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Cara cara navel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cara cara navel orange
SpeciesCitrus × sinensis
Cultivar'Cara Cara'
Marketing namesPower Orange
OriginHacienda de Cara Cara

The Cara cara navel orange, or red-fleshed navel orange, is an early-to-midseason navel orange noted for its pinkish-to-reddish-orange flesh.

It is believed to have developed as a spontaneous bud mutation on a "standard" Washington navel orange tree.[1][2][3][4] A botanical sport discovered at the Hacienda Caracara in Valencia, Venezuela, in 1976,[4] the cara cara appears to be of such uncertain parentage as to occasionally warrant the distinction of a mutation, with only the tree on which it was found—the Washington navel—being an accepted progenitor. Cara caras did not enter the U.S consumer produce market until the late 1980s[5] and were carried only by specialty markets for many years thereafter.[6]


Cara cara orange slices, on the left, compared to ordinary navel orange slices, on the right

This medium-sized navel is seedless, sweet and low in acid - characterized by little to no pith and easy, clean separation from the rind.

Unlike in true blood oranges, where the main pigmentation is due to anthocyanins, pigmentation in Cara Cara oranges is due to carotenoids, such as lycopene.[1][2]


From the major growing regions, South American Cara caras are ready for market starting in August, whereas Venezuelan fruits arrive in October and California fruits make their seasonal debut in late November and are available through April.


  1. ^ a b Lee, Hyoung S. (2001). "Characterization of Carotenoids in Juice of Red Navel Orange (Cara Cara)". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 49 (5): 2563–2568. doi:10.1021/jf001313g. ISSN 0021-8561. PMID 11368636.
  2. ^ a b Alquezar, Berta; Rodrigo, Maria J.; Zacarías, Lorenzo (2008). "Regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis during fruit maturation in the red-fleshed orange mutant Cara Cara". Phytochemistry. 69 (10): 1997–2007. Bibcode:2008PChem..69.1997A. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2008.04.020. PMID 18538806.
  3. ^ Susser, Allen (1997). The Great Citrus Book: A Guide with Recipes. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-0-89815-855-7.
  4. ^ a b "Cara Cara navel orange". Citrus Variety Collection. University of California Riverside, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  5. ^ Kauffman, Jonathan (December 26, 2006). "Cara cara mia". Voracious Blog. Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on 2012-05-15.
  6. ^ "Product Info: Cara Cara Oranges". Melissas.com. Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc. Archived from the original on 2004-08-04. Retrieved 2004-08-04.