Persian lime oil is extracted from Citrus latifolia (also known as Citrus medica var. acida and C. latifolia) of the Rutaceae family. Originally from Asia, it is now cultivated in most warm countries especially India, the West Indies and the Americas (namely Brazil, Mexico and Peru).
Persian limes are sweeter and larger than key limes and for this have a larger share of the global fresh fruit markets. Persian limes are also greener than key limes, resulting in a different colour and odour of the finished oil.
In Mexico the main producing areas are the states of Martinez de la Torre (Veracruz), Ciudad Victoria (Tamaulipas), Cardenas (Tabasco), Ticul (Yucatan) and Tuxtepec (Oaxaca). It is estimated that Mexico cultivates around 60,000 hectares of Persian limes each year, producing approximately 750,000 tonnes of fresh fruit. Of this approximately 20% goes on for further processing producing on average 500 tonnes of lime oil.
Lime oil has been extensively used in the food and beverage industry, as well as in creating fragrances. This versatile citrus oil is also added to household cleaners, detergents, soaps, and other beauty products. It is frequently used in aromatherapy as it’s refreshing and stimulating and can be used for its cleansing properties.
Lime juice is widely known as a remedy for treating scurvy and it has been said that the ancient British sailors used it to prevent scurvy and other skin problems due to its rich Vitamin C content. That same Vitamin C content can help boost the immune system, helping to protect you from common colds and flu.
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