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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Citrus juice in history

The manufacture of juices from fruits and vegetables is as old (or older) than agriculture. During the ripening process most fruits soften to the point where simply handling or transporting them yields more juice than flesh, albeit often partially fermented.

All citrus is thought to originate in the Himalayan region of southwestern China and northern India. According to old manuscripts found among ancient Chinese documents, the earliest reference to citrus was documented during the reign of Ta Yu (around 2205 to 2197 BC) when citrus fruits, particularly mandarins and pummelos, were considered highly prized tributes and were only available for the imperial court. Lemon was originally grown in India and sweet oranges and mandarins are indigenous to China.

Columbus brought citrus seeds to the western hemisphere in 1493 and planted them first on the island of Hispaniola, now called Haiti. Citrus became commercialized in the Americas in the late 1800s. In the early to mid 1900s the principal producing states were Florida, Texas and California in the United States.

In the 1890s, the demand of citrus juice greatly increased because physicians discovered that drinking the juice of oranges or other citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a vitamin deficiency disease. The popularity of orange juice dramatically increased again with the development of the commercial orange juice industry in the late 1920s.

During the 1930s, development of porcelain-lined cans and advances in pasteurization techniques led to improved juice quality and the industry expanded significantly. Then, in 1944, scientists found a way to concentrate fruit juice in a vacuum and freeze it without destroying the flavor or vitamin content.
Citrus juice in history

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