Orange ripening and vitamin C
The unripe orange will have the highest concentration of vitamin C.
Oranges and Vitamin C
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is the nutrient found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and lemons. The high amount of vitamin C in oranges makes it an ideal food choice as our body requires the vitamin. However, vitamin C in oranges degrades over time. Oranges plucked earlier and kept in cold storage contain more vitamin C than oranges left to ripen on the trees. Similarly, freshly-squeezed orange juice is also known to lose its nutrients over time, unless refrigerated. Hence, oranges and orange juice need to be stored in a cool place to retain their vitamin C content.
The use of pesticides and fertilizers on oranges degrades the vitamin C found in the fruit, so pesticide-free produce may be a more nutritious choice. The type of containers used to store fruits can also be important in preserving its vitamin C content, with cardboard boxes lined with foil the best choice for storing oranges.