Ingredients

Is Mango a Citrus Fruit? An Absolute Nutritional Guide

4 Mins read

Have you ever pondered whether mango can be classified as a citrus fruit, that is, “Is mango a citrus fruit?” It’s a common question that many people have, and the answer may surprise you. Many people ask this question, especially those trying to categorize different fruits based on their taste and nutritional content.

Mango is a tropical fruit that is popular around the world for its juicy flesh and distinct flavor. However, there often needs to be more clarity about whether the mango is a citrus fruit. This article will explore this question and shed some light on the topic.

Is mango a citrus fruit

What is a Citrus Fruit?

Before we delve into whether the mango is a citrus fruit, let’s first understand what citrus fruits are. Citrus fruits are a group of fruits that belong to the Rutaceae family. They are typically juicy and acidic, with a fleshy interior surrounded by a thick rind. Some common examples of citrus fruits include grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, limes, and lemons.

Is Mango a Citrus Fruit?

Now that we know what citrus fruits are, let’s answer the question: is mango a citrus fruit? The answer is no. Mango is not a citrus fruit.

Despite sharing some common characteristics, such as a juicy and tangy flavor, mangoes are unequivocally not a citrus fruit. Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, while mangoes include cashews and pistachios. So while both may be delicious additions to a fruit salad, a mango is a far cry from a citrus fruit*.

According to the University of Florida’s IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), mango belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. While mangoes are also juicy and flavorful, they do not have many acidic qualities characteristic of citrus fruits.

Mangoes belong to the drupe family, which includes fruits with a hard seed or pit in the center, such as peaches and plums. Mangoes are native to South Asia but are now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

Does Mango Have Citric Acid?

Mangoes contain citric acid, but the amount can vary depending on the ripeness and variety of the mango. Citric acid is a natural organic acid found in many fruits, including citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, and in non-citrus fruits like mangoes.

Mangoes contain different organic acids, such as citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid, contributing to their characteristic sweet-tart flavor. The citric acid content in mangoes is generally lower than in citrus fruits, but it is still a significant contributor to their overall taste and acidity.

Mango and Citrus Fruit Comparison

Comparison of Mango and Citrus Fruits

Similarities between mango and citrus fruits:

  • Nutritional content: Both mango and citrus fruits are considered healthy and rich sources of vitamins and minerals. For example, both contain high levels of vitamin C, essential for boosting the immune system, and other antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress.
  • Low calorie: Both mango and citrus fruits are relatively low in calories and are suitable for people looking to maintain or lose weight.
  • Natural sugars: Both fruits contain natural sugars, which give them a sweet taste.
  • Versatility: Both fruits are versatile in cooking and used in various sweet and savory dishes.
  • Seasonal: Both mango and citrus fruits are seasonal, with specific varieties available during particular times of the year.

Differences between mango and citrus fruits:

  • Taste: The taste of mango is sweet and fruity, while citrus fruits have a tart and acidic taste. Mangoes have a unique flavor, whereas citrus fruits are known for their refreshing taste.
  • Appearance: Mangoes are generally larger and more oblong, while citrus fruits are smaller and rounder.
  • Nutrient profile: Mangoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate, while citrus fruits are particularly high in vitamin C and fiber. Citrus fruits also contain flavonoids and other phytochemicals that have various health benefits.
  • Cultivation: Mangoes are primarily grown in tropical regions, while citrus fruits can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas.
  • Culinary uses: Mangoes are commonly used in sweet dishes, such as smoothies, desserts, and fruit salads, while citrus fruits are used in sweet and savory dishes, including beverages, marinades, and salads. Citrus fruits are also commonly used in juice form, while mangoes are less widely used in juice form.
  • Availability: Citrus fruits are more widely available than mangoes, as they can be grown in a wider range of regions and are often imported to different parts of the world. Mangoes are more commonly found in tropical areas where they are grown.

In short, mangoes and citrus fruits share similar nutritional content and seasonal availability. They differ in taste, appearance, nutrient profiles, cultivation, and culinary uses.

Explanation of Why Mango is Not a Citrus Fruit

Mango and citrus are not very closely related from a botanical perspective.

MangoesCitrus Fruits
FamilyAnacardiaceaeRutaceae
GenusMangiferaCitrus
OriginSouth AsiaSoutheast Asia
Nutrient ContentHigh in vitamin A and folateHigh in vitamin C and fiber
Plant typeTropical fruitCitrus fruit
FlavorSweet, tropicalTart, acidic

As you can see, mangoes and citrus fruits have different botanical classifications and are from different plant families. While they may share some similarities in taste and nutrient content, they are distinct types of fruit.
According to a study published in the journal Phytochemistry, the biochemical composition of mango is distinct from that of citrus fruits. The study reported that “mango fruit is rich in polyphenols, carotenoids, and other compounds, which are not found in citrus fruits.” Additionally, mangoes have a low citric acid content and a high content of tartaric and malic acids, contributing to their sweet and tangy flavor.

Conclusion

After examining the characteristics and classification of mango and citrus fruits, we can conclude that mango is not a citrus fruit. Although both types of fruit share some similarities in taste and nutritional value, they belong to different plant families.

Their genetic makeup and physical characteristics are different. The types of acids and sugars they contain set them apart. Despite not being a citrus fruit, mango is a highly nutritious fruit packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also a versatile fruit enjoyed in various dishes, such as smoothies, salads, and desserts.

Blended mango smoothie

FAQs

What are the Health Benefits of Mango?

Although mango is not a citrus fruit, it offers various health benefits, such as boosting the immune system and promoting healthy skin due to its rich vitamin C content. It is also a source of dietary fiber, which regulates digestion and reduces the risk of heart disease. Mangoes are packed with antioxidants that protect against cancer and other illnesses.

How to Incorporate Mango into Your Diet? 

If you want to incorporate more mango into your diet, there are plenty of ways. Mangoes can be enjoyed fresh on their own or in a fruit salad. It can also be blended into smoothies or used to make sauces and marinades for savory dishes. Mix frozen mango cubes into a refreshing sorbet for a sweet treat.

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About author
I love enjoying good food. Since you can't always find good food in the middle of nowhere. I've been on a mission to learn all I can about pairing multi-faceted flavors together and cooking delicious food myself. Founder of flavrstream.
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