Fruit in Focus: Mandarins

The cold, dark weather of winter doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. With this season comes one great thing: mandarins!


This yummy citrus fruit originated in China. It was so popular that many people who left China would take the seeds with them, and as a result mandarins began to grow all over the world.


Although we know mandarins as a winter fruit, they actually grow best in warm weather. The reason they are in season from May through August – our coldest months – is because they can only be harvested at this time of year. They are the only citrus fruit that are harvested at a specific time of the year, other fruit such as oranges, lemons and limes can be picked at any time.


Mandarins look like a small version of an orange. They also share many of the same health benefits. Two small mandarins are considered one serve of fruit, and will give you 35% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. They are also low in kilojoules, so they make a tasty but guilt free treat! They are high in fibre, which will aid bowel and digestive health and fibre has been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart diseases and some cancers.


Mandarins are mostly enjoyed simply on their own. Because they are so easy to peel, and the segments separate easily without juice going everywhere, they are a convenient snack to pop into handbags and lunch boxes, or to keep on your desk at work. Mandarins can also add a fresh flavour to salads, muffins and cheesecake.