Pomelo (Citrus maxima) also spelled pummelo, also called shaddock is the largest citrus fruit from the Rutaceae family.
It is a natural (non-hybrid) citrus fruit, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit.
This fruit is native to mainland Southeast Asia and the Malaysian portion of the island of Borneo.
Pomelo trees reach from 5 to 13 meters (16 to 43 feet) in height.
The oval evergreen leaves have broadly winged petioles (leaf stems) and are downy on the undersurface, as are the young shoots.
The flowers are large and white and are succeeded by very large spheroid or almost pear-shaped fruits, which are lemon-yellow to green in color and have a sweet flavour.
Typically, the fruit is pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh, and a very thick albedo (rind pith). It is a large citrus fruit, 15–25 centimeters (5.9–9.8 in) in diameter, usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2–4.4 lb).
The flesh of the fruit, which may be greenish yellow, yellow, pink, or red, is often juicy, and divided into 11 to 18 segments.
The fruit tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit although the typical pomelo is much larger than the grapefruit, and also has a much thicker rind.
There are only 38 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of pomelo.
This food is a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, B-vitamins and an excellent source of Vitamin C. Pomelo is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
The health benefits of pomelo include healthy digestion, weight loss, antioxidant properties, boost the immune system, maintains normal blood pressure levels, protect heart health, helps prevent anemia, improve bone strength and prevent cancer.
They are generally eaten as a fresh fruit, and they store well.
The juice is also used in various beverages (both alcoholic and non).
Sometimes, the peel is used to make marmalade, may be candied, or dipped in chocolate.
In Brazil, the thick skin is often used for making a sweet conserve, while the spongy pith of the rind is discarded.
In Sri Lanka, it is often eaten as a dessert, either raw or sprinkled with sugar.
Pomelo leaves are used for aromatic baths. The essential oil can be extracted from the leaves, peel or seeds of some pomelo species.
The aromatic flowers are picked and processed into perfume in Vietnam, and the wood, which is heavy and hard-grained, used for making tool handles.
The heaviest pomelo weighs 4,859.7 g (10 lb 11.3 oz) and was grown by Kumamoto Prefectural Yatsushiro Agricultural High School (Japan) in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto, Japan. The weight wasverified on 25 December 2014.
This fruit is sometimes called shaddock, a name that is said to have derived from that of a captain who introduced the tree to the West Indies.
Pomelo is one of the original citrus species from which most commercial cultivars are derived; the grapefruit (Citrus ×paradisi), for example, is a cross of pummelo and sweet orange (C. ×sinensis).