There are four types of Kumquat that are typically available; They are the Nagami kumquat, Marumi kumquat, Meiwa kumquat and Hong Kong wild.
- Nagami kumquat (Fortunella margarita): The fruit is oval and is the most common variety grown inside USA. It features smooth, light yellow peel and has tart flavor.
- Marumi kumquat (Fortunella japonica): The fruit is round, and has distinctive sweet taste and pleasant 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.
Kumquat contains a good amount of antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and phytonutrients that protect from free radicals. Thus, it is effective at helping to protect against cancer, ageing, inflammation, degenerative diseases and diabetes.
Also, it contains a variety of other nutrients that make it a very healthy fruit.
- Kumquat has calorific value equivalent to that of grapes. 100 g of fresh fruits provide only 71 calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the incredible sources of health-benefiting phyto-nutrients such as dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely to overall 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 that is 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. Kumquat peel composes many important essential oils, including limonene, pinene, a-bergamotene, caryophyllene, a-humulene, and a-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 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 to play such as collagen synthesis and wound healing. This vitamin has anti-viral and anti-cancer activities, and helps prevent 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.
While buying, select kumquat fruit that is firm, smooth, brilliant orange color, with attached stem. Avoid unripe, green color fruits and those with surface cuts, bruise, or damage.
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.
If you have never tried a kumquat you should. They really are well suited to become one of America's favorite ‘go to’ snacks.
Happy Phytonutrient Friday!!