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Grapefruit or the 'forbidden fruit' is a large citrus and sour fruit with thick skin. Sometimes, grapefruit is also confused with shaddock or pomelo, which is one of the parents of this hybrid. Another member of the grapefruit family is the Jamaican sweet orange, which is a prehistoric hybrid from Asia. The other fruit is from the Indonesian origin, called Pomelo. The season for Grapefruit is from October to June.


Grapefruit is less than 300 years old and has a story attached to its origin. It has been said that in 1693, the seeds of Pumelo were brought by the English Ship commander, Captain Shaddock from the West Indies. However, it was most likely occurred naturally. The fruit was mentioned in 1750 as the specimen from Barbados by Rev. Griffith Hughes, and Welshman. Grapefruit, currently is considered as one of the seven wonders of Barbados.

Till the 19th century, grapefruit was called Shaddock based on the story of Captain Shaddock; however, the name grapefruit comes from the clusters of fruits on the trees, which look like grapes.

During the 19th century, a rich entrepreneur, Kimball Chase Atwood was an early pioneer of American Citrus Industry with the grove producing maximum number of grapefruits. During the production of grapefruits, the pink grapefruits were discovered in 1906. In 1929, the real commercial success came from the Ruby Red grapefruit. The Red grapefruit also symbolizes the fruit of Texas. The white colored, inferior quality grapefruit was completely eliminated and was taken over by the Red grapefruit.

Culinary Uses of Grapefruit

Grapefruits when cooked to remove the sourness are used to make dessert, called Toronja Rellena in Costa Rica.

Grapefruits are widely eaten in salads, tossed with vegetables, lemon, and salad dressings.

Confectioners use Grapefruits to make grapefruit marmalade

Grapefruit peel’s oil is used to give flavor in the softdrinks.

Grapefruit juice is also used to flavor vinegar.

Popular Recipes

  1. Tequila Grapefruit Cocktail: The cocktail is made of the grapefruit juice along with tequila
  2. Grapefruit and Avocado Salad: The salad is made by combining the avocado, grapefruit, alfafa sprouts, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Grapefruit Chicken : Here, chicken is roasted with the grapefruit juice all over it and inside it along with the olive oil. The chicken is then roasted or baked in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes at 180 degrees F.
  4. Citrus Dessert: The recipe consists of grapefruits, pineapples, oranges, butter and brown sugar. The fruits are put on the baking dish. The butter and brown sugar are melted together and poured all over the fruits. The dish is then put for baking in the oven until the sugar is bubbly.
  5. Fennel and Grapefruit Salad: The salad consists of grapefruit slices, cheese, avocado, red onion, bulb fennel, olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. The ingredients are mixed in a bowl and presented on the lettuce leaves.

Nutritive Value and Health Value

  • One grapefruit consists of only 32 calories, with no fat, 8.08 carbohydrates, fibers 1.1, protein 0.63, and 0% cholesterol.
  • Grapefruit helps in reducing weight to a great extent. There is also a diet, called the grapefruit diet that helps lose weight in a short span of time. They have high water content, and are high in enzymes that aid weight loss.
  • Grapefruits have also been used in the medicine for treating cancer.
  • Since grapefruits contain salicylic acid, which breaks the inorganic calcium, it helps in the movement of joints, thus relieving stiff joints in arthritis.
  • It helps in lowering the cholesterol levels.
  • Grapefruit consists of folic acid, magnesium, vitamin B, calcium, potassium, which helps in treating common ailments.


Grapefruit must not be eaten with certain prescribed drugs as it has a negative reaction to drugs taken for treating allergies, seizures, high blood pressure, impotence, HIV and heart palpitation.