Origins, composition, use and more.
The grapefruit, Citrus paradisi Macfad., which is the fruit of a subtropical tree, appears to
have an uncertain history. All species
of the genus Citrus are thought to
be native to Asia and the Malay
Archipelago, but the actual origin
of grapefruit has been a mystery.
According to Kumamoto et al., grapefruit is an apomictically stabilized hybrid
between the sweet orange ( Citrus sinensis
[L.]) Osbeck and the pomelo, or shaddock,
( C. grandis (L.) Osbeck [syn. C. maxima (Burm.)
Merrill]. 1 The main reason for the origin confusion
is because it was for a long time thought to be a variety of C.
maxima, or its known synonym C. grandis. Like sweet orange,
the shaddock originated in southern China; however, it is grown
throughout Southeast Asia. 2
Macfadyen first encountered grapefruit in the 1830s in Jamaica
where it was being grown and commonly known as ‘Barbados
grapefruit.’ 3 The shaddock was first encountered by Sloane in
Barbados 1687, although it had been introduced into the island
sometime after the island was settled in 1627.1, 4 It is also not
clear if Captain Shaddock, or Chaddock, brought the seeds of
this maternal parent fruit to Barbados. 5
It is supposed that the fruit was cultivated and hybridized or
mutated into the grapefruit described as “forbidden fruit” by
Hughes (1750) from Barbados: 6, 7
The Trunk, Leaves, and Flowers of the Tree, very
much resemble those of the Orange Tree. The Fruit,
when ripe, is something longer and larger than the
largest orange; and exceeds, in the Delicacy of its
Taste, the Fruit of every Tree in this or any of our
neighbouring Islands. It has somewhat of the Taste of
a Shaddock; but far exceeds that, as well as the best
Orange, in its delicious Taste and Flavour.
Grapefruit, the current name, is a result of the fruit growing
in clusters, similar to grapes on the tree.
Florida is one of the centers where grapefruit is grown and it
is believed to have been introduced to that state by Count Odet
Philippe, a Frenchman living in or near Safety Harbor on Tampa
Bay in 1823.5 In any event, the commercial grapefruit industry
began in Florida in the late 19th cen-
tury. Prior to 1880, sales were entirely
to tourists, but eventually shipments
went to Philadelphia and New York
City. California and Arizona devel-
oped commercial groves after the
introduction of the ‘Marsh’ cultivar
in 1890. It was not until a suit-
able rootstock was obtained for dry
western conditions that grapefruit
cultivation expanded. By 1947 Texas
was producing an amount equal to the
Florida production of the ‘Duncan’ cul-
tivar, until frost reduced the acreage. Since
then, new and improved cultivars of grapefruit
have been developed. 8 Among them were seedless
and pink and deep red cultivars called ‘Star Ruby’ red grapefruit
from Texas and the ‘Burgundy’ from Florida. 9
Grapefruit Fruit and Blossom Oil
Grapefruit oil has always been somewhat problematic for the
flavor and fragrance industry. It is not stable, and production
qualities and unpredictable supply always cause problems. Like
all citrus, color is a moving target depending on age and type.
The red grapefruit cultivars can only be used where color stability or change is not an issue.
The introduction of a steam-distilled grapefruit blossom oil,
unlike neroli (steam-distilled bitter orange blossom), is a relatively new product. Grapefruit blossom production started in
2007, based on an idea of IFF VP perfumer Yves Cassar. The
2007 production did not exceed 10 kg. This relatively new
ingredient does not present the same kind of problems as do
peel oils. It is mostly color stable, and it is extremely powerful
(and expensive), so the amounts that are likely to be used in
any composition are small. As a result, the effect on color and
stability is correspondingly small.
Grapefruit Flower Oil From Morocco
The introduction of a new material is not a frequent occurrence.
When this happens, perfumers and flavorists feel compelled to
examine and evaluate the material for potential use and interest. The most important question that is posed is: Is it unique?
There are essentially three areas of uniqueness to consider:
odor, price and performance. The new material will have to
fill a roll in at least one of these areas to be included in the