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Natural Sources of Limonin

Limonin is found mainly in citrus fruits. Generally it is connected with a sugar in the form of limonin glucoside. Fruits containing this substance include lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges.

Orange Terrain

There has been long and extensive study of limonin because of its bitter taste. It was first identified in naval and Valencia orange cultivars by Higby in 1938.1 The original idea was to remove limonin from juices and fruits if possible, or combine it with some other substance to neutralize the taste. At the time, no one had any idea that limonin might have beneficial health effects.

One of the reasons that citrus fruits are so healthy is that they contain as much limonin as they do vitamin C. These work together as antioxidants to control free radicals within the human cell. Although it is found in the pulp and skin of citrus fruits the highest concentrations of Limonin are found in the seeds. Since these are not used in juice making or canning, they are considered a by-product of the citrus industry.

Several uses for limonin have been found. First, the low nitrogen content and high nutrient value make it an excellent cattle feed. Because of its antiviral and bactericidal properties and especially its effect on insects, it has been sprayed on crops as a means of disease and insect control.

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  1. Discovery of Limonin

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Natural Sources of Limonin: Citrus

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