One of our favourite exotic ingredients in the Lab is the Japanese yuzu fruit, or Citrus junos as it is less commonly known. This dappled skinned citrus fruit looks like a hybrid of a mandarin and a grapefruit. With 3 times more vitamin C than a lemon, an antioxidant profile to rival household superfoods, this is not your average citrus fruit.
The yuzu fruit has a unique and interesting flavour profile which has earned it a place in several of our recipes including the athletes favourite , REFUEL, PLANTMILK 3 and our new coconut PLANTMILK3. Yuzu has the highest concentrate of Naringenin of any fruit (29mg per 100g compared with 17mg in tangerine, 14mg in lemons and 12mg in oranges). Naringenin is a flavonoid which plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and the regulation of the immune system.
The yuzu fruit has an ancient history dating back over 1200 years. Originating in the Yangtze river region in China, yuzu was introduced to Japan via the Korean peninsula during the Tang dynasty. A thorny upright shrub, it grows wild in China and Tibet and is now widely grown in Korea and Japan. Unlike other citrus it is able to thrive in cold climates (up to -9degrees c) due to its C. ichangensis or Shanguan (cold hardy citrus to you and I) ancestry.
Although it is widely used in cooking and flavouring everything in Japan (yuzu flavoured Doritos anyone?), yuzu is also used as a skin and health tonic. On the day of the Winter solstice, it’s traditional to prepare as special hot yuzu bath as it is believed to ward off Winter colds and flu. The oil component, Nomilin, in the yuzu fruit is said to relax the body, increase circulation, and to heal dry chapped skin.
Yuzu oil also appears regularly in skincare thanks to its high Vitamin C content and anti-inflammatory benefits helping to contribute to a more youthful glow.
High praise for our special little citrus!