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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Kumquat- 'Citrus japonica' - fam: Rutaceae

The Kumquat plant, Citrus japonica, is native to south Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. They have long been cultivated in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and southeast Asia. 1

There are many varieties of Kumquat, including, for example, Kumquat nagami, and Kumquat meiwa, which have brilliant deep orange colour, with highly aromatic skins. The fruit holds on the tree for a long period adding to its high ornamental value. It can be eaten whole as a fresh fruit or in the same way as other kumquats.

The Jiangsu, 1 and Fortunella species, as with many of the Kumquat family, have an abundance of dark orange fruit that is delicious eaten fresh or used in marmalades and jams. They make very ornamental tub specimens. 2

Although kumquats taste just like that of other citrus category fruits, they are distinguished in a way that they can be eaten completely including the peel. A mature kumquat tree bears several hundred olive-sized, brilliant orange color fruits in the winter. On the Interior, the fruit resembles tiny juicy orange-like segments (arils), firmly adhering to each other and with the peel. The pulp has 1-2 seeds placed centrally. The seeds are bitter in taste as in oranges, and are generally, disguarded. 3

  • Kumquat has a calorific value equivalent to that of grapes.
  • Its peel is rich in many essential oils, antioxidants, and fiber. 100 g whole kumquats provide 6.7 g or 17% of daily recommended levels of fiber that is composed of tannins, pectin, hemicellulose, and other non-starch polysaccharides (NSP).
  • Fresh kumquats are packed with numerous health benefiting polyphenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin, tannins, etc. Kumquat peel composes many important essential oils, including limonene, pinene, α-bergamotene, caryophyllene, α-humulene, and α-murolene.
  • Fresh fruits contain adequate levels of some of the antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and E.
  • Kumquat has good levels of the B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid.
  • Kumquats are a modest source of minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium, and zinc. 3

REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery 2 Nutrition and 3


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