Tangerine is not the ‘poor sister’ of orange

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4 years ago

The idea that it is better to consume oranges than mandarins does not hold. The latter are by no means an impoverished version and both are an excellent nutritional option, rich in nutrients and low in calories. It is true that orange contains more vitamin C, but tangerine is also an excellent source of this micronutrient and, in addition, it provides others.

For Dolores Silvestre Castelló, professor of Nutrition and Food Science at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University, the benefits of tangerines are clear: “They are one of the most interesting fruits for their benefits on consumer health. As in oranges and other citrus fruits, in mandarins we find the best dietary sources of some micronutrients; especially of the water-soluble vitamins ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and carotenes (vitamin A), which are not easy to obtain in other foods. ”

Characteristics and nutritional composition

The tangerine is the fruit of the mandarin, a tree of the family of the rutáceas very similar to the orange tree, although smaller. As reported by the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) on its website, “there are doubts regarding its origin, although it is known with certainty that it has been cultivated in China for several millennia, dating back to the first reference to this fruit in the 12th century BC. " Its name is attributed "to the color of the robes worn by the rulers of ancient China." In southern Europe it has been cultivated since the 19th century of our era.

This fruit is characterized, like many others, for its high water content and low contribution of macronutrients. "The protein and lipid content is negligible and carbohydrates are present in a small amount, so its caloric value is very low," says Silvestre. A serving of two tangerines provides around 60 Kcal.

This is the nutritional composition of the tangerine per 100 grams of edible portion:

Energy: 43 Kcal

Protein: 0.8 grams

Fat: practically 0

Carbohydrates: 9 grams

Fiber: 1.9 grams

Water: 88.3 g

Calcium: 36 milligrams

Iron: 0.3 milligrams

Magnesium: 11 milligrams

Zinc: 0.4 milligrams

Sodium: 2 milligrams

Potassium: 160 milligrams

Phosphorus: 17.2 milligrams

Vitamin B6: 0.07 milligrams

Folates: 21 micrograms

Vitamin C: 35 milligrams

Vitamin A: 56 micrograms

Silvestre comments that the fiber content is not high, but considers that "due to our dietary habits, it is important to value this small contribution, since the general consumption of fiber is much lower than the recommended 25 grams daily."

Tangerines are a good source of functional components: carotenoids, flavonoids and organic acids that "contribute to the prevention of common, almost epidemic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, retinopathies and, in general, all those related to the oxidative process "

Optimal source of vitamin C

Regarding the antioxidant power of mandarin, the expert acknowledges that "it is superior in orange, but it is not less valuable in this fruit." In this sense, he calculates that with a ration and a half of mandarins (2-3 units) "the daily vitamin C recommendations are covered." In short, "either fruit is an excellent option to satisfy our needs."

If the orange wins in vitamin C, the mandarin is superior in terms of vitamin A: 140 microequivalents in 100 grams of edible product, compared to 60 milliequivalents in the orange. However, also in this case "both fruits are valued among the best sources of this vitamin".

Tips to maximize your profits

There are different varieties of mandarins, which are divided into four main groups: clementines, clementines, hybrids and satsuma. Which to choose? Silvestre clarifies that the nutritional properties of the fruit depend, rather than on the mandarin variety, on the growing conditions, the degree of insolation of the tree, the harvest, the period and the storage conditions, in addition to the way of home consumption . "All of them are factors that affect the composition of vitamins and modify the healthy properties of the phytocomponents."

Tangerines can be found on the market from September to mid-March and the different varieties ripen at different times.

Silvestre offers the following consumption recommendations:

Choose, whenever possible, seasonal and locally produced fruit.

Choose mandarins with an optimum degree of maturity.

Limit the storage period.

Store them in cool and ventilated environments.

Avoid its use in desserts that require a treatment of the fruit for a long period before consumption.

Make sure they are not piled up and keep them from getting wet or damp (to prevent mold).

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4 years ago


Yes me too it’s more sweeter than orange and more softer.

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4 years ago

I love tangarines. They are better than oranges. They are as tasty as they look. Sweet and yummy.

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4 years ago