Difference Between Tangerine vs Clementine vs Orange

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The tangerine vs clementine vs orange argument has gone on for generations, making it necessary to have a guide to three of the most popular citrus fruits.

Tangerine vs Clementine vs Orange

The differences between these citrus fruits may not immediately be apparent, but differences in taste, nutrition composition, and use help to keep them separate.

Origin

  • Tangerine: Tangerines are a hybrid of mandarin orange that has been bred with pomelo fruit.
  • Clementine: Clementine is the smallest type of mandarin orange and is the most commercially popular variety.
  • Orange: The common orange, also known as sweet orange, is a large citrus fruit that comes in many varieties.

Size

  • Tangerine: Tangerines are small citrus fruits with deep red-orange skins that are thin and easy to peel.
  • Clementine: Clementines are small and light orange, with a soft but thick skin.
  • Orange: Oranges are second in size only to grapefruits. They tend to be lighter in color, with a tough skin.

Taste

  • Tangerine: Tangerines are not as tart as oranges, but not as sweet as mandarins either.
  • Clementine: Clementines are the sweetest of the mandarins, and seedless.
  • Orange: Oranges are not as tart as grapefruit, but not as sweet as mandarins.

Nutrition

  • Tangerine: One small tangerine contains around 40 calories, with 7 grams of sugar and 9 grams of carbs.
  • Clementine: A small clementine has 35 calories, with approximately 7 grams of sugar and 9 grams of carbs. It also has 60% of your daily recommended vitamin C dosage.
  • Orange: A medium-sized orange contains around 47 calories, with roughly 11 grams of carbs and 9 grams of sugar. It contains 18% of your daily recommended fiber supply and is a great source of vitamin C, thiamin, folate, and potassium.

Benefits

  • Tangerine: Tangerines are great sources of vitamin C, like all citrus, but they also contain a good amount of fiber, to help with digestion, and potassiumwhich supports muscle repair and low blood pressure.
  • Clementine: Vitamin C in clementine prevents premature aging by fighting against free radicals and promoting collagen production.
  • Orange: Oranges are packed with several types of antioxidants, which can protect against heart disease, while citric acid may prevent the formation of kidney stones.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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