The Grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree with large fruit that is sour to semi-sweet. It is a hybrid starting in Barbados as an accidental cross between the sweet orange and a pomelo (shaddock).
The name most likely comes from the fact that grapefruits grow in clusters, just like grapes. The interior is segmented and colored white, yellow, pink, or red. The evergreen trees typically grow 16-20 feet tall but occasionally a 43-49 foot tree will occur.
They have thin, glossy, dark green, long thin leaves. The original sweet orange was Jamaican and the shaddock was from Indonesia, which Captain Shaddock brought to Jamaica. The hybrid nature of the tree is thought to be naturally occurring.
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In 1750, Rev. Griffith Hughes (Welsh) documented the Barbados grapefruit as the “Forbidden Fruit”. In 1814, John Lunan (naturalist) recorded them as “Grapefruit”.
It was 1823 when Count Odet Philippe introduced the grapefruit to Florida. In the late 19th century Kimball Atwood started the Atwood Grapefruit Company becoming the largest grove in the world with a yearly output of 80,000 boxes. It was there that the pink variety was discovered in 1906.
Ruby Red was patented, in 1929, by using radiation to trigger mutations. As of 2018, the world produces 9.4 million tons of grapefruit, with 5 tons coming out of China. The next largest producer being Vietnam with 0.7 tons a year.
Grapefruit juice has been found to interact with numerous drugs causing adverse direct and /or side effects if the dosage is not carefully maintained. Raw juice is 90%water, 8% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and negligible fat content.
100 grams of raw grapefruit contains 40% of the daily value of vitamin C. The juice has about half the citric acid of lime or lemon juice but 50% more than orange juice. It has been known for grapefruit juice to be recommended as a stain remover for porcelain and enamel.