SCIENTIFIC NAME: Citrus sinensis
FAMILY: Rutaceae

One-quarter to one-third of the oranges consumed in the Mediterranean region of Europe are blood oranges. They are considered one of the most delicious varieties of oranges grown in the world today, with their own distinctive flavour, reminiscent of raspberries or strawberries.

According to John Chapman, DPI senior horticulturist and citrus specialist, there are very few blood oranges grown in Australia.

The term 'blood' orange comes from the pink, red or purple anthocyanin pigments occurring in the flesh and juice. These pigments tend to deteriorate during processing and impart a muddy colour to the juice.

"They don't process well at all," Mr. Chapman said. "Freshly squeezed juice, however, has a very appealing colour," he added.

The rind may also show a reddish colour, but like the colouration of the flesh, it is also unpredictable. Rind colouration has been noted to be more intense on fruit which is fully shaded.

The lack of dependability of blood coloration, externally or internally, is a handicap because the producer cannot guarantee to provide the consumer a uniform product.

Mr. Chapman said there were two blood orange trees which he knew of in Queensland, and these were in store at the Maroochy Research Station.

Extract from Qld. Fruit and Veg News

DATE: November 1997

* * * * * * * * * * * * *