The lemon is an important fruit of citrus group. It ranks high as a health food. It is sometimes mistaken for the lime, but the lime is a smaller species and the lemon forms a bigger variety, with a rough, thin and loose rind.
Lemon is oval in shape and light yellow in color with thick, rough skin. When riPe it has pale yellow pulp, abundant juice and a small number of seeds.
Origin and Distribution
The lemon is indigenous to the north-west regions of India, ascending to an altitude of 4,000 ft. It has been cultivated in south-east Asia from ancient times. It reached Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is now widely grown in all tropical and subtropical countries, notably in the United States, Spain, Portugal, France, West Indies and New South Wales. In India, lemon is cultivated in home gardens and small-sized orchards in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bombay, Madras and Mysore.
The lemon is rich in many food ingredients, particularly citric acid. Different varieties contain this acid in different proportions ranging from 3.71 to 8.40 percent. It is mainly due to its citric acid and Vitamin C contents that the lemon is widely used in medicine. It is valued for its juice which is mostly used as an accessory food. It increases the flavor and improves the taste of various dishes. It is often used in the preparation of salads and prevents and discoloration of sliced bananas and apple. It is widely used in the preparation of lemonades, squashes, jams, jellies and marmalade. The lemon juice has a good keeping quality and it can be preserved for a long time with certain precautions.