According to Mohanapriya et., al. (2013), lemon is a vital medicinal plant of the family Rutaceae which originated from Asia. Lemon fruit otherwise known as (Citrus × limon) grows on small, thorny trees of 10 to 20 feet height. The leaves are dark green in colour and are alternately aligned on the stem.
Lemon fruit has smooth porous skin, oval in shape and are greenish yellow to bright yellow in colour. Lemon is cultivated mainly for its alkaloids which possess anticancer characteristics especially in the flowers, root, stem and leaves while the yellow fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes.
The sour taste of lemon juice is due to the presence of citric acid and this component makes it a vital ingredient in drinks and food production (Ucan et., al. 2014). Lemon juice, rind, and zest are used in making drinks, lemon liqueur, marmalade, lemonade,cocktails and for fish/meat marination.
Lemon fruit juice can serve as a preservative on quick oxidising foods that tend to turn brown after being cut as a result of acid denaturation. Lemon slices and lemon rind can be used for garnishing food and drinks. Grated lemon zests are used for food flavouring.
Lemon leaves are used in making tea and for garnishing cooked meats and fishes. Lemon juice can be used for cleaning and when inserted in salt or baking powder, can be used for copper cookware brightening. When lemon juice is mixed with baking soda, it can be used to remove grease, deodorise or remove stains.
Lemon fruits are rich sources of Potassium Vitamin B6, niacin (Vit. B3), sugars, iron, fat, zinc, protein, magnesium, riboflavin (Vit. B2), dietary fibre, pantothenic acid (B5), carbohydrates, folate (Vit. B9), vitamin C, calcium, thiamine (Vit. B1), energy and phosphorus.
Mohanapriya M., Ramaswamy, L. & Rajendran, R. (2013) Health and Medicinal Properties of Lemon (Citrus limonum), International Journal Of Ayurvedic And Herbal Medicine 3:1, pp. 1095-1098.
Ucan F., Akyildiz A. & Agcam E. (2014) Effects of Different Enzymes and Concentrations in the Production of Clarified Lemon Juice,Journal of Food Processing Vol. 2014.