Origin / growing area
Oranges originally came from China, where they were first discovered some 3,000 years ago. Today, they grow in the (sub)tropical regions, the Mediterranean countries, South America, the US (Florida and California), South Africa and South China.
The most important citrus fruit of all, the orange is a natural cross between the pomelo and the tangerine. The fruits grow on evergreen trees that grow to heights of between three and eight metres. Roughly 1,000 species of oranges have been identified to date.
Oranges are important suppliers of vitamins and are among the richest sources of vitamin C (40 – 80 ml per 100 g).
Oranges vary considerably in size, shape, colour and other features. The well-known “blonde oranges” used primarily in the production of fruit juice are distinguished, for example, from blood oranges (which have red peels and red flesh) and navel oranges (which have a clearly visible stem bud and secondary fruit). Beneath the dull yellow to reddish-orange skin is a white, furry layer that must be removed before the fruit can be eaten.
The tart-sweet flavour of the orange is the product of the various sugars and acids contained in differing quantities in the fruit, combined with the numerous natural aromatic substances. By selecting systematically, juice producers are able to produce various different fruit beverages and smoothies as well as especially mild and readily digestible fruit juices.