What are Kumquats and what are they for?

What are kumquats

Kumquat is a very peculiar little citrus fruit and little known by some cultures, except for Asian and European culture.  This fruit comes from China and receives many names apart from Kumquats for example quinoto orange, chuikan or kinkan.

Its scientific name is Fortunella Crassifolia.

These orange trees are so small that you can fit twenty of them in your hands, their size is approximately 1,5 inches (4 cm).

Origin and current production

There are records of the seventeenth century where it is believed it was the first cultivation of this fruit, which may be true since its origin comes from a country with many years of experience such as China.

Currently, its cultivation has been naturalized and spread throughout the Asian continent and Europe, reaching the point of seeing Chinese orange trees in the markets throughout the year. The person responsible for bringing this exceptional fruit to other parts of the world as was the European continent, was the American botanist Robert Fortune in the nineteenth century, who gave it the name Fortunella Margarita.

Your bush to be cultivated needs moist and fertile soil, and good water drainage.  They also need a lot of sunlight, although they are resistant to cold and frost, however, their favourite climate is sunny, with plenty of water and moisture to hydrate.

The habitat of the quinoto is preferably fields and orchards with ample land for better growth of its roots.

The youth of the tree is among the first seven years of life. And, if given the proper care it can last up to 35 years.  

Physical characteristics

Kumquats inside

Kumquat or Fortunella Margarita is an off-the-beaten-path fruit, and very different from any other citrus you’ve ever seen or tasted. One of the notable differences between this fruit and the other citrus fruits is that it is the smallest of all.

Its shape is oval, and its color is intense and bright orange. The tree or shrub from which it is born is of the usual size for an orange bush and its growth and development is slow, which together with its branches measures between 13 to 17 ft (4 to 5 m) long.

The trunk is thin and its branches are smooth and prickly. Its fruits can last at most a year hanging from your tree if you want them for ornamental reasons (for decorative reasons). 

Oranges must be detached from the branches as they reach their stage of maturity, not before, nor after if they want to be consumed.

The flowers of the Kumquat tree are called Fortunellas, they are white and have five petals, they are born and perfume with their fragrance for days and weeks until the fruits are derived.

Chinese orange bushes in perfect condition can have a life between 25 to 35 years of age, it is a good time of life for a bush. This same takes a time of 3 to 4 years to bear the first fruits.

This incredible fruit also can hybridize (a process where two individuals cross to form a new species) with other fruits, so other species have already been found.


Its flavor is very particular, and ironic compared to the other citrus fruits since they are mostly acidic and bitter. But, this sweetness comes from outside, from its peel, yes, you read it well, the sweetest part of the fruit comes from its peel, and the inside has four segments with a slightly acidic and bitter taste.

That is why it is eaten as if it were an apple. It is the only citrus that is eaten with a shell, and doing so has a lot of advantages since its peel is the part that contains the most vitamin C.

Nutritional information

Kumquat has the advantage that other oranges do not have, that no one has a problem consuming its peel. Therefore, it provides our body with many more vitamins and nutrients than eating just the segments of an ordinary orange.

The table shows what type and amount of nutrients these little ones give us.

Calories71 cal
Fats0.86 gr
Fibre6.5 gr
Carbohydrates15.9 gr
Proteins1.88 gr
Iron0.86 mg
Phosphorus19 mg
Calcium62 mg
Potassium186 mg
Sodium10 mg
Magnesium0 mg
Vitamin B10.04 mg
Vitamin B20.09 mg
Vitamin B30.43 mg
Vitamin C43.9 mg

Properties and benefits

Thanks to the great potential of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), we can obtain very favourable results when suffering from a cold, flu or respiratory condition, since it regularly reduces or prevents common colds. They also decrease the symptoms of these so that they are not so strong.

Another potential of this fruit is an important protein that when consumed by our body absorbs it to produce blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, muscle tissue, cartilage and our most exposed organ, the skin.

It also contains great antioxidant properties derived from carotenoids (orange, red or yellow substances that originate mostly from plants and fruits as such is the case of kumquat).  

The consumption of this fruit is conducive to preventing cardiovascular problems, because its peel is also edible, and provides us with large amounts of flavonoids (pigments that come from nature). It is also good for stabilizing blood glucose levels, making it a benefactor for people suffering from diabetes.

The Kumquat, although it is a small fruit, provides us with enough energy so that our body is active a whole morning without closing our eyes. This is highly recommended for women to consume in the process of pregnancy, although it is recommended that they make it as juice to avoid heartburn. 

The potential of this orange was explored, published and endorsed by the studies and discoveries of the English botanist Robert Fortune. These same studies have evolved and certified by scholars in the area, scientists and botanists of the XXI century. [1]


The kumquat is an exotic fruit to which we can give edible use, for medicinal and food reasons. Without a doubt, it is an exquisite fruit that gives us health, well-being and pleasant flavors to the palate.

If the case is and you want to consume them, you can do it, since the fruit is delicious natural and can last for days and weeks at room temperature. Anyway, if you want to keep it for a little longer than that time you can take them to the fridge so that they remain preserved.

Obviously, our first option would be to consume it completely naturally, but, thanks to its great contribution in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants we can not only ingest them but apply them through masks, creams and ointments that renew, restore and rejuvenate our skin. 

Here you have some recipes:


The pulp is bitter with acidic touches, eating it alone is brave. But if you do not want to eat it there are other alternatives, such as, for example, natural juices based on their pulp.

You can also make tonics by blending the pulp with part of the peel and facial cream for the daily cleansing routines of your preference.


Unlike other citrus fruits or sweet fruits, the shell or peel of this one is not discarded. In this variety of fruits, nothing is wasted.

If you want to do more with the peel than just eat it, you may be inclined to use essential oils based on the peel of this magnificent fruit.

DoTERRA is a company with a high range of essential oils and other related products. Specifically, they have an essential oil called CPTG® Kumquat, based entirely on the peel of the Kumquat.    

What benefits does this essential oil provide you? It improves mood, gives energy to your body, improves your skin and hair, if you have any type of scar this oil will also help you restore the skin in place and when you inhale it produces a soothing and relaxing effect for your nerves.

Whether you use it aromatically, internally or topically this oil will safely help you in any or all aspects. 

[1] https://www.mdpi.com/2504-3900/70/1/105