Citrus medica: nutritional, phytochemical composition and health benefits – a review
Citrus medica (Citron) is an underutilized fruit plant having various bioactive components in all parts of the plant. The major bioactive compounds present are iso-limonene, citral, limonene, phenolics, flavonones, vitamin C, pectin, linalool, decanal, and nonanal, accounting for several health benefits. Pectin and heteropolysachharides also play a major role as dietary fibers. The potential impact of citron and its bioactive components to prevent or reverse destructive deregulated processes responsible for certain diseases has attracted different researchers’ attention. The fruit has numerous nutraceutical benefits, proven by pharmacological studies; for example, anti-catarrhal, capillary protector, anti-hypertensive, diuretic, antibacterial, antifungal, anthelmintic, antimicrobial, analgesic, strong antioxidant, anticancerous, antidiabetic, estrogenic, antiulcer, cardioprotective, and antihyperglycemic. The present review explores new insights into the benefits of citron in various body parts. Throughout the world, citron has been used in making carbonated drinks, alcoholic beverages, syrup, candied peels, jams, marmalade, cordials, and many other value added products, which suggests it is an appropriate raw material to develop healthy processed food. In the present review, the fruit taxonomical classification, beneficial phytochemicals, antioxidant activities, and health benefits are discussed.