The orange is an excellent fruit, rich in vitamin C and vitamin A and most of the vitamins B, calcium and phosphate. The skin that covers it, known as the pericarp, preserves its cleanliness and makes its consumption very hygienic. The inner part of the fruit is called endocarp and is divided into lodges or segments that contain the juice. The orange juice can be consumed fresh and furthermore, cooked with sugar, it gives good jams. The peel, dried, candied or otherwise prepared, is used for cakes and, in addition, provides an essential oil, the essence of bark, requested by liqueur industry, perfumers and pharmacists.
The oranges are divided into two varieties: blond oranges and blood oranges.
The nutritive properties of oranges
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamins A and B. In fact, the comsumption of oranges, especially during winter, with their important content of vitamin C, which contributes to the efficiency of the immune system, helps fighting diseases related to cold and has anti-anaemic properties, which facilitate the absorption of iron in the blood.The blood orange is rich in anthocyanins (red pigments), with important anticancer properties, and it is characterized by the highest concentration of antioxidants such as hydroxycinnamic acids, flavanones and ascorbic acid. These substances represent a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging blend. The production of this variety of orange is typical of the surrounding of Mount Etna in eastern Sicily, where we find the best environmental and climatic conditions for the cultivation of these particular varieties of blood oranges, since high temperature ranges determine the presence of higher amounts of anthocyanins and vitamin C.
Moreover, oranges have a high content of bioflavonoids, substances that, together with vitamin C, play an important role in the reconstitution of the collagen of the connective tissue and thus promote the strengthening of bones, teeth, ligaments, and protection of the walls of blood vessels. A regular consumption of oranges can be crucial for fighting and preventing some diseases caused by circulatory problems.
The B vitamins are proving important for those suffering from anorexia, because they stimulate the appetite, growth and digestion, while vitamin A is good for the eyes and for the health of the skin. Oranges are, therefore, a beneficial source of antioxidant and anti-cancer properties and by virtue of their features, combined with their low calorie intake, it is plain to see that it would be appropriate to promote their consumption in view of healthy eating.
Ovale: harvest period ranges from March to May. The colour of the peel is yellow/orange. .
Valencia: harvest period ranges from March to June. It has a spherical shape and the colour of the peel is light orange.
Tarocco: harvest period ranges from December to March. It has a spherical shape that ends with a “mouth”. Its peel is compact, thin or medium with yellow/red nuances.
Moro: harvest period ranges from December to February. The shape is a little squat. The peel is medium and the colour is orange intense with red shades.
Sanguinello: harvest period ranges from February to April. The colour of the peel is orange with red shades. The shape is oblong, flattened in the lower part. The skin is compact, pale yellow shaded on one side.