Logo NutriSimple Votre Nutrionniste Partenaire Santé
Overview of the citrus family Schedule an appointment
Imprimer cette page

Carole-Anne Godbout | Nutritionist/dietitian at NutriSimple by Carole-Anne Godbout, Dt.P., Nutritionist/dietitian

Overview of the citrus family

Did you know that the term "citrus" refers to both fruits and small shrubs of the rutaceous family? Mainly present in our homes during the winter season, citrus fruits represent a family that goes far beyond oranges and clementines!



Coming from the orange tree, it is one of the most commercialized fruits. They are classified into two groups: sweet oranges and bitter oranges.


Blood orange Cara Cara orange
Navel orange
Orange with leaves

Bitter orange

Seville or bigarade orange

undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined

With is red flesh, it is very fragrant.

Sister of the navel orange, its flesh is coloured, juicy and acidulous.

Originally from Brazil, its flesh is crunchy and sweet.

Picked at maturity on the tree, its flesh has a sweeter taste.

Smaller than the sweet orange, its flesh is not very juicy and somewhat bitter.  

Perfect for salads and plate decorating.

Perfect for beverages (juice, cocktails, etc.).

It goes well with almost everything.

Perfect as a snack.

Mostly used for canning and to give flavour to alcohols (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, etc.).



Provenant du mandarinier, les mandarines ont été introduites en Amérique qu’au XIXᵉ siècle.





Mandarin Sumo


undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined

Looks like a small flattened orange. Sweet, fragrant and delicate flesh.

Issued from the cross between a mandarin and a bitter orange. Its bark is darker.

A cross between mandarin and pomelo, it is larger and more acidic than an orange.

Tart and juicy flesh, but slightly less fragrant than a tangerine.

A tasty and seedless cross between a mandarin and an orange.

Relatively unrecognized and unattractive in appearance, it often contains a juicier and sweeter pulp than a pomelo.



The others




Meyer lemon

undefined undefined undefined undefined

The most used, it often contains no seeds.

Also known as "Citrus aurantifolia", the lime has a juicy, very acid and green flesh.

Also known as the "Japanese lemon tree", it is the smallest of the citrus fruits. Its flesh is rather tart.

Slightly sweeter than the traditional lemon.


Grapefruit or pomelo?

Two names often confused; their origins are confusing.



undefined undefined undefined

Citrus maxima

Citrus paradisi


Designated in English "grapefruit", it is a cross between grapefruit and sweet orange.


Spherical or piriform. Its bark can be greenish, yellowish or pinkish.


More or less round, its rind is either yellow or pink.


Depending on the variety, it can have a tasteless or tasty pulp, very acidic or very sweet.


Can have a yellow, pink or red pulp whose flavours can be tart, sweet and fragrant.



Citrus fruits et medication

Grapefruit contains substances that could alter the way the body uses the medication. For example, taking grapefruit may increase the amount of medication circulating in the bloodstream, which could have side effects. Other citrus fruits that may have similar effects are pomelo, bitter orange and tangelo. Consultation with the pharmacist is essential to determine if any restrictions apply.




Interaction entre le pamplemousse et son jus et certains médicaments. Gouvernement du Canada. 2006. [Online]. Page last consulted on January 27, 2020.

L’encyclopédie visuelle des aliments. « Les agrumes ». Les Éditions Québec Amérique. 2006. P. 218-226.

Les agrumes. Site internet IGA. [En ligne]Page last consulted on January 27, 2020.

Pamplemousse et médicaments : attention ! Extenso. 2012. [Online]Page last consulted on January 27, 2020.


Bitter orange or Seville orange.


Across Quebec 514 990-7128 418 317-1288
Toll free 1 877 427-6664

Changez votre vie en un seul clic!

Remplissez le formulaire ci-dessous et nous vous contacterons afin de fixer un rendez-vous au moment qui vous convient le mieux.

Logo Spinner NutriSimple