ISLAMABAD (APP) - The juicy, soft, scented and refreshing oranges are one of the best fruits which help maintaining optimal health.
Its consumption is popular in the raw, peeled and also in the juice form and even the rind of orange is used by people in recipes, either for flavoring or for garnishing purposes.
The experts, elaborating its health benefits, associate oranges with protection and maintenance of the health of bones due to its richness in calcium while Beta-carotene, a nutrient present in oranges, is a very powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage.
Besides, oranges help maintain the dental health of an individual and keep blood pressure under check; they also support the production of hemoglobin in the body owing to the presence of magnesium and being rich in Vitamins B6.
The high content of potassium in oranges helps maintain electrolyte balance in the cells and also aids the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system.
However, the folic acid present in oranges helps in proper brain development.
Kinnow is favourite delight of winter season liked by all old and young ones and consumed in different ways as some like in peeled form and some like its refreshing juice.
Kinnow is rich in nuitritions and have countless health benefits and having a glass of orange juice in the breakfast keep me fresh all the day and help in maintaining good health, said Shaukat, worker of a private company.
Citrus fruits are very well known for their flavor, fragrance and juiciness because of the presence of citric acid, flavonoids and limonoids.
These fruits are very much rich in Vitamin C content.
Citrus fruits are the most important crop in our country, grown on an area of 160,000 hectares.
It is grown in all the four provinces, but Punjab produces over 95 percent of the crop because of favourable growing conditions.
Winter in the plains of Punjab provides an excellent atmosphere for this fruit and the resulting fruit is sweet and has a very distinct taste.
At this point Sargodha is the main citrus producing district, with about 23 percent of the countrys total citrus plantings, producing around 650,000 metric tons of fruit each year while Toba Tek Singh ranks second and Sahiwal third.
Citrus is divided into different groups; sweet oranges, mandarin, grape fruit, lemon, and lime which are being grown commercially.
Kinnow, known as mandarin, is mainly grown in Punjab and, to a lesser extent, in northern Indian states.
The kinnow season starts in November and ends in March, which is a longer picking period than any other citrus variety and Pakistan is also the largest producer of Citrus Reticula variety (Kinnow).
This unique variety of citrus is indigenous to this part of the world and according to an estimate approximately 95 per cent of the total oranges produced all over the world is grown in Pakistan.
However, the growers said that wastage of crop is a worrying factor as presently around 20pc produce is wasted during plucking and another 10pc during processing while research on improved ways of plucking and alternative usage of the wasted fruit can greatly decrease this wastage.
According to reports, the government has set a target of exporting 300,000 tons of kinnow during year 2010-11 as against the exports of around 250,000 tons registered during last year.