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The kinnow is a high yield variety of mandarin orange cultivated extensively in the Punjab region.

It is a hybrid of two mandarin cultivars — 'King' (Citrus nobilis) × 'Willow Leaf' (Citrus deliciosa) — first developed by Howard B. Frost[1] at the University of California Citrus Experiment Station. After evaluation, the kinnow was released as a new citrus hybrid for commercial cultivation in 1935.[2]


Kinnow, well known citrus fruit orange belongs to the family of major citrus fruits source rutaceae include grape, lemon, orange, malta. It matures in January or February. Cultivated in hot climate, plants height can go up to 35 feet high. Kinnow is from plants type, berry (hesperidium).[3]This "easy peel" citrus has assumed special economic importance and export demand due to its high juice content, special flavour, and as a rich source of vitamin C. The factors which have contributed to the success of this fruit are its beautiful golden-orange colour (a major asset from a marketing viewpoint), its abundant juice, and its excellent aroma and taste. Its trees are highly productive; it is not uncommon to find 1000 fruits per tree. Handsome returns, much higher than those obtained from most of other fruit crops, can be had from well looked-after kinnow orchards by adopting proper methods of cultivation.[citation needed]

Young Kinnow tree in bearing

Seedless kinnow[edit]

Kinnow (Kinoo) a hybrid citrus

Kinnow fruits have more seeds per wedge than other citrus fruits. The high seed content of this variety is a major hindrance in out-of-hand eating. Some workers have made efforts to select seedless kinnows by survey or by the use of mutants. The seeds of kinnow are naturally diploid or tetraploid. Seedless triploid varieties have been developed, but these are still undergoing testing to ascertain whether the fruit is healthy for consumption.[citation needed]

Export from Asia[edit]

Most of the target export markets of the Pakistani kinnow are those of developing countries. Only 2.6 percent of kinnow exports target the markets of developed countries, which is due to the emerging demand for seedless kinnow by the developed countries. About 61 percent of total world exports of oranges and mandarins are of seedless varieties. Some important export markets for kinnow are: Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Russia and Vietnam.[4] Indonesia has also offered market access to kinnow, from Pakistan at zero per cent.[5] Over 40% of the Pakistani exports of kinnows went to Russia in 2015.[6]

Harvesting and handling[edit]

Kinnow harvesting starts when the fruit's external colour becomes orange, from December to February. The best harvesting time is mid-January to mid-February, when the fruit attains a TSS/acid ratio of 12:1 to 14:1. The fruit quality declines in later pickings. Fruits are harvested by clipping the stem with the help of sharp clippers (secateurs). The stem is cut as short as possible to avoid mechanical injury to the fruit in packing and transits. As it is a comparatively loose rind fruit, harvesting by pulling fruits with one's hands is avoided. Coating kinnow fruits with commercial waxes can increase the shelf life up to 60 days. The fruit can be stored in cold storage at a temperature of 4-5°C and a relative humidity of 85-90%.[citation needed]

Packing of kinnows
Picking of Kinnow with clippers

Fruit processing[edit]

Food processing includes the selection of good-quality mandarins. The ideal kinnow is firm to slightly soft, smooth-skinned with no deep grooves, and deep orange to almost red. Human hands can better judge and avoid product with soft spots, dull and faded coloring or rough and bumpy skin. Faisalabad Agricultural University in Faisalabad, has developed new technologies for obtaining higher yields of better quality fruits under the conditions of Indian Punjab. These fruits can be stored at room temperature conditions or under cold storage conditions.[7]

Kinnow processing products


The fruit is rich in mineral salts and other ingredients of nutritive value such as iron, phosphorus, and vital minerals. Kinnow is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin B complex. It is known to be a good body energizer as its rich in fructose, glucose and sucrose,it proves to be one of the best sources of energy in winters. It is very beneficial in Typhoid, Constipation and Acidity[8]