Sour in Taste, sweet in benefits
Botanically, lemons belong to the family of Rutaceae - scientific name: Citrus limon. The true origin of the lemon is to this day still unknown but assumed somewhere between Assam, Burma and China (Source: hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/lemon.html ). The major producers of lemons today are the United States, Italy, Spain, Greece, Israel and Turkey.
Today the rich flavors of lemons is high in demand with consumers all over the world. Lots of recipes need citrus to add a tangy taste to both food and beverages. This is not just limited to lemons but also spreads to other citrus fruits such as yuzu which is one of the most trending fruits right now.
Especially beverages are adding various citrus flavors like yuzu, finger limes (citrus caviar) and buddas hand to create new and fancy drinks but also an array of new bar snacks, like lemon roasted nuts or lemon dips with yogurt and sour cream.
But it is more than just about the unique taste, more and more consumers are aware of the health benefits lemons add to a diet and thus favor lemon as an ingredient in various dishes from breakfast smoothies, yogurts etc.
Health Benefits of Lemons
- Lemons are superb sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants found in food. It travels through the body neutralizing any free radicals. This is why vitamin C has been shown to be helpful for reducing symptoms of osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Consumption of vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infections.
- In laboratory tests with human cells, compounds in lemons, called limonoids have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon (Source: http://www.medwelljournals.com/fulltext/?doi=javaa.2010.1099.1107 ).
- The fruit is carrying just 29 calories per 100 g (one of the lowest for the citrus fruits group). Lemons contain zero saturated fats or cholesterol and are good source of dietary fiber. Lemon is one of the very low glycemic fruits.
- Citric acid is a natural preservative, aids in smooth digestion, and helps dissolve kidney stones.
- Lemons are also a good source of B-complex vitamins and carry a healthy amount of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium.
4 Fun Facts about Lemon
- The heaviest lemon ever grown was recorded in Israel. It weighed 5kg, had a circumference of 74cm and was 35 cm high.
- Also the leaves of a lemon tree can be used to make tea and in the preparation of cooked meats and seafoods.
- During the European Renaissance, fashionable ladies used lemon juice as a way to redden their lips.
- There is an annual Lemon Festival „Fête Du Citron“ every February and March in Menton, France.
„When life gives you lemons, make lemonade“ is definitely something one can live by!
At AGRANA Fruit we use natural stabilizers based on citrus fruits for a more natural flavor and freshness. Your local AGRANA Fruit New Product Developer can give you more information on the latest development and possibilities.