Nectarine

Nectarine

Nectarine was originated from China more than 2,000 years ago. In the late 16th century, nectarine was grown in the Great Britain, and it was introduced to America by the Spanish explorers in the early 17th century. Nectarine belongs to the Rosaceae family, in the same family as apricot and peach, and in the same cultivar group of the peach. Several genetic studies have concluded that nectarine is created due to a recessive allele, whereas the fuzzy skinned peach is the dominant allele. Therefore, the appearance of nectarine is very similar to peach, but it is smaller in size and its skin is smooth and in golden yellow with blushes of red. Its flesh can be white or yellow, and clingstone or freestone. In freestone types, the flesh separates from the pit easily, while clingstone types cling to the pit. Many of the white fleshed varieties are sub-acidic, which means they are lower in acidity and sweeter in taste in comparison to the yellow fleshed varieties. Yellow fleshed varieties are pink tinged around the pit, with a distinct aroma and a more pronounced flavour. In Canada, nectarine is available from May to late September, grown locally or imported from regions such as California and Washington. In B.C., it is primarily grown in South Okanagan or Similkameen regions, and it is harvested in July and August. The major varieties of nectarine that are grown in BC are “Redgold”, “Independence” and “Fire Brite”.

Nutritional Facts

Nectarine is low in calories, and it contains no saturated fat. It has a high concentration of anti-oxidant, such as vitamin A and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and ß-cryptoxanthin; which can help to protect body against harmful free radicals, lung and oral cavity cancers. Nectarine also contains a good level of B-complex vitamin and minerals, which can help to regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

Reference

Center of Diseas Control. (n.d.) Fruit of the Month: Nectarine. Retrieved from http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/month/nectarine.html

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. (2004) An Overview of British Columbia’s Peach, Nectarine, Apricot, Plum and Prune. Retrieved from http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/treefrt/profile/stonefrt.pdf