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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Citrus

The ancient Egyptians used a mixture of water and citrus juice to wash their hair.

Citrus didn't begin to flourish in Europe until the fourteenth century, though, when early greenhouses were developed to help prevent frost damage to trees. Originally, citrus was used for embalming, aphrodisiacs, cleansing agents and beauty treatments.

By the end of the eighteenth century, the importance of eating citrus to prevent scurvy was acknowledged and Sir Gilbert Blane made the use of lemon and limejuice mandatory in the British navy.

The Devanahalli pomelo, grown only in and around Devanahalli taluk, Bangalore Rural District, India, is said to be the largest citrus fruit in the world.

Pomelo. By Manojk - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

According to United Nations 2007 data, Brazil, China, the United States, Mexico, India, and Spain are the world's largest citrus-producing countries. Of these, Brazil is the world's largest producer of oranges, China produces most of the world's mandarins, India is the world's largest producer of lemons and limes, and the United States produce the most grapefruit.

Oranges and lemons smell different due to chemically identical molecules that are mirror images of each other. An orange is really just a left-handed lemon.

Citrus plants have addictive caffeine in their flower nectar, which brings bees and other pollinators back over and over again.

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