Kiyomi Komikan Laraha Lumia Mandelo Mandora Melanesian papeda Melogold Meyer lemon Murcott Myrtle-leaved orange tree Ōgonkan Orangelo/Chironja Oroblanco Palestinian sweet lime Persian lime Pixie mandarin Ponderosa lemon Ponkan Rangpur Reikou Rhobs el Arsa Rough lemon Sanboken Satsuma mandarin Setoka Shangjuan Shonan Gold Sudachi Sweet lemon Sweet limetta Tangelo Tangerine Tangor Ugli fruit Valencia orange Variegated pink lemon Winged lime Xã Đoài orange Yuukou mandarin Yuzu


Balady citron Corsican citron Diamante citron Fingered citron Greek citron Moroccan citron Yemenite citron

Mandarin oranges

Cleopatra mandarin Shīkwāsā Nanfengmiju


halimii or Mountain "citron" Ichang papeda


Banpeiyu Dangyuja

Australian and Papuan citrus (Microcitrus, Eromocitrus, Clymenia and Oxanthera subgenera)

Australian outback lime Australian round lime Brown River finger lime Desert lime Mount white lime (Microcitrus) New Guinea wild lime Russell River lime Clymenia Oxanthera

hybrids (×Citrofortunella)

Calamondin Citrangequat Limequat Orangequat Procimequat Sunquat Yuzuquat

Related genus

Poncirus/Trifoliate orange


Chūhai Curaçao Grapefruit
juice Lemonade Limeade Orange juice Yuja-hwachae Yuja tea


Calcium citrate Citric acid Lemonene Limonene Neroli Orange flower water Orange oil Orangeat Succade Zest


Black spot CTV/Tristeza Exocortis Greening Mal secco Phytophthora


Related topics

The Citrus
Industry Citrus
production Citrus
rootstock Citrus
taxonomy Cold-hardy citrus Hesperidium Japanese citrus List of citrus fruits Mother Orange Tree Orangery University of California Citrus
Experiment Station University of California, Riverside Citrus
Variety Collection

Book Category Production Commons

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q109196 APDB: 153263 EPPO: CIDAB GBIF: 6433772 GRIN: 10698 ITIS: 524859 NCBI: 380129