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Botanical name: Citrus x aurantium or Citrus x paradisi



Grapefruits are often falsely equated with pomelos in Germany. They are two different species. The grapefruit is a cross between oranges and pomelos that probably arose in the 18th century. From Barbados they spread via Florida and California to South America, Africa and the Mediterranean region. Grapefruits tolerate heat very well. They are grown in desert climates as well as in the tropics and subtropics.



Grapefruits are available all year round, but the supply is greatest from October to April.


Appearance, taste, characteristics

The name grapefruit presumably refers to the fact that the fruits hang together on the tree like grapes. They are larger than oranges but smaller than pomelos. The colour of the smooth skin may be yellow or red. The yellow, pink or red pulp is divided into segments and contains some white seeds. Grapefruits taste sour and somewhat bitter.



Like many other citrus fruits, the grapefruit is rich in vitamin C. One large fruit supplies an adult's entire minimum daily requirement of 100 mg.


Grapefruits also contain the secondary plant substance naringin, a flavonoid.

100 g contain:



Grapefruit, fresh

Grapefruit juice

Energy (kcal)



Water (g)



Protein (g)



Fat (g)



Carbohydrates (g)



Fibre (g)



Vitamin C (mg)



Vitamin A ( RE) (µg)



Folic acid (µg)



Potassium (mg)



Sodium (mg)



Calcium (mg)



Magnesium (mg)



Iron (mg)



Note: As this is a natural product, and as the information is taken from various sources and therefore from different analyses, there may be fluctuations in the nutritional facts. The minerals in particular may fluctuate, since the plant takes these from the soil, the composition of which itself can vary. Its mineral content is influenced, for instance, by fertilization. The footnotes are explained here.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Spots on the skin are not a sign of lesser quality. Only if a grapefruit shows brown spots of decay is it no longer edible.


If the skin yields to light finger pressure it is completely ripe and ready to be eaten.

It is best to buy heavy fruits. These usually have a thin skin and a large amount of juice.

Depending on how ripe they are, the fruits will keep for 1-2 weeks, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Grapefruits are generally eaten fresh. They are best cut through horizontally. With a sharp knife the individual pulp segments are separated from one another. Then it is good to cut along the inner skin to separate the pulp from it. Now the pulp can simply be spooned out. This is more easily done with a special grapefruit spoon that is serrated on one side.


The outer skin of the individual segments should be removed because it tastes bitter.


The juicy fruit is particularly popular for breakfast. Grapefruit is a good addition to fruit salads and savoury salads, especially poultry and fish salads. Grapefruit pulp can be puréed and prepared as ice cream and sorbets.


The grapefruit-juice industry is also important. Along with juice, juice concentrates or powders are produced. These products can then be used in making jams and marmalades or confectionery. Essential grapefruit oil is also extracted from the skin.





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