Refreshing and rejuvenating
Orange juice is a popular ingredient in homemade face masks and cosmetics - and topical application of it may help keep the skin clear due to the acidity of the juice. Oranges contain minerals, vitamins, and plenty of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants in cosmetics can help combat the activity of free radicals and protect against sun damage.
Historically, the colour of oranges was coveted by many and favoured by royalty. Oranges are also thought to have been the golden apples grown in the garden on Hesperides in Greek mythology.
Oranges and orange blossoms are highly symbolic in many cultures. Brides have traditionally worn orange blossom to symbolise fertility. Chinese New year celebrations feature oranges for good luck and prosperity.
Arab traders brought bitter oranges to Europe, but in the 15th century, the Portuguese introduced the sweet orange and it quickly became very popular due to its more palatable taste. Columbus introduced the orange into the Western Hemisphere along with other citrus fruits and two hundred years later the Franciscan Fathers took citrus seeds from Mexico to California. Today, the major producers of sweet orange are Brazil, United States, Spain and Italy.
We buy in organic oranges throughout the year mainly from Italy and topped up from Spain and South Africa when necessary. We squeeze our own fresh juice at the factory, which is then used in our fresh handmade recipes.
Fresh orange juice is a source of natural fruit acid (citric acid). Pectin (which is used as a gelling agent in food and cosmetics and has important uses in medicine) is isolated from the inner peel. The peel and white pith inside contain an important flavonoid called hesperedin, which is under investigation by scientists because it has shown antioxidant and antifungal properties.