Pomelo


The pomelo (Citrus maxima) is the largest citrus fruit from the Rutaceae family.1 It is also known as shaddock, so-named after a Captain Shaddock said to have brought seeds of the fruit from the Malay Archipelago to the West Indies on an East India Company ship in 1638.2 The word “pomelo” may have come from a word of unknown origin “pampelmoose”; or from the Dutch pompelmoes, meaning grapefruit.3 In Southeast Asia, it is commonly known as limau besar, limau betawi, or limau serdadu in Malay; jeruk besar or jeruk bali in Bahasa Indonesia; sam-o in Thai; lukban in Tagalog; and bu’o’i in Vietnamese.4 The popular fruit is a used in many Chinese festive celebrations in Southeast Asia.5

Origins and distribution
The pomelo is likely to have originated from the Malesian region (a bio-geographical area stretching from Malaysia through Indonesia to Papua New Guinea).6 Different species of the pomelo, either bred through selection and propagation or found as natural hybrids, have been cultivated in Southeast Asia.7 In 1884, a variety of pomelo, limau bali, was imported into Malaya from Indonesia by Sir Hugh Low and cultivated in Penang and Perak.8 A peculiar variety found in the Dutch East Indies called the limau wangkang in Malay, comprises a small fruit enclosed within a larger fruit.9


In Southeast Asia, the pomelo is grown as a crop in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.10 The grapefruit is a hybrid of the pomelo that was recorded in Barbados in 1750.11 The pomelo was crossed with the orange (C. reticulata), and the resultant hybrid pollen crossed again with the pomelo.12

Description
The pomelo tree has low spreading branches that grow to around five to 15 m in height.13 The thorny tree has many branches and fruits all year round.14 Its leaves grow to about 15 cm wide. Oil glands on the dark green leaves — seen as small dots — give them a shiny appearance.15 The flowers are white, fragrant, and grow solitarily to about 2.5 cm wide.16 The pomelo fruit is the largest of all citrus fruits, measuring 10 to 30 cm in diameter.17 Its rough skin is can range from a light green to yellow and is also dotted with oil glands.18 The fruit is round to pear-shaped, with white thick spongy pith that encloses the edible portion of the fruit.19 Each fruit comprises nine to 14 segments that are covered with paper-thin skin.20 The flesh of the fruit can vary in sweetness, juiciness as well as colour, ranging from white, light yellow, pink to rose-red.21 The fruit is sweet and tart, but some can have a bitter aftertaste.22 Pomelos produced in Thailand are especially favoured for their pink flesh and juicy tart sweetness.23 The fruits of some pomelo species are full of seeds, whereas others are almost seedless.24

Usage and potential
Food

The fruit of the pomelo is rich in Vitamin C and potassium, besides being low in calories.25 The pomelo fruit can be eaten on its own or in a salad.26 Its rind can be candied or used in jams.27 The Malays boil the rind in a syrup.28

Medicine
The Chinese make various medicines from the seeds, flowers, mature peel, and slices of young pomelo fruit, usually by drying them before combining with other ingredients.29 It is used to treat cough, indigestion and motion sickness.30 The Malays eat the fruit to treat abdominal pains, oedema and phlegm.31 They also boil pomelo leaves to make a lotion, which is applied on swellings and ulcers.32

Other uses
Pomelo leaves are used for aromatic baths.33 Essential oil can be extracted from its leaves, peel or seeds of some pomelo species.34 Oil from the seeds of an inferior pomelo species was used to light opium pipes in Indo-China.35 Perfumes are extracted from the flowers using enfleurage.36 The moderately heavy and hard timber from pomelo trees is used to make tool-handles, but can be used for other purposes as well.37

Variant names38
Common name: Pomelo
Scientific name: Citrus maxima or citrus grandis
Botannical Family: Rutaceae
Other common names: shaddock, Batavia lemon
Bahasa Indonesia: jeruk besar, jeruk bali, jeruk adas, jeruk machan, limau kibau, limau balak, limau, limau betawi39
Burmese: shouk-ton-oh, kywegaw
Cambodian: krôoch thlông
Lao: kiéngz s’aangz, ph’uk, sômz ‘ôô
Malay: Limau bali, limau besar, jambua
Thai: som-o, ma-o
Vietnamese: bu’o’i



Author

Naidu Ratnala Thulaja



References

1. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: The Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT); Jensen, M. (2001). Trees and fruits of Southeast Asia: An illustrated field guide. Bangkok: Orchid Press, p. 101 (Call no.: RSING 582.160959 JEN)
2. Tate, D. (2007). Tropical fruit. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 TAT); Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 577. (Call RSING 634.9095951 BUR); Piper, J. M. (1989). Fruits of South-east Asia: Facts and folklore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING 634.60959 PIP)
3. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 577. (Call RSING 634.9095951 BUR); Tate, D. (2007). Tropical fruit. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 TAT)
4. Hutton, W. (2000). Tropical fruits of Malaysia & Singapore. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, p. 47. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 HUT); Jensen, M. (2001). Trees and fruits of Southeast Asia: An illustrated field guide. Bangkok: Orchid Press, p. 101. (Call no.: RSING 582.160959 JEN); Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 577. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR).
5.  Piper, J. M. (1989). Fruits of South-east Asia: Facts and folklore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 42. (Call no.: RSING 634.60959 PIP)
6. Hutton, W. (2000). Tropical fruits of Malaysia & Singapore. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, p. 42. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 HUT)
7. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 577. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR)
8. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR)
9. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR)
10. Othman Yaacob & Subhadrabandhu, S. (1995). The production of economic fruits in South-East Asia. Kuala Lumpur; New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 156–164. (Call no.: RSING 634.0959 OTH)
11. Laszlo, P. (2007). Citrus: A history. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 32. (Call no.: R 634.304 LAS)
12. Dannell, E., Kiss, A., & Stöhrová, M. (2011). Dokmai Garden's guide to fruits and vegetables in Southeast Asian market. Bangkok, Thailand: White Lotus Press, p. 66. (Call no.: RSING 581.6320959 DAN)
13. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT); Jensen, M. (2001). Trees and fruits of Southeast Asia: An illustrated field guide. Bangkok: Orchid Press, p. 101. (Call no.: RSING 582.160959 JEN)
14. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT)
15. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT)
16. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT)
17. Jensen, M. (2001). Trees and fruits of Southeast Asia: An illustrated field guide. Bangkok: Orchid Press, p. 101. (Call no.: RSING 582.160959 JEN)
18. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT)
19. Piper, J. M. (1989). Fruits of South-east Asia: Facts and folklore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING 634.60959 PIP)
20. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT)
21. Hutton, W. (2000). Tropical fruits of Malaysia & Singapore. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, p. 47. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 HUT)
22. Nathan, A., & Wong, Y. C. (1987). A guide to fruits and seeds. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, p. 62. (Call no.: RSING 582 NAT); Osman Yaacob & Subhadrabandhu, S. (1995). The production of economic fruits in South-East Asia. Kuala Lumpur; New York: Oxford University Press, p. 158. (Call no.: RSING 634.0959 OTH)
23. Piper, J. M. (1989). Fruits of South-east Asia: Facts and folklore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING 634.60959 PIP); Hutton, W. (2000). Tropical fruits of Malaysia & Singapore. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, p. 47. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 HUT)
24. Hutton, W. (2000). Tropical fruits of Malaysia & Singapore. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, p.47. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 HUT)
25. Tate, D. (2007). Tropical fruit. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 TAT)
26. Tate, D. (2007). Tropical fruit. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 TAT)
27. Tate, D. (2007). Tropical fruit. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 TAT)
28. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR).
29. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR); Tate, D. (2007). Tropical fruit. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 TAT)
30. Tate, D. (2007). Tropical fruit. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 634.6 TAT)
31. Muhamad bin Zakaria & Mustafa Ali Mohd. (2010). Traditional Malay medicinal plants. Kuala Lumpur: Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia, p. 146. (Call no.: RSING 581.634 MUH)
32. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR).
33. Piper, J. M. (1989). Fruits of South-east Asia: Facts and folklore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 42. (Call no.: RSING 634.60959 PIP); Quisumbing, E. (1978). Medicinal plants of the Philippines. Quezon City: Katha Pub, p. 453. (Call no.: RSING 581.609599 QUI).
34. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR).
35. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR)
36. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR).
37. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 578. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR)
38. Jensen, M. (2001). Trees and fruits of Southeast Asia: An illustrated field guide. Bangkok: Orchid Press, p. 101. (Call no.: RSING 582.160959 JEN)
39. Burkill, I. A. (2002). A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia, p. 577. (Call no.: RSING 634.9095951 BUR)



The information in this article is valid as at 1999 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Science and technology>>Agriculture>>Fruit crops
Nature>>Plants
Fruit--Singapore
Plants
Pummelo

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