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The Tangerine Little Fruit That Has Come a Long Way
History of The Tangerine Little Fruit: Tangerines were first grown in Palatka, Florida. In the 1800s, they received the name “tangerine” because they were imported through the city of Tangier in Morocco.
Like oranges, tangerines are members of the citrus family, but they are the fruit of the C. tangerina species.
However, from a botanic standpoint, tangerines refer to a subgroup of mandarins. Most commonly, mandarins that are reddish-orange and brightly colored tend to be labeled as tangerines.
Tangerines are typically in their prime from late October through January.
Tangerine vs. Orange: How Are They Different?
They both contain an assortment of nutrients, are relatively sweet in flavor and are generally low in calories.
But while tangerines and oranges are closely related, they are actually two separate fruits with some notable differences.
This article explains the key similarities and differences between tangerines and oranges.
They Have Different Appearances
The main distinction between tangerines and oranges is size.
Oranges come in different sizes and slightly different shapes, depending on the variety. However, as a rule of thumb, oranges grow to a larger size than tangerines.
Sometimes referred to as “baby oranges,” tangerines are smaller, somewhat flattened and generally less rounded, making them a perfect pocket-sized snack.
Tangerines are also softer to the touch when ripe, while oranges are usually firm and heavy when ripe.
Both tangerines and oranges range from having many seeds to being seedless, depending on the variety. For example, navel oranges are seedless, while Valencia oranges have seeds.
Lastly, tangerines and oranges can differ in color.
Oranges are typically more yellow-orange, except for the blood orange, which has a dark red color.
Although tangerines are similar in color to most orange varieties, they are typically more reddish-orange.
Their Flavors Vary Slightly
The flavors of tangerines and oranges vary, but it depends largely on the variety of each fruit.
Both tangerines and oranges can be sweet or tart.
However, most tangerines are less tart and sweeter than oranges. Tangerines also tend to have a stronger flavor profile than oranges and a shorter aftertaste.
One exception to this is the blood orange. Blood oranges have a distinct flavor profile that differs from most varieties of tangerines and oranges.
Blood oranges tend to have a very rich taste that is not overly sweet with a hint of berry-like flavor.
Tangerines Are Generally Easier to Peel
The rinds of tangerines and oranges is another main difference between the two.
Both tangerines and oranges have a thin skin. However, oranges have a tighter skin and thus are usually more difficult to peel than tangerines.
Most varieties of tangerines have a very thin, loose skin, making it easy to peel. The peel is also pebbled and absent of any deep grooves.
Specifically, many tangerine varieties are known for their “zipper-skin,” meaning once the skin is torn, it slides off easily.
They Have a Very Similar Nutrient Content
A whole tangerine has a high water content (85%), consists mostly of carbs (4% of daily value) and contains almost no fat
Likewise, a whole orange has a high water content (87%), consists mostly of carbs (4% of daily value) and contains almost no fat
The table below compares the nutrition of a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of tangerine to the same serving of orange
Overall, tangerines and oranges have similar nutrient profiles. However, tangerines tend to have slightly more calories per serving. They also contain a few more grams of carbs.
One notable difference between the nutrient profiles of tangerines versus oranges is that oranges have more than double the amount of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps support connective tissues including skin, blood vessels and bones
Oranges also have slightly more fiber than tangerines, making them a very good source of this beneficial carbohydrate.
That said, tangerines contain more vitamin A per serving. One 3.5-ounce serving of tangerine provides 14% of the daily value, while oranges offer 4%.
Both tangerines and oranges provide a good variety of nutrients, including potassium, thiamin and folate. Either fruit can be a nutritious, low-calorie addition to your diet.
Potential Health Benefits
Oranges are a great source of highly absorbable vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that fights free radicals, which may play a role in cancer prevention (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
The majority of the health benefits of oranges are likely linked to their high vitamin C content.
A handful of studies have looked at the effects of orange consumption, particularly orange juice consumption, on various health factors.
One study found that drinking orange juice decreased DNA damage. The study concluded that vitamin C, in conjunction with other plant compounds present in oranges, likely played an active role in the decrease in damage (10Trusted Source).
Another study found that people who drank two cups of orange juice daily for 12 months had lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower total cholesterol than non-orange juice drinkers (11Trusted Source).
Moreover, the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) evaluated data from over 6,000 people.
Those with the highest amounts of serum vitamin C had a significantly lower prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacteria responsible for causing stomach ulcers (12Trusted Source).
Therefore, given the high vitamin C content in oranges, consuming oranges may be beneficial in preventing stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori.
Additionally, studies have shown that drinking orange juice may help prevent the formation of calcium oxalate and uric acid, which can contribute to kidney stones (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
Note that most of these studies observed the effects of drinking orange juice. However, by eating oranges, you also benefit from the fiber, which is lost during juicing.
Both whole tangerines and oranges are high in fiber and relatively low in calories.
Studies have shown that eating a high-fiber diet may be beneficial for weight reduction, decreasing the risk of heart disease and improving blood sugar levels (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
This makes tangerines and oranges a smart snack choice for a balanced, weight-reduction diet.
How to Eat and Enjoy Them
The best way to eat both tangerines and oranges is to simply peel them and eat them.
Since tangerines are easier to peel, they can be used as a quick and easy snack, especially when you’re on the go. Both make great additions to salads, too.
When choosing a ripe tangerine, you will want to look for fruits that are deep in color, semi-soft and avoid those with brown spots.
Oranges don’t necessarily have to be bright in color to be ripe, but you will want to choose oranges that are firm and have smoothly textured skin.
Both tangerines and oranges can be stored on the countertop at room temperature or in the refrigerator, depending on your preference.
Tangerines Types of
Tangerines are one of the most important citrus fruits and have many varieties. Types of tangerines grown in the northern and southern regions of the country:
Northern Tangerines: Anshu Tangerine, Jaffa (Clementine), Local Tangerine, Page Tangerine, Tanjila, Younesi
Southern Tangerine: Kino Tangerine, Port (Black), Clementine, Kara, Orlando, Tanjelo
Health Benefits of Tangerine Fruits
- Rich Antioxidants Prevent Inflammation
- Fights Skin Diseases & Arthritis
- Heals Cuts & Wounds
- Absorbs Iron from Food
- Restricts Cholesterol Absorption
- Improves Digestion & Prevents Chronic Diseases
- High Fiber Content Eases Bowel Movements
- Cures Sepsis
- Enhances Cell Division
Skin Benefits of Tangerine
- Treats Skin Conditions & Delays Signs of Aging
- Offers Smooth & Youthful Skin
- Facial Mask for Brighter Skin
Hair Benefits of Tangerine
- Vitamin A Helps To Moisturize the Sebum In The Scalp
- Promotes Hair Growth & Delays Hair Greying
- Source of Healthy & Shiny Hair
For a protein boost, tangerine is used in fruit salad.
Tangerine juice can be used in noodles and pastas.
You can add the tangerine juice for a refreshing flavor while baking your cupcake.
We can use Tangerine juice in chicken or fish recipes too.
While selecting tangerines, always look for the heavy one. More weight equals more juice. Store them in the fridge to retain their freshness. If you buy too many tangerines at a one go, rinse them off in cold water and dry them well with a piece of cotton clothes and store them in the fridge.