Mandarins can be eaten raw or cooked. They are a common ingredient in fruit salads, desserts, and ice cream. The juice is used to make flavored lemonade and mixed drinks. Mandarin oil is obtained from the peel and supports healthy digestion.
Given their small size, mandarin oranges are an easy, portable snack. You can simply peel them and eat fresh at any time. Mandarins are also used in salads, desserts, and main dishes. Fresh mandarin juice and frozen juice concentrate are available in many larger supermarkets and health food stores. The peel can be used fresh, whole or zested. It is also sun-dried and used as a traditional seasoning in Chinese cooking and traditional medicine. For the latter, the dried peel is believed to regulate ch'i, and is also used to treat abdominal distension, enhance digestion, and reduce phlegm. Mandarin peel can be used as a spice for cooking, baking, drinks, or candy.
Canned mandarin segments are peeled to remove the white pith prior to canning; otherwise, they turn bitter. Segments are peeled using a chemical process. First, the segments are scalded in hot water to loosen the skin; then they are bathed in a lye solution, which digests the albedo and membranes. Finally, the segments are rinsed several times in plain water. Once orange segments are properly prepared, mandarin oranges undergo heat processing to remove bacteria that can cause spoilage. The oranges are then packed in airtight sealed containers. Ascorbic acid may also be added. They are often used in salads, desserts, and baking.1
Mandarin oranges can be stored at room temperature for several days. Since they ripen in November–December, they are a convenient snack and source of vitamins during the winter.
Mandarins contain 85 % water, 13 % carbohydrates, 10.5 % sugar, and very little fat and protein. They contain 32 % of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. Mandarins also contain B1, B2, provitamin A, free organic acids, phytoncides, lectins, and mineral salts. More detailed information can be obtained from the nutrient table.
The mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), also known as the mandarin or mandarine, is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges, usually eaten plain or in fruit salads. Specifically reddish-orange mandarin cultivars can be marketed as tangerines, but this is not a botanical classification. Mandarins are smaller and oblate, rather than spherical like the common oranges (which are a mandarin hybrid). The taste is considered less sour, as well as sweeter and stronger. A ripe mandarin is firm to slightly soft, heavy for its size, and pebbly-skinned. The peel is very thin, with very little bitter white mesocarp, so they are usually easier to peel and to split into segments. Hybrids generally have these traits to a lesser degree. The mandarin orange tree is more drought-tolerant than the fruit. The mandarin is tender and is damaged easily by cold. It can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas. According to molecular studies, the mandarin, the citron, the pomelo, and to a lesser extent the papedas and kumquat, were the ancestors of most other commercial citrus varieties, through breeding or natural hybridization; mandarins are therefore important as the only sweet fruit among the parental species. Though some mandarin cultivars remain pure, most have some degree of pomelo hybridization, while in some cases the amount of pomelo is substantial.1
The fruit yield is high, up to 5-6 thousand fruits per tree in a favorable year. In 2016, world production of mandarin oranges (combined with tangerines, clementines, and satsumas in reporting to FAOSTAT) was 32.8 million tonnes, led by China with 52% of the global total. Producing more than one million tonnes each in 2016 were Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt. Mandarin orange is the most cultivated citrus fruit in China, tropical Asia, India, Korea, Japan, the Mediterranean, and in Florida in the United States. A hardy Japanese species of mandarin orange called unshiu is grown in the Caucasian country of Georgia which is a major exporter of mandarins to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Azerbaijan, although there is also some production in Russia on the Black Sea coast of Caucasus and in the Krasnodar Region.1
The name "mandarin orange" is a calque of Swedish mandarin apelsin (apelsin from German Apfelsine=Apfel+Sino means chinese apple), first attested in the 18th century. The form "mandarine" derives from the French name for this fruit. The reason for the epithet "mandarin" is not clear; it may relate to the yellow colour of some robes worn by mandarin dignitaries.1
- Wikipedia. Mandarin orange [Internet].