The scientific name of sweet lime are Citrus limettioides Tanaka, Citrus lumia and Citrus limetta. Other names include Mosambi, Mousambi in Hindi, Sathukudu in Tamil, Bathaya Kaayalu in Telegu, bergamot in France, and Limu Shirin in Iran.
It is a small tree that can grow up to 8 m. Fruits are oval and green, ripening to yellow, with greenish pulp. It grows in tropical and subtropical climates. It begins bearing fruit at 5 to 7 years old, with peak production at 10 to 20 years. It is propagated by seed. It is widely cultivated in many regions all around the world including South and Southeast Asia and in the Mediterranean Basin.
The flavor is sweet and mild, but retains the essence of lime. The taste turn bitter rapidly , when in contact with air. The flavor is a bit flatter than most citrus due to its lack of acidity.
How to check ripeness of Sweet lime?
Gently scratch the surface of a sweet lime: If its oils embed in the fingernails, it’s ripe. The juiciest fruits feel heavy for their size.
Overripe sweet limes, on the other hand, are dull, shrunken, and possess dry, spongy skin. Avoid fruits with brownish yellow discoloration. Also check for premature sweet limes, which feel light for their size and are hard with tart flesh.
Sweet lime nutrition value and facts
It is high vitamin C and folic acid content ensure strong immunity, glowing skin health, and support to bones and joints.
In Iran it is used to treat influenza and common cold.
Sweet lime are rich sources of soluble dietary fiber.
The fruit is rich in vitamin C, providing 50 mg per 100 g serving.
It is rich in other beneficial compounds including chlorophyll, carotenoids, phenolics, flavonoids, and limonoids.
A 100 gm of sweet lime has about 43 calories. It contains
0.8 g Protein
0.3 g Fat
0.7 g Minerals
0.5 g Fiber
9.3 g Carbs
40 mg Calcium
30 mg Phosphorous
490 mg Potassium
0.7 mg Iron
50 mg Vitamin C
Health benefits of sweet lime
A study concluded that sweet lime exhibit antimicrobial properties. Essential oil of Citrus limettioides can be used in skincare formulations for acne control, in treatment of various infectious diseases like typhoid fever, food poisoning, inflammation, sepsis, endocarditis, bladder, prostate and epididymal infections.
Study has shown that the sweet lime has anti-proliferative activities and inhibit inflammation and colon cancer cell proliferation.
A study has shown that citrus limonoids have been shown to fight various forms of cancer, including that of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.
Study suggest that consumption of curcumin (Turmeric) and limonoids( Sweet lime) together may offer greater protection against colon cancer.
Study has shown that the peel of sweet lime (C. limetta) fruit demonstrated a potential antihyperglycemic effect which may be attributed to its antioxidant property. This makes it useful for people with diabetes as it helps to counteract excess of glucose from the blood.
Study evaluated the antihypertensive effect of C. limetta leaves. Results concluded that it is a safe and effective treatment to lower blood pressure.
A study has shown that the extracts of sweet lime fruit has antiplatelet activity.
Another study indicate that the leaves, fruits and peel of Citrus limetta and Citrus limon serve as the potential source of natural antioxidants, which helps to fight against free radical and reduce oxidative stress damage.
Study has shown that the Citrus flavonoids has shown the anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular protection activity. They play a key role by providing protection against stroke, several degenerative diseases and particularly brain diseases.
Sweet limes have a long shelf life at room temperature, as they keep fresh for up to two weeks. In the refrigerator, sweet limes last for four to eight weeks. It’s possible to freeze slices of the fruit, though the limonin content in sweet limes may cause the pulp to taste bitter over time. A way to avoid this is by freezing the fruit in a “wet pack,” achieved by submerging the slices in sweet syrup within an airtight glass jar. Or, make orange juice and freeze the liquid. Frozen juice will keep for up to six months, though it’s best to check the fruit periodically to ensure it doesn’t become sour.
Sweet Lime Recipe Ideas and Uses
Make a salad dressing from the fruit by combining it with a mustard base, white wine vinegar, pepper and agave.
Make popsicles from the fruit’s juice, adding chunks of fruit as desired.
Use as a substitute in any recipe calling for lemon or lime.
Use the zest of the sweet lime in baked goods, lime pies and to enhance rice dishes.
Add cubed sweet lime to salsa recipes: mix with tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, and black bean.
Read about other interesting fruits