Oranges are not always orange

If you’re like me, you probably already know that. And you might’ve even asked Google why…

Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orang...
Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orange variety. USDA photo. Image Number K3644-12. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oranges can be green.

The colour of the orange peel is dependent on the temperature of the surrounding environment. In cool temperatures an orange peel is orange because of the release of orange pigments (carotenes) around cool temperatures.

In the tropics, orange peels are green.

Orange peels can also be green depending on where it’s growing on the tree. It’s green when it’s tucked in among the leaves,  because it’s trying to maximise its likelihood for receiving sunlight. Chlorophyll is a green pigment which is what gives orange peels a green colour, and allows photosynthesis to occur.

Another site says that the green chlorophyll is drawn out due to the sunlight, and it acts as a sunscreen to prevent the orange from burning.

Oranges can be treated to promote a uniform orange appearance by:

  • ethylene gas
  • washing with detergent
  • coating with wax
  • colouring them with dye.

Whether an orange has an orange or green peel, a ripe orange tastes the same.


 General Information About Oranges

Oranges are citrus fruit and are related to lemons, mandarins, limes, citrons and grapefruit.

Citrus fruit slices
Citrus fruit slices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Appearance of an orange (inside):

  • orange & juicy flesh
  • divided into segments by thin white membranes
  • each segment contains hundred of small juice sacs
  • In the centre -> white pith, and some have seeds

They’re available all year round.

Containing vitamin C and range of natural sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose, oranges are a yummy treat.

Oranges are good at preventing colds because of their pith and peel, which is rich in pectin ( a type of soluble fibre) and flavonoids.

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