Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F
Lemon is a native to Asia but its origin is unknown. It’s cultivated in many sub-tropical countries but the main producing countries are USA, Italy, Spain, Greece, Lebanon, South Africa and Australia.
The lemon is a probable hybrid between Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) and Citrus medica (Citron) and has many cultivars but the most common supermarket lemon in North America is “Eureka” which produces fruits all the year round. Eureka is also known as four seasons.
Eureka lemons are distinguished by a short neck at the base of the stem. They may have a few seeds and a somewhat medium thick and pitted skin.
The other common type is called Lisbon. Lisbons, taper to a pointed nipple at the apex, are commonly seedless and have a smoother, medium thick skin.
The other cultivar, the Femminello St. Teresa or “sorrento”, a native of Italy, is rich in essential oils and is traditionally used in making limoncelllo, a liqueur.
Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C and 100g (3.5oz) serving provides 64% of the RDA.
Use of Lemon
- Lemon juice is a key ingredient in beverages like lemonade, and also used in soft drinks and cocktails.
- The juice can also be used as a marinade for fish and meats because the acid partly hydrolyzes tough collagen fibres and tenderizes the meat.
- Also used in salad dressings where it acts as an antioxidant as well as imparting an acid flavour.
- Lemon juice can also be used to stop discolouration or browning of cut fruits like apples, bananas and avocados. (photo of avocado probably)
- Juice and rind can be used to make marmalade
- Flavouring of alcoholic drinks like the orange liqueur.
- Candied peel is added to fruit cakes and other baked goods.
- Rind or zest of lemon is used in baking or added to foods like rice, soups and sauces.
- Lemon is a key ingredient in Lemon meringue pie.
- Lemon juice has 5-6% citric acid and can therefore be used as an effective bactericide.
- Lemon juice can be used to extract Pectin.
- Essential oils, extracted from rind, leaves, flowers and unripe fruits are used in the perfume and cosmetic industry and to scent household cleaning products and Pot-pourri.
Lemon Seed Oil
- used in the production of soap, shampoo and detergents.