Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Citrus aurantium dulcis; Citrus sinensis; Orange

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Origin probably East India, Myanmar and South China. Cultivated on plantations in many tropical and subtropical countries of the world.

Field of application/use
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As food. Although the oil of orange blossoms and buds and the peel has no pharmacological effect, it is widely used as a taste and smell corrector due to its bitter aromatic taste and pleasant smell.

Another important field of application is the use in the liqueur and food industry, in the production of bakery products, essences, beverages, syrup.

Cosmetically, extracts of the orange are used in citrus perfumes and soaps under the name aurantium dulcis (INCI).

Undesirable effects
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The components of the essential oil such as D-limonene, citral, citronellal, linalyl acetate and others are possible allergens. Sensitizing potency: Weak. Frequency of sensitization: Rare. Anaphylactic reactions are described.

Remarkable are reports of sensitization to orange stones (also to apple stones), which have sometimes led to anaphylactic reactions. In these cases, co-sensitizations to nuts were known.

Clinical picture
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Recently, the number of cases has decreased to such an extent that citrus fruits as test components have disappeared from the standard series. In the past, employees in the fruit industry in particular suffered from contact dermatitis when preserving and peeling (canned fruits, jam). Today, sensitization is still occasionally diagnosed in a vegetable or fruit trader. Cheilitides have also become known. The case of anal eczema in a young girl whose father, a fruit merchant, forced family members to use the tissue paper used to wrap the oranges as toilet paper became famous. The essential oils transferred from the peel into the tissue paper were the cause. The preservative applied to the peel in the country of origin to protect the oranges from rotting can also be the cause of contact eczema. In this case the antimycotic and fungicide thiabendazole (imidazole derivative) which has been used almost exclusively in recent times is more suitable than the diphenyphenol which was frequently used in the past. A person allergic to this substance must avoid contact with both injected citrus fruits and imidazole containing athlete's foot.

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  1. Ono R et al (2015) A case of food-dependentexercise-induced anaphylaxis caused by ingestion of orange. Arerugi 64:149-155
  2. Turner PJ et al (2011) Anaphylaxis to apple and orange seed. J Allergy C 128:1363-1365.

Last updated on: 29.10.2020