Kumquat Fruit Nutrition Facts
Delicious, sweet yet tangy, kumquat fruit or cumquat(as the fruit generally recognized in Europe) is a winter/spring season delicacy. Although kumquats taste just like that of other citrus fruits, they are distinguished in a way that they can be eaten completely including the peel.
Botanically, they belonged to the Rutaceae family, in the genus, Fortunella, and named after the botanist Robert fortune, who brought them from China to Europe in the middle of the 19th century.
|Nagami kumquat fruit (Fortunella margarita).
Note for oval shaped ripe fruit with smooth shiny surface.
Photo courtesy: jskrybe
Photo courtesy: stevendamron
Kumquats are a small sized evergreen tree native to South-Eastern parts of mountainous China. Today, they are grown for their delicious fruits and as an ornament tree in many parts of the world, including the USA. A mature kumquat tree bears several hundred olive-sized, brilliant orange color fruits in the winter. On the Interior, the fruit resembles miniaure orange with juicy segments (arils), firmly adhereing to each other and with the peel. The pulp has 1-2 seeds placed centrally. The seeds are bitter in taste as in oranges, and generally, spit out.
There exist several varieties of kumquat; however, only four cultivars are grown widely for their fruits.
Nagami kumquat (Fortunella margarita): The fruit is oval and is the most common variety grown in USA. It features smooth light yellow peel and has tart flavor.
Marumi kumquat (Fortunella japonica): The fruit is round, and has distinctive sweet flavor.
Meiwa kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia): It is round in shape, and larger than other verities. It is popular in Japan by name ninpo or neiha kinkan.
Hong Kong Wild (Fortunella hindsii): They are the smallest sized kumquats.
Health benefits of kumquat fruit
Kumquat has calorific value equivalent to that of grapes. 100 g of fresh fruits provide only 71 calories. Nonetheless, they are incredibly rich sources of health-benefiting dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards wellness.
Kumquat is eaten along with its peel, a unique feature that differentiates it from other citrus family fruits. Its peel is rich in many essential oils, anti-oxidants, and fiber. 100 g whole kumquats provide 6.7 g or 17% of daily-recommended levels of fiber composed of tannins, pectin, hemi-cellulose, and other non-starch polysaccharides (NSP).
Fresh kumquats are packed with numerous health benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin, tannins...etc. The kumquat peel is composed many important essential oils in it, including limonene, pinene, α-bergamotene, caryophyllene, α-humulene, and α-muurolene.Together, these compounds impart special citrus aroma to the fruit.
Further, fresh fruits contain adequate levels of some of the anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, C and E. Altogether these phyto-chemical compounds in kumquat fruit help scavenge harmful oxygen derived free radicals from the body and thereby protect us from cancers, diabetes, degenerative diseases and infections.
As in oranges, kumquats also are very rich in vitamin C. 100 g fruit provides 47.9 or 73% of RDA (Recommended daily allowances). Vitamin-C is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant, which has many essential biological roles like collagen synthesis and wound healing. This vitamin has anti-viral and anti-cancer activities, and helps prevent from neuro-degenerative diseases, arthritis, diabetes...etc by removing oxidant free-radicals from the body. Furthermore, vitamin C felicitates iron absorption in the food.
Kumquat has good levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins function as co-factors for metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
In addition, kumquats are a modest source of minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium, and zinc. Calicum is the chief element required for bone and teeth formation. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation as well for cellular oxidation.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.86 g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber||6.5 g||17%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.208 mg||4%|
|Vitamin A||290 IU||10%|
|Vitamin C||43.9 mg||73%|
|Vitamin E||0.15 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
Selection and storage
Kumquats can be available from November through June. 'Nagami' and the ‘Meiwa’ are the two most common varieties of kumquats grown inside the United States. Saint Joseph, Florida, is nicknamed as kumquat capital of Florida since Nagami variety kumquats grown in much larger scale here.
While buying, select kumquat fruit that is firm, smooth, brilliant orange, with attached stem. Avoid unripe, green color fruits and those with surface cuts, bruise, or damaged fruits.
Kumquat fruits possess very good keeping quality. They can be stored at room temperature for about 3-4 days, and inside the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Frozen kumquat puree can be stored for six months or more.
Preparation and serving tips
|Kumquat cut sections with banana fruit.
Photo courtesy: jlastras
|Kumquat fruit as a garnish!
Photo courtesy: erinmchardy
Photo courtesy: mariko
Kumquats must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree before they picked. They can be enjoyed fresh, added in salads, or candied, and as a garnish.
Wash fresh fruits in a bowl of cool water. Gently pat dry using soft cloth/tissue.
Kumquats taste best if they gently rolled or squeezed between the fingers before being eaten. This process unifies sweet ingredients in its thin rind with that of tart pulp. Eat kumquats as you would eatgrapes or olives with the peel.
Here are some serving tips:
Add fresh kumquat slices to fruit salads or fruit bowls.
Kumquats can be attractive garnish on a platter.
Kumquats make excellent marmalade, preserves and candied. This is because unlike other citrus fruits like Seville-orange, which has bitter tasting peel, kumquats rind is very sweet and, therefore, desirable.
Additionally, pureed kumquats are much sought-after in the preparation of sauce, fruit-concentrates, jams, and jellies.
They also can be used in the preparation of juice, cakes, pie, ice creams…etc.
Ripe kumquat fruit is also used as marinade and as a garnish in poultry, lamb, and sea-foods.
As in any other Rutaceae (citrus) category fruits, kumquat fruit too can be eaten safely by pregnant, nursing as well as children.