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Monday, November 16, 2015

Blood (Ruby Red) Grapefruit - 'Hybrid' - fam: Rutaceae

The Grapefruit, Citrus paradisi, is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. Grapefruit is a hybrid originating in Barbados, as an accidental cross between two introduced species, sweet orange, C. sinesis, and Pomelo, or Shaddock, C. grandis, both of which were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit", and it has also been misidentified with the Pomelo.

An early pioneer in the American citrus industry was Kimball Chase Atwood, a wealthy entrepreneur, who founded the Atwood Grapefruit Co. in the late 19th century. The Atwood Grove became the largest grapefruit grove in the world, with a yearly output of 80,000 boxes of fruit. It was there that pink grapefruit was first discovered in 1906. The 1929 Ruby Red patent was associated with real commercial success, which came after the discovery of a red grapefruit growing on a pink variety. The Red grapefruit, starting with the Ruby Red, has even become a symbolic fruit of Texas, where white "inferior" grapefruit were eliminated, and only red grapefruit were grown for decades.

NOTE: Grapefruit juice contains furanocoumarins. Furanocoumarins irreversibly inhibit a cytochrome P450 metabolizing enzyme called CYP3A4. CYP3A4 is a metabolizing enzyme for almost 50% of drugs, and is found in the liver and small intestinal epithelial cells. As a result, many drugs are impacted by consumption of grapefruit juice. When the metabolizing enzyme is inhibited, less of the drug will be metabolized by it in the epithelial cells. A decrease in drug metabolism means more of the original form of the drug could pass unchanged to systemic blood circulation. An unexpected high dose of the drug in the blood could lead to fatal drug toxicity. 1

REFERENCE: 1 - Wikipedia - Grapefruit.


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