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Clementine, raw (Clementine)

The clementine tastes pleasantly sweet and aromatic. It contains many minerals and is rich in vitamins.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 92.32%
Macronutrient proteins 6.53%
Macronutrient fats 1.15%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

The clementine ( Citrus × aurantium ), also spelled clementine , is a mostly seedless, sweet citrus fruit.

Use in the kitchen:

The tasty clementine is very easy to peel and cut up by hand compared to other members of the citrus family. For this reason, the fruit trade calls the clementine an 'easy peeler' (sometimes the term also refers to mandarins, satsumas or tangerines). Because clementines are so easy to eat and digest, they are also suitable for children and senior citizens. This enables these groups of people to consume healthy active ingredients without much effort.

If the clementine is not organically grown, it is advisable to wash and rub the fruit before peeling it. Otherwise, residues of pesticides that stick to the peel could contaminate the pulp. As you peel the citrus fruit, the unique clementine aroma of the peel oil develops. The intensity of the scent can pleasantly perfume a room.

Clementines taste best when eaten fresh and raw. They also make a tasty addition to various desserts. The fruit slices, which have few seeds, go perfectly in a fresh fruit salad or mixed into other salads, either whole or chopped. Pureed clementines can be used to make fine creams and then used in various desserts. If you cook the pureed pulp with gelling sugar and lemons, you get a fine jam. 1

Generally speaking, the peel is not suitable for consumption. However, with untreated fruit, you can grate the peel fresh or dry it and use it as a garnish or ingredient in a recipe - for example, for a cake topping or for fruit bread.

The freshly squeezed juice of the clementine refines sauces. Clementine juice gives fruit juices, smoothies or cocktails a fresh note.

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Shopping - where to buy?

The clementine is a typical winter fruit. Seasonally, you can buy them, often packed in nets, from major retailers such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka or Hofer . However, you should prefer clementines from controlled organic cultivation, which you can buy in organic shops.

In the past, clementines did not come onto the market before November. Today, early-ripening varieties are available from mid-September and the last late varieties until March. They are usually found on the fruit shelf next to their slightly darker relatives, mandarins. In everyday language, clementines are often called mandarins, although they are a separate group of fruit varieties. However, shops usually display the two varieties separately and clearly labeled on their shelves.

Clementines are significantly smaller than oranges and weigh around 80-120 g. They are round but flattened. There is a more or less pronounced fold around the base of the stem. The orange, waxy skin of the clementine is smooth and quite thin. It smells seductive because it has tiny indentations on the surface that look like small craters. These are oil glands that provide the pleasant smell.

The clementine's skin is connected to the flesh without an air gap, which means the fruit lasts longer. When buying, make sure that the orange skin is plump and shiny. If the fruit has been on the shelf for too long, air forms under the skin, which you can immediately feel with light pressure. The fruit then tastes dry or even woody. Green spots on the skin, on the other hand, do not indicate unripeness. It is a sign of different climatic conditions during growth. If the nights in the growing areas are too mild during the ripening period, green spots remain on the skin. However, this has no effect on the taste of the flesh. 2 Clementines harvested just a little too early taste sour. 3

Sometimes the shops leave a stem and one or two lush green leaves on the fruit. This is intended to give customers the impression that the fruit is fresher and sometimes even leads to price increases. 4

There are a number of different types of clementine, some of which differ considerably in terms of their fruit characteristics and ripening times. In addition to clementines, their relatives are also often available: mandarins, satsumas, tangerines and minneolas. Read more about this below under General Information.

If stored properly, the vitamin-rich clementines have a long shelf life, so you can stock up on them. They are also available in canned form, in which case they are peeled and sugared. However, the wet canned variety is usually the Satsuma variety. 12 Soft drinks also often contain a clementine extract.


Clementines are not climacteric, so they do not ripen like bananas because they are low in starch. The fruit is sensitive to cold. Storage below 2 °C makes it bitter. The ideal temperature is 7 °C. In a cool room, clementines can be kept for up to 6 weeks without losing any of their juice. By comparison, the storage time of mandarins under the same conditions is around 2 weeks. It is particularly important to ensure that untreated citrus fruits are stored correctly. They are susceptible to mold or rot. 3,13

Before consumption, the clementine must be allowed to reach room temperature so that its aroma can develop and it does not taste icy or tasteless.

Ingredients - nutritional value - calories:

The ingredients of the clementine are similar to those of the mandarin , which in turn are similar to those of the orange . In general, the clementine contains vitamin C , minerals, organic acids and most nutrients in smaller quantities than the orange. 14 The sugar-acid ratio is very balanced.

Clementines consist of around 86.5% water and 0.1% fat. At 61%, the vitamin C content is twice as high as that of the related mandarin. They contain various B vitamins, as well as 12% folate . Various minerals such as potassium (9%), calcium (4%) and magnesium (3%) are available. The trace element copper is present at 4%. You can find detailed information in the ingredient tables after the text. 15

The intense aroma of clementine is mainly made up of esters, aldehydes and terpenes. 31

Health aspects - effects:

The medicinal effects of clementines are similar to those of oranges, although they are not as intense. Clementines have an anti-infective and tonic effect. They are ideal for colds, flu and throat infections. In addition, vitamin C prevents allergies. The fiber in the form of pectin lowers cholesterol, thins the blood and lowers blood pressure. Fiber also promotes digestion. Like all types of fruit, clementines contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant and even anti-carcinogenic properties.

The antioxidants in clementines slow down the aging of body cells. This is said to reduce the symptoms of diabetes mellitus, arteriosclerosis and Alzheimer's. The flavonoid nobiletin is found in the peel of citrus fruits. In isolation, nobiletin potentially inhibits the breakdown of cartilage. 16 It is also said to stimulate fat burning in the body. There is currently no scientific evidence to support this mechanism in humans. 17 Despite the sweetness of clementines, the fruit only has 47 kcal per 100 g and can therefore serve well as a healthy diet fruit.

The essential oils from the clementine peel have a calming and relaxing effect even when peeling the fruit. The essential oil in the peel of citrus fruits is known to stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to renewed energy and relaxation. 32

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects:

You should not eat a lot of clementines over a long period of time, as they can cause urinary tract infections. These problems are not known with oranges and mandarins. 18

Clementines, like other citrus fruits, are often contaminated with chemicals. If the clementines are not organically grown, toxic chemicals build up on the waxy skin. If you don't wash the fruit well enough before eating it, you will also eat the toxins. Some of these toxins are not harmless. 19,33

Folk medicine - natural healing effects:

We do not know of any use as a medicinal plant, but there are views that clementines have captured the sun's power and thus have a mood-enhancing effect. 20


The clementine tree is an evergreen tree that grows four to six meters high. 21 Compared to other citrus plants, the tree is quite cold-resistant. The fruits also do not need high temperatures to ripen. Nevertheless, the tree is heat-loving, needs plenty of sun and a location protected from the wind.

Citrus fruits mostly come from Asia. However, it is believed that the clementine originated in the Mediterranean. It is said to have originated in Algeria from a chance cross between the bitter orange ( Citrus aurantium L.) and the mandarin ( Citrus reticulata ). 22 The new fruit was discovered in 1912 in the garden of a monk working in Algeria. Brother Clément ( Vincent Rodier 1829-1904) is therefore not only its discoverer, but also the father of its name. 23 However, more recent research assumes that the fruit is more likely to have originated from a cross with the orange. 34,35 There are also sources that claim that the clementine has existed in certain areas of China for a much longer time, even before the French monk Clément discovered it in his garden. 25

The most commercially important cultivation areas for Europe are in Spain and France. Clementine trees are cultivated in the so-called citrus belt between the 20th and 40th parallels north and south of the equator. Italy, Corsica, Greece and Turkey are among the smaller producers. Overseas, cultivation areas can be found in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Clementine cultivation also exists in Australia. 13

The clementine, the satsuma ( Citrus × aurantium Satsuma group) and the oval kumquat ( Fortunella margarita ) are among the most cold-tolerant citrus plants. Because of this cold tolerance, the cultivation of clementines was greatly expanded in Florida after various frost events had severely affected the traditional orange crops. In France, this is also the reason why clementine cultivation is the only option. Orange cultivation and bitter orange cultivation are of little economic importance there anymore. 23

Growing in the garden or as a potted plant:

Larger garden centers sell the clementine tree as a potted plant. The pot is an ideal location, but you should replace it with a larger one every two years. The environment can be sunny or partially shaded. The clementine is not winter hardy and can only tolerate a few degrees below zero for a short time, but should be kept cool in winter, ideally at 5 degrees above zero. It is brought to a winter quarters, but this must be bright, otherwise the plant will lose its leaves. The clementine has practically no thorns and can fertilize itself.

Clementines are easy to care for in an orangery. Before watering, the soil should be dry, so that it looks very dry at the top. So, for example, only water once a week, but then water well. Citrus needs dry periods. From May to August, you should add nitrogen-rich citrus fertilizer to the water you use to water it. In winter, you only need to cut off dead or overgrown branches. The nursery will be happy to advise you on this.

Cultivation, harvest:

Since the mandarin varieties can easily be crossed with each other, new variants are constantly being created. The number of seeds depends on which pollinator plants were near the trees during the flowering period. 26 The fruits love the change from cold to warm, moist to dry and suffer from constant heat or too much moisture. Cool temperatures during the ripening period improve the quality of the fruit. 27

Clementines are often harvested green. To make them look good, they are coloured or changed in a controlled manner in air-conditioned halls by adding natural ethylene to the air, which many fruits give off as they ripen. The gas accelerates the colour change from green to orange. This is a common method in Spain. 28

If you cultivate only citrus plants on an area for a long time, you will inevitably have a problem with reproduction. This can partly be attributed to an increased number of harmful fungi in the soil. However, at least the bitter orange and probably other species excrete substances that inhibit the growth of other plants (allelopathy). 29

Danger of confusion:

As described above, clementines and mandarins look very similar. Clementines are yellowish-orange and slightly smaller than their relative, the intensely orange mandarin. The clementine's skin is a little thinner and the mostly seedless fruit has no air gap between the skin and the flesh like mandarins. Clementines are sweeter than mandarins, which are considered more aromatic. Mandarins are divided into 9 fruit segments, while clementines have 8-12.

General information:

The clementine ( Citrus × aurantium ) is a rue plant (Rutaceae) and belongs to the genus Citrus . The scientific name is often Citrus clementina or Citrus reticulata Clementine. However, because it is a hybrid that ultimately goes back to the mandarin and (via the intermediate step orange) grapefruit species, the name Citrus × aurantium Clementine group makes more sense. 24

The systematic classification of the genus is very complicated. There are up to 162 species in its subdivision. According to genetic studies, all cultivated Citrus species can be traced back to just three basic species: the grapefruit ( Citrus maxima ), the citron ( Citrus medica ) and the mandarin ( Citrus reticulata , from which the clementine originates). Accordingly, all other species are hybrids of two or more of these basic species, sometimes also involving a few other species of the genus Citrus . 12

The citrus fruit is a special type of berry (endocarp berry), a so-called hesperidium. 12 Hesperidia or armored berries are botanical names for a fleshy berry fruit with a firm and leathery shell (armor). 30

Relatives of the clementine:

Satsumas are the first fruits from the European harvest to come onto the market in autumn. The cross between a mandarin and an orange comes from Japan. The fruits are often available in Europe as 'seedless mandarins', although they are not genetically identical. The flesh of the satsuma is orange and the seeds that occasionally appear are light green inside. Of all the commercially important citrus fruits, satsuma trees have the greatest tolerance to low temperatures and ripen relatively early without requiring large amounts of heat. 5,6 Satsuma cultivation areas are now in Japan, Spain, central China, Korea, Turkey, on the Black Sea in Russia, in Sicily, in southern South Africa and in South America. In Japan, satsuma is the most important citrus fruit grown. With 45,500 hectares of cultivation area, it takes up 62.5 percent of the citrus cultivated areas (as of 2014). Smaller quantities are also grown in California and northern Florida, where several smaller towns are named after the fruit. 7

In the middle of the 19th century, tangerines began to be cultivated in North America. The name refers to the Moroccan city of Tangier. 8 A certain Major Atway owned plantations there. He imported plants to Palatka in the state of Florida and is thus considered the first grower of this fruit in the United States. 9 In 1843, Atway sold to an NH Moragne , who later marketed the fruit under the name Moragne tangerines. 10 Tangerines look very similar to the mandarins known in Central Europe. However, they are much smaller. In countries where tangerines are grown, the sale of the fresh juice or concentrate is an important sales channel. 8

The Minneola is a cross between ½ mandarin and ½ grapefruit and belongs to the Tangelos family. Its size is between the two fruits. The fruit is orange and appears pear- or bell-shaped. The sweetness of the mandarin and the tart, bitter freshness of the grapefruit create a wonderful fruity aroma. The variety was introduced to the market in 1931 by the United States Department of Agriculture Horticultural Research Station in Orlando (Florida). Because the trees grow widely, they need a lot of space. The harvest yields are also low because they need a lot of pollinators. Even under optimal growing conditions, larger yields are sometimes not achieved. Commercial growers then often resort to growth control sprays with gibberellic acid (GA) to increase fruit set and later fruit yield. Minneolas are also often susceptible to disease. 11

Literature - Sources:

Authors: Géraldine Korner |