The orange is the fruit of the citrus species
Citrus × sinensis in
the family Rutaceae. It is also called sweet orange, to distinguish
it from the related
Citrus × aurantium, referred to as bitter orange.
The sweet orange reproduces asexually (apomixis through nucellar
embryony); varieties of sweet orange arise through mutations.
The orange is a hybrid between pomelo (
Citrus maxima) and mandarin
Citrus reticulata). The chloroplast genome, and therefore the
maternal line, is that of pomelo. The sweet orange has had its full
Sweet oranges were mentioned in Chinese literature in 314 BC. As of
1987[update], 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. As of 2012[update], sweet oranges accounted for approximately
70% of citrus production.
In 2014, 70.9 million tonnes of oranges were grown worldwide, with
Brazil producing 24% of the world total followed by
1 Botanical information and terminology
4.1 Common oranges
4.1.2 Hart's Tardiff Valencia
4.1.4 Other varieties of common oranges
4.2.1 Cara cara navels
4.2.2 Other varieties of navels
4.3 Blood oranges
4.3.1 Other varieties of blood oranges
4.4 Acidless oranges
5.1 Sensory factors
5.2 Nutritional value and phytochemicals
6.6 Pests and diseases
6.6.1 Cottony cushion scale
Citrus greening disease
6.6.3 Greasy spot
8 Juice and other products
8.1 Products made from oranges
9 See also
11 External links
Botanical information and terminology
All citrus trees belong to the single genus
Citrus and remain almost
entirely interfertile. This includes grapefruits, lemons, limes,
oranges, and various other types and hybrids. As the interfertility of
oranges and other citrus has produced numerous hybrids and cultivars,
and bud mutations have also been selected, their taxonomy is fairly
controversial, confusing or inconsistent. The fruit of any
citrus tree is considered a hesperidium, a kind of modified berry; it
is covered by a rind originated by a rugged thickening of the ovary
Different names have been given to the many varieties of the genus.
Orange applies primarily to the sweet orange –
Citrus sinensis (L.)
Osbeck. The orange tree is an evergreen, 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.
Sweet oranges grow in a range of
different sizes, and shapes varying from spherical to oblong. Inside
and attached to the rind is a porous white tissue, the white, bitter
mesocarp or albedo (pith). The orange contains a number of
distinct carpels (segments) inside, typically about ten, each
delimited by a membrane, and containing many juice-filled vesicles and
usually a few seeds (pips). 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. Like all other citrus
fruits, the sweet orange is non-climacteric. The
Citrus sinensis group
is subdivided into four classes with distinct characteristics: common
oranges, blood or pigmented oranges, navel oranges, and acidless
Other citrus groups also known as oranges are:
Bitter orange (
Citrus aurantium), also known as Seville orange, sour
orange (especially when used as rootstock for a sweet orange tree),
bigarade orange and marmalade orange. Like the sweet orange, it is a
pomelo x mandarin hybrid.
Bergamot orange (
Citrus bergamia Risso), grown mainly in
Italy for its
peel, producing a primary essence for perfumes, also used to flavor
Earl Grey tea. It is a hybrid, probably bitter orange x limetta.
Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata), sometimes included in the
genus (classified as
Citrus trifoliata). It often serves as a
rootstock for sweet orange trees and other
Mandarin orange (
Citrus reticulata) is an original species of citrus,
and is a progenitor of the common orange.
An enormous number of cultivars have, like the sweet orange, a mix of
pomelo and mandarin ancestry. Some cultivars are mandarin-pomelo
hybrids, bred from the same parents as the sweet orange (e.g. the
tangor and ponkan tangerine). Other cultivars are sweet orange x
mandarin hybrids (e.g. clementines). Mandarin traits generally include
being smaller and oblate, easier to peel, and less acidic. Pomelo
traits include a thick white albedo (rind pith, mesocarp) that is more
closely attached to the segments.
Orange trees generally are grafted. The bottom of the tree, including
the roots and trunk, is called rootstock, while the fruit-bearing top
has two different names: budwood (when referring to the process of
grafting) and scion (when mentioning the variety of orange).
Main article: Orange (word)
The word orange derives from the
Sanskrit word for "orange tree"
(नारङ्ग nāraṅga), which in turn derives from a
Dravidian root word (from நரந்தம் narandam which refers
Bitter orange in Tamil). The
Sanskrit word reached European
languages through Persian نارنگ (nārang) and its Arabic
derivative نارنج (nāranj).
The word entered
Late Middle English
Late Middle English in the fourteenth century via Old
French orenge (in the phrase pomme d'orenge). The French word, in
turn, comes from Old Provençal auranja, based on Arabic nāranj.
In several languages, the initial n present in earlier forms of the
word dropped off because it may have been mistaken as part of an
indefinite article ending in an n sound—in French, for example, une
norenge may have been heard as une orenge. This linguistic change is
called juncture loss. The color was named after the fruit, and the
first recorded use of orange as a color name in English was in
A closeup of an orange blossom
As Portuguese merchants were presumably the first to introduce the
sweet orange to some regions of Europe, in several modern
Indo-European languages the fruit has been named after them. Some
examples are Albanian portokall, Bulgarian портокал
(portokal), Greek πορτοκάλι (portokali), Macedonian portokal,
Persian پرتقال (porteghal), Turkish portakal and Romanian
portocală. Related names can be found in other languages,
such as Arabic البرتقال (bourtouqal), Georgian
ფორთოხალი (pʰortʰoxali), Turkish portakal and
Amharic birtukan. Also, in some of the Italian regional languages
(e.g. Neapolitan), an orange is portogallo or purtuallo, literally
"(the) Portuguese (one)", in contrast to the Italian arancia.
In other Indo-European languages, the words for orange allude to the
eastern origin of the fruit and can be translated literally as "apple
from China". Some examples are German Apfelsine (alternative name for
Orange and common in northern Germany), Dutch appelsien and
sinaasappel, Swedish apelsin, and Norwegian appelsin. A similar
Puerto Rican Spanish
Puerto Rican Spanish china.
Slavic languages use the variants pomaranč (Slovak),
pomeranč (Czech), pomaranča (Slovene), and pomarańcza (Polish), all
Old French pomme d'orenge.
Yellow Oranges and Green Tangerines by Zhao Lingrang, Chinese fan
painting from the
Song dynasty (NPM)
The sweet orange is not a wild fruit, having arisen in
domestication from a cross between a non-pure mandarin orange and a
hybrid pomelo that had a substantial mandarin component. Since its
chloroplast DNA is that of pomelo, it was likely the hybrid pomelo,
perhaps a BC1 pomelo backcross, that was the maternal parent of the
first orange. Based on genomic analysis, the relative
proportions of the ancestral species in the sweet orange is
approximately 42% pomelo and 58% mandarin. All varieties of the
sweet orange descend from this original cross, differing only by
mutations selected for during agricultural propagation. Sweet
oranges have a distinct origin from the bitter orange, which arose
independently, perhaps in the wild, from a cross between pure mandarin
and pomelo parents, and from the Ambersweet orange, a
recently-produced complex hybrid legally designated a sweet orange in
United States so it could be used in orange juices. The
earliest mention of the sweet orange in Chinese literature dates from
In Europe, the
Moors introduced the orange to
Spain which was known as
Al-Andalus, modern Andalusia, with large scale cultivation starting in
the 10th century as evidenced by complex irrigation techniques
specifically adapted to support orange orchards.
Citrus fruits —
among them the bitter orange — were introduced to
Sicily in the 9th
century during the period of the Emirate of Sicily, but the sweet
orange was unknown until the late 15th century or the beginnings of
the 16th century, when Italian and Portuguese merchants brought orange
trees into the Mediterranean area. Shortly afterward, the sweet
orange quickly was adopted as an edible fruit. It also was considered
a luxury item and wealthy people grew oranges in private
conservatories, called orangeries. By 1646, the sweet orange was well
known throughout Europe.
Louis XIV of France had a great love of
orange trees, and built the grandest of all royal Orangeries at the
Palace of Versailles. At Versailles potted orange trees in solid
silver tubs were placed throughout the rooms of the palace, while the
Orangerie allowed year-round cultivation of the fruit to supply the
court. When Louis condemned his finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, in
1664, part of the treasures which he confiscated were over 1,000
orange trees from Fouquet's estate at Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Spanish travelers introduced the sweet orange into the American
continent. On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus may have
planted the fruit in Hispaniola. Subsequent expeditions in the
mid-1500s brought sweet oranges to South America and Mexico, and to
Florida in 1565, when
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded St Augustine.
Spanish missionaries brought orange trees to Arizona between 1707 and
1710, while the Franciscans did the same in San Diego, California, in
1769. An orchard was planted at the San Gabriel Mission around 1804
and a commercial orchard was established in 1841 near present-day Los
Angeles. In Louisiana, oranges were probably introduced by French
Archibald Menzies, the botanist and naturalist on the Vancouver
Expedition, collected orange seeds in South Africa, raised the
seedlings onboard and gave them to several Hawaiian chiefs in 1792.
Eventually, the sweet orange was grown in wide areas of the Hawaiian
Islands, but its cultivation stopped after the arrival of the
Mediterranean fruit fly in the early 1900s.
As oranges are rich in vitamin C and do not spoil easily, during the
Age of Discovery, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch sailors planted
citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy.
Florida farmers obtained seeds from New Orleans around 1872, after
which orange groves were established by grafting the sweet orange on
to sour orange rootstocks.
An orange vendor in Ilorin, Kwara, peeling the skin of an orange
Common oranges (also called "white", "round", or "blond" oranges)
constitute about two-thirds of all the orange production. The majority
of this crop is used mostly for juice extraction.
Main article: Valencia orange
An orange grove in Florida
Valencia orange is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular
variety when navel oranges are out of season. This is why an
anthropomorphic orange was chosen as the mascot for the 1982 FIFA
World Cup, held in Spain. The mascot was named Naranjito ("little
orange") and wore the colors of the Spanish national football team.
Hart's Tardiff Valencia
Thomas Rivers, an English nurseryman, imported this variety from the
Azores Islands and catalogued it in 1865 under the name Excelsior.
Around 1870, he provided trees to S. B. Parsons, a Long Island
nurseryman, who in turn sold them to E. H. Hart of Federal Point,
This cultivar was discovered by A. G. Hamlin near Glenwood, Florida,
in 1879. The fruit is small, smooth, not highly colored, and juicy,
with a pale yellow colored juice, especially in fruits that come from
lemon rootstock. The fruit may be seedless, or may contain a number of
small seeds. The tree is high-yielding and cold-tolerant and it
produces good quality fruit, which is harvested from October to
December. It thrives in humid subtropical climates. In cooler, more
arid areas, the trees produce edible fruit, but too small for
Trees from groves in hammocks or areas covered with pine forest are
budded on sour orange trees, a method that gives a high solids
content. On sand, they are grafted on rough lemon rootstock. The
Hamlin orange is one of the most popular juice oranges in
replaces the Parson Brown variety as the principal early-season juice
orange. This cultivar is now[needs update] the leading early orange in
Florida and, possibly, in the rest of the world.
Other varieties of common oranges
Bali: grown in Bali, Indonesia. Larger than other orange
Belladonna: grown in Italy
Berna: grown mainly in Spain
Biondo Comune ("ordinary blond"): widely grown in the Mediterranean
basin, especially in North Africa, Egypt, Greece (where it is called
Italy (where it is also known as "Liscio"), and Spain; it
also is called "Beledi" and "Nostrale"; in Italy, this variety
ripens in December, earlier than the competing Tarocco variety
Biondo Riccio: grown in Italy
Cadanera: a seedless orange of excellent flavor grown in Algeria,
Morocco, and Spain; it begins to ripen in November and is known by a
wide variety of trade names, such as Cadena Fina, Cadena sin Jueso,
Precoce de Valence ("early from Valencia"), Precoce des Canaries, and
Valence san Pepins ("seedless Valencia"); it was first grown in
Spain in 1870
Calabrese or Calabrese Ovale: grown in Italy
Carvalhal: grown in Portugal
Castellana: grown in Spain
Cherry Orange: grown in southern
China and Japan
Clanor: grown in South Africa
Dom João: grown in Portugal
Fukuhara: grown in Japan
Gardner: grown in Florida, this mid-season orange ripens around the
beginning of February, approximately the same time as the Midsweet
variety; Gardner is about as hardy as Sunstar and Midsweet
Homosassa: grown in Florida
Jaffa orange: grown in the Middle East, also known as "Shamouti"
Jincheng: the most popular orange in China
Joppa: grown in
South Africa and Texas
Khettmali: grown in Israel and Lebanon
A cross cutting scan of the interior of an orange
Kona: a type of
Valencia orange introduced in Hawaii in 1792 by
Captain George Vancouver; for many decades in the nineteenth century,
these oranges were the leading export from the Kona district on the
Big Island of Hawaii; in Kailua-Kona, some of the original stock still
Lue Gim Gong: grown in Florida, is an early scion developed by Lue Gim
Gong, a Chinese immigrant known as the "
Citrus Genius"; in 1888, Lue
cross-pollinated two orange varieties – the Hart's late Valencia and
Sweet – and obtained a fruit both sweet and
frost-tolerant; this variety was propagated at the Glen St. Mary
Nursery, which in 1911 received the Silver Wilder Medal by the
American Pomological Society; originally considered a hybrid,
Lue Gim Gong orange was later found to be a nucellar seedling of
the Valencia type, which is properly called Lue Gim Gong; since
Lue Gim Gong variety is grown in Florida, although sold
under the general name Valencia
Macetera: grown in Spain, it is known for its unique flavor
Orange seedling — although a hybrid, orange usually comes true from
seed, through maternal apomixis
Malta: grown in Pakistan
Maltaise Blonde: grown in north Africa
Maltaise Ovale: grown in
South Africa and in
California under the
names of Garey's or
California Mediterranean Sweet
Marrs: grown in Texas,
California and Iran, it is relatively low in
Medan: grown in Medan, Indonesia
Midsweet: grown in Florida, it is a newer scion similar to the Hamlin
and Pineapple varieties, it is hardier than Pineapple and ripens
later; the fruit production and quality are similar to those of the
Hamlin, but the juice has a deeper color
Moro Tarocco: grown in Italy, it is oval, resembles a tangelo, and has
a distinctive caramel-colored endocarp; this color is the result of a
pigment called anthocarpium, not usually found in citruses, but common
in red fruits and flowers; the original mutation occurred in
the seventeenth century
Mosambi: grown in
India and Pakistan, it is so low in acid and insipid
that it might be classified as acidless
Narinja: grown in Andhra, South India
Parson Brown: grown in Florida, Mexico, and Turkey, it once was a
Florida juice orange, its popularity has declined since
new varieties with more juice, better yield, and higher acid and sugar
content have been developed; it originated as a chance seedling in
Florida in 1865; its fruits are round, medium large, have a thick,
pebbly peel and contain 10 to 30 seeds; it still is grown because it
is the earliest maturing fruit in the United States, usually maturing
in early September in the Valley district of Texas, and from early
October to January in Florida; its peel and juice color are poor,
as is the quality of its juice
Pera: grown in Brazil, it is very popular in the Brazilian citrus
industry and yielded 7.5 million metric tons in 2005
Pera Coroa: grown in Brazil
Pera Natal: grown in Brazil
Pera Rio: grown in Brazil
Pineapple: grown in North and South America and India
Pontianak: oval-shaped orange grown especially in Pontianak, Indonesia
Premier: grown in South Africa
Rhode Red: is a mutation of the Valencia orange, but the color of its
flesh is more intense; it has more juice, and less acidity and vitamin
C than the Valencia; it was discovered by Paul Rhode in 1955 in a
grove near Sebring, Florida
Roble: it was first shipped from
Spain in 1851 by Joseph Roble to his
homestead in what is now Roble's Park in Tampa, Florida; it is known
for its high sugar content
Queen: grown in South Africa
Salustiana: grown in North Africa
Sathgudi: grown in Tamil Nadu, South India
Seleta, Selecta: grown in Australia and Brazil, it is high in acid
Shamouti Masry: grown in Egypt; it is a richer variety of Shamouti
Sunstar: grown in Florida, this newer cultivar ripens in mid-season
(December to March) and it is more resistant to cold and fruit-drop
than the competing Pineapple variety; the color of its juice is darker
than that of the competing Hamlin
Tomango: grown in South Africa
Verna: grown in Algeria, Mexico, Morocco, and Spain
Vicieda: grown in Algeria, Morocco, and Spain
Westin: grown in Brazil
Xã Đoài orange: grown in Vietnam
A navel orange, peeled and sectioned; the underdeveloped twin fruit is
located on the bottom right
Navel oranges are characterized by the growth of a second fruit at the
apex, which protrudes slightly and resembles a human navel. They are
primarily grown for human consumption for various reasons: their
thicker skin makes them easy to peel, they are less juicy and their
bitterness – a result of the high concentrations of limonin and
other limonoids – renders them less suitable for juice. Their
widespread distribution and long growing season have made navel
oranges very popular. In the United States, they are available from
November to April, with peak supplies in January, February, and
In this navel orange, the second fruit can clearly be seen at the
According to a 1917 study by Palemon Dorsett, Archibald Dixon Shamel
Wilson Popenoe of the
United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA), a single mutation in a Selecta orange tree planted on the
grounds of a monastery near Bahia, Brazil, probably yielded the first
navel orange between 1810 and 1820. Nevertheless, a researcher at
the University of California, Riverside, has suggested that the parent
variety was more likely the Portuguese navel orange (Umbigo),
Antoine Risso and
Pierre Antoine Poiteau
Pierre Antoine Poiteau in their book
Histoire naturelle des orangers ("Natural History of Orange Trees",
1818–1822). The mutation caused the orange to develop a second
fruit at its base, opposite the stem, embedded within the peel of the
Navel oranges were introduced in Australia in 1824
Florida in 1835. In 1870, twelve cuttings of the original tree
were transplanted to Riverside, California, where the fruit became
known as "Washington". This cultivar was very successful, and
rapidly spread to other countries. Because the mutation left the
fruit seedless and, therefore, sterile, the only method to cultivate
navel oranges was to graft cuttings onto other varieties of citrus
Citrus State Historic Park and the Orcutt Ranch
Horticulture Center preserve the history of navel oranges in
Today, navel oranges continue to be propagated through cutting and
grafting. This does not allow for the usual selective breeding
methodologies, and so all navel oranges can be considered fruits from
that single, nearly two-hundred-year-old tree: they have exactly the
same genetic make-up as the original tree and are, therefore, clones.
This case is similar to that of the common yellow seedless banana, the
Cavendish, or that of the
Granny Smith apple. On rare occasions,
however, further mutations can lead to new varieties.
Cara cara navels
Cara cara orange
Cara cara orange slices (left)
Cara cara oranges (also called "red navel") are a type of navel orange
grown mainly in Venezuela,
South Africa and in California's San
Joaquin Valley. They are sweet and comparatively low in acid, with
a bright orange rind similar to that of other navels, but their flesh
is distinctively pinkish red. It is believed that they have originated
as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia
navel, and they were discovered at the
Hacienda Cara Cara in
Valencia, Venezuela, in 1976.
South African cara caras are ready for market in early August, while
Venezuelan fruits arrive in October and Californian fruits in late
Other varieties of navels
Bahianinha or Bahia
Comparison between the inside and the outside of regular and blood
oranges (two segments at upper left)
Main article: Blood orange
Blood oranges are a natural mutation of C. sinensis, although today
the majority of them are hybrids. High concentrations of anthocyanin
give the rind, flesh, and juice of the fruit their characteristic dark
red color. Blood oranges were first discovered and cultivated in
Sicily in the fifteenth century. Since then they have spread
worldwide, but are grown especially in
Italy under the names
of sanguina and sanguinella, respectively.
The blood orange, with its distinct color and flavor, is generally
considered favorably as a juice, and has found a niche as an
ingredient variation in traditional Seville marmalade.
Other varieties of blood oranges
Maltese: a small and highly colored variety, generally thought to have
Italy as a mutation and cultivated there for centuries.
It also is grown extensively in southern
Spain and Malta. It is used
in sorbets and other desserts due to its rich burgundy color.
Moro: originally from Sicily, it is common throughout Italy. This
medium-sized fruit has a relatively long harvest, which lasts from
December to April.
Sanguinelli: a mutant of the Doble Fina, discovered in 1929 in
Almenara, in the
Castellón province of Spain. It is cultivated in
Scarlet navel: a variety with the same mutation as the navel orange.
Tarocco: a relatively new variety developed in Italy. It begins to
ripen in late January.
Acidless oranges are an early-season fruit with very low levels of
acid. They also are called "sweet" oranges in the United States, with
similar names in other countries: douce in France, sucrena in Spain,
dolce or maltese in Italy, meski in North Africa and the Near East
(where they are especially popular), şeker portakal ("sugar orange")
in Turkey, succari in Egypt, and lima in Brazil.
The lack of acid, which protects orange juice against spoilage in
other groups, renders them generally unfit for processing as juice, so
they are primarily eaten. They remain profitable in areas of local
consumption, but rapid spoilage renders them unsuitable for export to
major population centres of Europe, Asia, or the United States.
Octyl acetate, a volatile compound contributing to the fragrance of
The taste of oranges is determined mainly by the relative ratios of
sugars and acids, whereas orange aroma derives from volatile organic
compounds, including alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, terpenes, and
esters. Bitter limonoid compounds, such as limonin, decrease
gradually during development, whereas volatile aroma compounds tend to
peak in mid– to late–season development. Taste quality tends
to improve later in harvests when there is a higher sugar/acid ratio
with less bitterness. As a citrus fruit, the orange is acidic,
with pH levels ranging from 2.9 to 4.0.
Sensory qualities vary according to genetic background, environmental
conditions during development, ripeness at harvest, postharvest
conditions, and storage duration.
all commercial varieties
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
197 kJ (47 kcal)
Vitamin A equiv.
Pantothenic acid (B5)
USDA Database entry
μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for
USDA Nutrient Database
Nutritional value and phytochemicals
As with other citrus fruits, orange pulp is an excellent source of
vitamin C, providing 64% of the
Daily Value in a 100 g serving
(right table). Numerous other essential nutrients are present in low
amounts (right table).
Oranges contain diverse phytochemicals, including carotenoids
(beta-carotene, lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin), flavonoids (e.g.
naringenin) and numerous volatile organic compounds producing
orange aroma, including aldehydes, esters, terpenes, alcohols, and
Orange squeezer to make juice
Orange juice contains only about one-fifth the citric acid of lime or
lemon juice (which contain about 47 g/l).
See also: Food grading
United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established the
following grades for
Florida oranges, which primarily apply to oranges
sold as fresh fruit: US Fancy, US No. 1 Bright, US No. 1, US No. 1
Golden, US No. 1 Bronze, US No. 1 Russet, US No. 2 Bright, US No. 2,
US No. 2 Russet, and US No. 3. The general characteristics graded
are color (both hue and uniformity), firmness, maturity, varietal
characteristics, texture, and shape. Fancy, the highest grade,
requires the highest grade of color and an absence of blemishes, while
the terms Bright, Golden, Bronze, and Russet concern solely
Grade numbers are determined by the amount of unsightly blemishes on
the skin and firmness of the fruit that do not affect consumer safety.
USDA separates blemishes into three categories:
General blemishes: ammoniation, buckskin, caked melanose, creasing,
decay, scab, split navels, sprayburn, undeveloped segments, unhealed
segments, and wormy fruit
Injuries to fruit: bruises, green spots, oil spots, rough, wide, or
protruding navels, scale, scars, skin breakdown, and thorn scratches
Damage caused by dirt or other foreign material, disease, dryness, or
mushy condition, hail, insects, riciness or woodiness, and
USDA uses a separate grading system for oranges used for juice
because appearance and texture are irrelevant in this case. There are
only two grades: US Grade AA Juice and US Grade A Juice, which are
given to the oranges before processing. Juice grades are determined by
The juiciness of the orange
The amount of solids in the juice (at least 10% solids are required
for the AA grade)
The proportion of anhydric citric acid in fruit solids
Still life with oranges on a plate, 1640
Jean-Baptiste Oudry, The Orange Tree, 1740
An orange tree covered and damaged from snow, in the Netherlands
Orange grove in California
Like most citrus plants, oranges do well under moderate
temperatures—between 15.5 and 29 °C (59.9 and
84.2 °F)—and require considerable amounts of sunshine and
water. It has been suggested the use of water resources by the citrus
industry in the Middle East is a contributing factor to the
desiccation of the region. Another significant element in the full
development of the fruit is the temperature variation between summer
and winter and, between day and night. In cooler climates, oranges can
be grown indoors.
As oranges are sensitive to frost, there are different methods to
prevent frost damage to crops and trees when subfreezing temperatures
are expected. A common process is to spray the trees with water so as
to cover them with a thin layer of ice that will stay just at the
freezing point, insulating them even if air temperatures drop far
lower. This is because water continues to lose heat as long as the
environment is colder than it is, and so the water turning to ice in
the environment cannot damage the trees. This practice, however,
offers protection only for a very short time. Another procedure is
burning fuel oil in smudge pots put between the trees. These devices
burn with a great deal of particulate emission, so condensation of
water vapour on the particulate soot prevents condensation on plants
and raises the air temperature very slightly. Smudge pots were
developed for the first time after a disastrous freeze in Southern
California in January 1913 destroyed a whole crop.
Fruit tree propagation and
It is possible to grow orange trees directly from seeds, but they may
be infertile or produce fruit that may be different from its parent.
For the seed of a commercial orange to grow, it must be kept moist at
all times. One approach is placing the seeds between two sheets of
damp paper towel until they germinate and then planting them, although
many cultivators just set the seeds straight into the soil.
Commercially grown orange trees are propagated asexually by grafting a
mature cultivar onto a suitable seedling rootstock to ensure the same
yield, identical fruit characteristics, and resistance to diseases
throughout the years. Propagation involves two stages: first, a
rootstock is grown from seed. Then, when it is approximately one year
old, the leafy top is cut off and a bud taken from a specific scion
variety, is grafted into its bark. The scion is what determines the
variety of orange, while the rootstock makes the tree resistant to
pests and diseases and adaptable to specific soil and climatic
conditions. Thus, rootstocks influence the rate of growth and have an
effect on fruit yield and quality.
Rootstocks must be compatible with the variety inserted into them
because otherwise, the tree may decline, be less productive, or
Among the several advantages to grafting are that trees mature
uniformly and begin to bear fruit earlier than those reproduced by
seeds (3 to 4 years in contrast with 6 to 7 years), and that it
makes it possible to combine the best attributes of a scion with those
of a rootstock.
Canopy-shaking mechanical harvesters are being used increasingly in
Florida to harvest oranges. Current canopy shaker machines use a
series of six-to-seven-foot-long tines to shake the tree canopy at a
relatively constant stroke and frequency.
Normally, oranges are picked once they are pale orange.
Oranges must be mature when harvested. In the United States, laws
forbid harvesting immature fruit for human consumption in Texas,
California and Florida. Ripe oranges, however, often have
some green or yellow-green color in the skin.
Ethylene gas is used to
turn green skin to orange. This process is known as "degreening", also
called "gassing", "sweating", or "curing". Oranges are
non-climacteric fruits and cannot post-harvest ripen internally in
response to ethylene gas, though they will de-green externally.
A stand with oranges at a market in Morocco
Commercially, oranges can be stored by refrigeration in
controlled-atmosphere chambers for up to 12 weeks after harvest.
Storage life ultimately depends on cultivar, maturity, pre-harvest
conditions, and handling. In stores and markets, however, oranges
should be displayed on non-refrigerated shelves.
At home, oranges have a shelf life of about one month. In either
case, optimally, they are stored loosely in an open or perforated
Pests and diseases
See also: List of citrus diseases
Cottony cushion scale
The first major pest that attacked orange trees in the United States
was the cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi), imported from
California in 1868. Within 20 years, it wiped out the
citrus orchards around Los Angeles, and limited orange growth
throughout California. In 1888, the
USDA sent Alfred Koebele to
Australia to study this scale insect in its native habitat. He brought
back with him specimens of Novius cardinalis, an Australian ladybird
beetle, and within a decade the pest was controlled.
Citrus greening disease
The citrus greening disease, caused by the bacterium Liberobacter
asiaticum, has been the most serious threat to orange production since
2010. It is characterized by streaks of different shades on the
leaves, and deformed, poorly colored, unsavory fruit. In areas where
the disease is endemic, citrus trees live for only five to eight years
and never bear fruit suitable for consumption. In the western
hemisphere, the disease was discovered in
Florida in 1998, where it
has attacked nearly all the trees ever since. It was reported in
Brazil by Fundecitrus Brasil in 2004. As from 2009, 0.87% of the
trees in Brazil's main orange growing areas (São Paulo and Minas
Gerais) showed symptoms of greening, an increase of 49% over 2008.
The disease is spread primarily by two species of psyllid insects. One
of them is the Asian citrus psyllid (
Diaphorina citri Kuwayama), an
efficient vector of the Liberobacter asiaticum. Generalist predators
such as the ladybird beetles Curinus coeruleus, Olla v-nigrum,
Harmonia axyridis, and Cycloneda sanguinea, and the lacewings
Ceraeochrysa spp. and
Chrysoperla spp. make significant contribution
to the mortality of the Asian citrus psyllid, which results in
80–100% reduction in psyllid populations. In contrast, parasitism by
Tamarixia radiata, a species-specific parasitoid of the Asian citrus
psyllid, is variable and generally low in southwest Florida: in 2006,
it amounted to a reduction of less than 12% from May to September and
50% in November.
In 2007, foliar applications of insecticides reduced psyllid
populations for a short time, but also suppressed the populations of
predatory ladybird beetles. Soil application of aldicarb provided
limited control of Asian citrus psyllid, while drenches of
imidacloprid to young trees were effective for two months or more.
Management of citrus greening disease is difficult and requires an
integrated approach that includes use of clean stock, elimination of
inoculum via voluntary and regulatory means, use of pesticides to
control psyllid vectors in the citrus crop, and biological control of
psyllid vectors in non-crop reservoirs.
Citrus greening disease is not
under completely successful management.
Greasy spot, a fungal disease caused by the Mycosphaerella citri,
produces leaf spots and premature defoliation, thus reducing the
tree's vigour and yield. Ascospores of M. citri are generated in
pseudothecia in decomposing fallen leaves. Once mature, ascospores
are ejected and subsequently dispersed by air currents.
Further information: Orange production in Brazil
Production of oranges – 2014
Production (millions of tonnes)
People's Republic of China
FAOSTAT of the United Nations
Brazil is the world's leading orange producer, with an output of 17
million tonnes, followed by China, India, and the
United States as the
four major producers. Orange groves are located mainly in the state
of São Paulo, in the southeastern region of Brazil, and account for
approximately 80% of the national production. As
almost 99% of the fruit is processed for export, 53% of total global
frozen concentrated orange juice production comes from this area and
the western part of the state of Minas Gerais. In Brazil, the four
predominant orange varieties used for obtaining juice are Hamlin, Pera
Rio, Natal, and Valencia.
In the United States, groves are located mainly in Florida,
California, and Texas. The majority of California's crop is sold
as fresh fruit, whereas Florida's oranges are destined to juice
products. The Indian River area of
Florida is known for the high
quality of its juice, which often is sold fresh in the United States
and frequently blended with juice produced in other regions because
Indian River trees yield very sweet oranges, but in relatively small
Production of orange juice between the São Paulo and mid-south
Florida areas makes up roughly 85% of the world market.
99% of its production, while 90% of Florida's production is consumed
in the United States.
Orange juice is traded internationally in the form of frozen,
concentrated orange juice to reduce the volume used so that storage
and transportation costs are lower.
Juice and other products
Oranges, whose flavor may vary from sweet to sour, are commonly peeled
and eaten fresh or squeezed for juice. The thick bitter rind is
usually discarded, but can be processed into animal feed by
desiccation, using pressure and heat. It also is used in certain
recipes as a food flavoring or garnish. The outermost layer of the
rind can be thinly grated with a zester to produce orange zest. Zest
is popular in cooking because it contains oils and has a strong flavor
similar to that of the orange pulp. The white part of the rind,
including the pith, is a source of pectin and has nearly the same
amount of vitamin C as the flesh and other nutrients.
Although not as juicy or tasty as the flesh, orange peel is edible and
has significant contents of vitamin C, dietary fiber, total
polyphenols, carotenoids, limonene and dietary minerals, such as
potassium and magnesium.
Products made from oranges
Jar of marmalade
Orange juice is obtained by squeezing the fruit on a special tool (a
juicer or squeezer) and collecting the juice in a tray underneath.
This can be made at home or, on a much larger scale, industrially.
Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice in the world, followed
by the United States, where it is one of the commodities traded on the
New York Board of Trade.
Frozen orange juice concentrate is made from freshly squeezed and
filtered orange juice.
Sweet orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry produced by
pressing the peel. It is used for flavoring food and drinks and also
in the perfume industry and aromatherapy for its fragrance. Sweet
orange oil consists of approximately 90% D-limonene, a solvent used in
various household chemicals, such as wood conditioners for furniture
and—along with other citrus oils—detergents and hand cleansers. It
is an efficient cleaning agent with a pleasant smell, promoted for
being environmentally friendly and therefore, preferable to
petrochemicals. D-limonene is, however, classified from slightly toxic
to humans, to very toxic to marine life in different
Marmalade preserves are traditionally made with Seville oranges, which
are less sweet. All parts of the fruit are used: the pith and pips
(separated and placed in a muslin bag) are boiled in a mixture of
juice, slivered peel, sliced-up flesh, sugar, and water to extract
their pectin, which helps the conserve to set.
Orange peel is used by gardeners as a slug repellent.
Eliza Tibbets (for the history of orange groves in California, United
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