Lime (fruit)


Lime (fruit)
Unripened Key limes

Lime is a term referring to a number of different citrus fruits, both species and hybrids, which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavors of foods and beverages. Limes are grown all year round and are usually smaller and more sour than lemons.

Contents

Uses

Cooking

Lime, raw (edible parts)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 126 kJ (30 kcal)
Carbohydrates 11 g
- Sugars 1.7 g
- Dietary fiber 3 g
Fat 0.2 g
Protein 0.7 g
Water 88 g
Vitamin C 29 mg (35%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Zesting a lime

In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest. It is a very common ingredient in authentic Mexican, Southwestern United States, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. It is also used for its pickling properties in ceviche. The use of dried limes (called black lime or loomi) as a flavouring is typical of Persian cuisine and Iraqi cuisine, as well as in Gulf-style baharat (a spice mixture that is also called kabsa or kebsa). Lime is an essential ingredient of any cuisine from India, and many varieties of pickles are made, e.g. sweetened lime pickle, salted pickle, and lime chutney.[1][2]

Lime leaves are also an herb in South, East, and Southeast Asia.

Lime is frequently used to add flavour to cold and hot drinks, including water, tonic and other cocktails.

Other uses

To prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus, such as lemon, and later switched to lime,[3] which was not as effective at preventing scurvy but was easier to obtain on Britain's Caribbean colonies. It was later discovered that the greater effectiveness of lemons derived from the 4-fold higher quantities of vitamin C lemon juice contains compared to the West Indian limes used by the British.

Lime juice is the juice of limes (citrus). It may be squeezed from fresh limes, or purchased in bottles in both unsweetened and sweetened varieties. Lime juice is used to make limeade, and as an ingredient (typically as sour mix) in many cocktails.

Lime extracts and essential oils are frequently used in perfumes, cleaning products, and aromatherapy.

In India, the lime is used in Tantra for removing evil spirits. It is also combined with Indian chilis to make a protective charm to repel the evil eye.[4] Furthermore, it was believed that hanging limes over sick people cured them of the illness by repelling evil spirits lurking inside the body.

Health effects

When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light after lime juice contact, a reaction known as phytophotodermatitis can occur, which can cause darkening of the skin, swelling or blistering. The agent responsible for this is psoralen.

Lime contains 24 milligrams less vitamin C per 100 grams than the lemon.

Production trends

India, with about 16% of the world's overall lemon and lime output, tops the production list, followed by Mexico (~14.5%), Argentina (~10%), Brazil (~8%), and Spain (~7%).

Promotional photo for California limes, 1948
Top ten lemon and limes producers — 2007
Country Production
(Tonnes)
 India 2,060,000F
 Mexico 1,880,000F
 Argentina 1,260,000F
 Brazil 1,060,000F
 Spain 880,000F
 People's Republic of China 745,100F
 United States 722,000P
 Turkey 706,652P
 Iran 615,000F
 Italy 546,584P
 World 13,032,388A

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ F = FAO estimate
^ ^ ^ P = Official figure
^ A = Aggregate (may include official, semi-official or estimates)
Source: Food And Agricultural Organization of United Nations: Economic And Social Department: The Statistical Division


Plants known as "lime"

  • Australian limes
  • Blood lime
  • Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) (kieffer lime; makrut, or magrood)
  • Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia) (Mexican, West Indian, or bartender's lime)
  • Mandarin Lime (Citrus limonia)
  • Musk lime (Citrofortunella mitis)
  • Palestine sweet lime (Citrus x limettioides)
  • Persian lime (Citrus x latifolia) (Tahiti or Bearss lime)
  • Rangpur lime, a mandarin orange - lemon hybrid
  • Spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus) (mamoncillo, mamón, ginep, quenepa, or limoncillo) (not a citrus)
  • Sweet lime (Citrus limetta) (sweet limetta, Mediterranean sweet lemon)
  • Wild lime (Adelia ricinella)
  • Limequat (lime × kumquat)

The tree known in Britain as the lime tree (Tilia sp.) is unrelated to the fruits.

Gallery

See also

  • Lime production in Mexico

References


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