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Orange - Citrus
DescriptionThe Orange is the fruit of the orange tree Citrus Sinensis, of the bitter orange tree Citrus Aurantium, or of other varieties belonging to the family of Rutaceae.
OriginsIt’s a citrus from China. It came from Asia to Europe by two great roads, the first being the Mediterranean route that was traveled in the time of the crusades by the bitter orange. Spread by the Persians and the Arabs, this fruit was implanted in Andalusia, Sicily and Spain in the region of Valencia, from where it expanded to the rest of Europe. The second route was started by Portuguese sailors who discovered the sweet orange in China to take it to Europe. Its success ended by expelling the first.
CharacteristicsLike all citrus fruits, orange is presented in the form of a berry called hesperidium. Oranges are classified into four varied groups. Edible, they are known for their high vitamin C content and are the fourth most cultivated fruit in the world. The fruit is divided into carpels (segments) like its cousin the mandarin orange, and has a thick skin that encloses a juicy and sweet pulp. This fruit is commonly used for fruit salads, jams, or for the consumption of its juice. Oranges take their name from the partially red colour of their pulp, and this coloration is due to the presence of anthocyanins whose synthesis is activated, in some species, during a cold wave. The orange anthocyanins are of blue origin, but they turn red if the pH of the fruit is less than 4.3.
Other factsUntil the middle of the 20th century, orange was a luxury fruit offered to children at Christmas and at the feast of Saint Nicholas.
ProductionCurrently, the orange industry has a worldwide turnover of nearly $2 billion. Brazil continues to lead the annual production of this fruit with a volume of more than 18 million tons. It is followed by the United States with an annual production of 8 Mt, and China with 6.6 Mt. In Europe, Spain is the first producer of this fruit with 2.6 Mt, then comes Italy with 2.2 Mt. In France, orange production is concentrated on the l'Île de la Réunion, Corsica and the Mediterranean, with a total annual harvest of approximately 5,100 tons. Orange is the third most appreciated fruit of our compatriots, since every Frenchman consumes about 5 kg per year.
Seasonality of the product