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10 Fun Facts About Oranges

Author: Apeel Team

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, as much as 45% of fruits and vegetables produced go bad (UN FAO). Apeel was started because we found a way to make food go good, and we have a lot of fun getting to know the produce we work with.

As we’ve studied the epic existence and voyages of fruits on planet earth, we’ve uncovered a lot of fun facts about oranges. We share them today in hopes that you appreciate how precious these juicy, nutritious treats really are, and stand with us in our mission to keep them from going to waste.

  1.  Oranges are technically a berry! These special berries, known as hesperidiums, develop from one flower with one ovary (Live Science).
  2. Orange zest is not only flavorful, it’s also rich in antioxidants! The pigments that give the orange peel its yellowy-to-deep-orange color are called carotenoids (Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute). But not all oranges are orange! Some are green, and that pigment comes from chlorophyll, the same stuff that makes plants green!
  3. Oranges pack a nutritious punch. While there are a TON of nutritional benefits to eating oranges, Vitamin C and dietary fiber really take the spotlight here. A single 140-gram orange covers 92% of the Vitamin C intake you need in a day. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps in the production of collagen, the cementing material that binds cells together. (US Department of Agriculture, National Library of Medicine).
  4. Orange, the fruit, is older than orange, the color! Historians believe the fruits, known as narang, traveled from the Far East to Spain long before the word was used to describe a color in Europe. The Spaniards transformed narang (with Dravidian linguistic roots) into naranja. The fruit then squeezed its way into France, where it became pomme dorenge (Evans 2017, Salisbury, Deb 2009)
  5. Brazil grows more oranges per year than any other country. The vast majority of them are made into orange juice (US Department of Agriculture).
  6. Oranges are non-climacteric, meaning they won’t ripen after they’re picked. They need to be left on the tree to develop their color and flavor (Michigan State University).
  7. There are 3 layers to an orange: the outermost layer, the flavedo, is a thin layer that produces those citrusy essential oil scents we all know and love. The next layer is the albedo: a cushy white layer that protects the fruit against impact. The innermost layer is the endocarp: the sweet fleshy section filled with sacs of juice (vesicles) that we eat. (Ladaniya 2008)
  8. Ancient orange history tells us that these fruits originated at least 2,300 years ago in Southeast Asia. But nobody found oranges in the wild! Research suggests they are the result of a cross between a pomelo and a mandarin (Xu et al. 2013). Considering oranges are now the most widely produced citrus fruit in the world, we’d call that ancient science experiment a wild success!
  9. The Water Footprint Network estimates that it takes 13 gallons of water to grow one orange, and 45 gallons of water to make one glass of orange juice (Water Footprint). A lot of precious resources go into making this precious fruit, so think twice before letting them go to waste. Luckily, with Apeel-Protected Oranges, you have more time to enjoy the oranges that you buy!
  10. The cure to scurvy: Oranges (and other citrus fruits) were the stars of a major medical breakthrough in the 1700s. This medical disorder caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C killed ~2 million sailors between the 16th and 18th centuries. Still, sailors struggled with the disease for years following this discovery because they couldn’t prevent the fruits from spoiling during the months out at sea (sounds like they could have used some Apeel). Therefore, the British Admiralty began stocking ships with citrus juice instead (US Naval Institute, BBC).

We’ll throw in a bonus for you: Apeel-Protected Oranges stay fresh 7 days longer (or for 4 weeks after being protected by Apeel) than traditionally waxed oranges. Want to learn more about how Apeel makes your orange stay fresh for longer? Reach out, or follow us on social media. To see if Apeel-Protected Oranges —or any Apeel-Protected Produce — is available at a store near you, visit our store locator.

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