Diets rich in fruits continue to gain global attraction as an ideal way of boosting good health and tackling diseases. To a greater extent, a healthy body is a function of a healthy intake!
What approaches have you taken, are you taking or are you planning to take so as to maintain/retain a healthy body? How often do you include fruits in your diet?
One uncommon but yet an invaluable citrus fruit that is highly essential to the body is the blood orange. This tasty unique orange fruit is believed to have originated from China or the southern Mediterranean areas, however, its main origin remains unknown. The blood orange is botanically known as Citrus × sinensis and it is distinguished by its crimson, brightly-coloured reddish flesh. The distinctive reddish colour is attributed to its high constituents of water-soluble anthocyanin pigments, which are antioxidants that are rare to find in most citrus fruits. The red pigment anthocyanin found in the blood orange starts to accumulate in the vesicles at the edges of the segments and at the end of the fruit. This accumulation process continues even in cold storage post-harvest. Due to its high constituent of the anthocyanin pigments, the red orange has higher amounts of antioxidants than the other citrus oranges.
The blood orange is distinguished by its unique flavour with a raspberry-sort of taste. The blood orange skin is more difficult to peel, unlike the other oranges. The three main blood orange varieties are Cara Cara, Sanguinello and Moro Blood. Others include Sanguina Doble Fina, Budd blood orange, Sanguine grosse ronde, Maltese, Khanpur, Washington Sanguine, Entre Fina blood orange, Ruby Blood, Vaccaro blood orange, Delfino, Red Valencia, Sanguinello a pignu and Burris blood Valencia orange. The blood orange fruit contains a variety of minerals, vitamins (A, B1, B6 and B3, C, Folic acid, Calcium), dietary fibre, sugars (fructose, glucose and sucrose) and phytochemicals such as limonoids, carotenoids (carotenes and xanthophylls) and polyphenols (flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids). These substances contribute to the general properties and flavour of the fruit. Moreover, Chrysanthemin (cyanidin 3-O-glucoside) is the key compound present in the red orange. Studies reveal that the level of these substances present in the blood orange differs significantly among cultivars and dependent on the fruit maturation and environmental factors such as soil type, weather and agricultural practices.
Edible Purposes
The red orange is edible thus can be consumed as a fresh or canned fruit. It can be used for preparing drinks, dressings, gelato, marmalade and sorbet.
Antioxidant Activity
The high amount of anthocyanin pigments found in the blood orange contributes to its antioxidant activity. Thus, this fruit is essential for preventing and eradicating potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. The red orange is important for counteracting the oxidative damage that can contribute to the etiology of several diseases such as cancer, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Anti-Inflammatory Activity
The red orange is an excellent constituent of ascorbic acid, polyphenols, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavanones and anthocyanins. As a result, it is distinguished by its high antioxidant capacity that contributes to its anti-inflammatory activity. In-vivo studies carried out on healthy people have proven that the consumption of red orange juice significantly increases the vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin, cyanidin-3-glucoside, and zeaxanthin in the blood plasma. Therefore, the consumption of red orange juice is believed to tackle inflammation.
Weight Loss Claim
Some individuals claim that the consumption of the blood orange aids weight loss. However, there has been no concrete scientific evidence to validate this claim.
- Cassano et al., (2007), Clarification of blood orange juice by ultrafiltration: analyses of operating parameters, membrane fouling and juice quality, Desalination, 212, 15–27.
- Destani et al., (2013), Recovery and Concentration of Phenolic Compounds in Blood Orange Juice by Membrane Operations, Journal of Food Eng., 117, 263–271.
- Felgines et al., (2008), Influence of glucose on cyanidin 3‐glucoside absorption in rats, Mol. Nutr. Food Res., Volume 52, Issue 8,
- Grosso et al., (2013), Red Orange: Experimental Models and Epidemiological Evidence of Its Benefits on Human Health, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2013, Article ID 157240, 11 pages, https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/157240.
- Pixabay (2018), Images from https://pixabay.com/
- Rapisarda et al., (2000), Reliability of Analytical Methods for Determining Anthocyanins in Blood Orange Juices, Journal of Agric. Food Chem., 48 (6), pp.2249–2252.
- Scordino et al., (2015), Blood Orange Anthocyanins in Fruit Beverages: How the Commercial Shelf Life Reflects the Quality Parameter. Beverages, 1, 82-94.
- Titta et al., (2010), Blood orange juice inhibits fat accumulation in mice, International Journal of Obesity volume 34, pages 578–588.

Subscribe to Global Food Book's email list and get a FREE eBook.

Privacy Policy: We dislike SPAM E-Mail. We pledge to keep your email safe.