Difference Between Japanese & Chinese Mandarin Oranges

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There are two common varieties of mandarin oranges: Japanese and Chinese mandarin oranges.
There are two common varieties of mandarin oranges: Japanese and Chinese mandarin oranges. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Mandarin orange is one variety of citrus fruit which can be eaten plainly or used as fruit salad ingredient. Mandarin oranges may also be used to give a flavorful twist to other recipes like cakes and viands. There are two common varieties of mandarin oranges: Japanese and Chinese. Japanese mandarin oranges and Chinese mandarin oranges are generally the same. There are just a few form, production, marketing and taste differences.

Peels

Both Japanese and Chinese mandarin oranges became highly marketable in other countries especially during holiday seasons. Both have a sweet and delicate flavor which contributes to the fruit’s marketability. The difference between Japanese and Chinese mandarin oranges is the peels. Japanese mandarin orange has a thick peel covering the top of the fruit giving it a strong resistance to cold conditions. Chinese mandarin orange has a tender peel which makes it delicate to ship. Between these two, it would be easier to export Japanese mandarin oranges because they do not over ripen quickly making it a better choice for mandarin orange canning businesses.

Canned Production

Canned mandarin orange is well received in the country today. Prior to canning, the white piths are peeled to remove the bitter taste. Chinese mandarin orange has few fruit seeds and thicker white pith than other oranges. On the other hand, Japanese mandarin orange is used by more manufacturing firms because it is a seedless variety of mandarin orange with thinner white pith.

Appearance Fruit Rind

Japanese and Chinese mandarin oranges can be easily peeled without using utensils. The difference between the two can be seen in the fruit rind and stem. Japanese mandarin oranges are covered with a thicker rind with clear stems while Chinese mandarin oranges have loose rinds and a few thorns on the stem. Japanese mandarin oranges can also be divided into equal segments without squeezing the juice out.

Taste

There is a minor taste difference between Japanese and Chinese mandarin oranges. This slight taste difference between the two varieties of mandarin orange could sometimes be unnoticed. Japanese mandarin oranges have a fuller flavor which is sweet but with a minor sour taste. Chinese mandarin oranges is also called “honey citrus of Wenzhou” because of its sweet taste. Other than the minor sour taste present in Japanese mandarin oranges, the two do not have any other taste difference.

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