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Citrus bergamia, the bergamot orange (pronounced ), is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime, depending on ripeness.
Genetic research into the ancestral origins of extant citrus cultivars found bergamot orange to be a probable hybrid of lemon and bitter orange. Extracts have been used to scent food, perfumes, and cosmetics. Use on the skin can increase photosensitivity, resulting in greater damage from sun exposure.
The word bergamot is etymologically derived from the Italian word "bergamotto", ultimately of Turkish origin: bey armudu or bey armut ("prince's pear" or "prince of pears").
Citrus bergamia is a small tree that blossoms during the winter. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit.
Production is mostly limited to the Ionian Sea coastal areas of the province of Reggio di Calabria in Italy, to such an extent that it is a symbol of the entire city. Most of the bergamot comes from a short stretch of land there, where the temperature is favourable. The fruit is also produced in Argentina, Brazil, Algeria, the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and South-East Asia where it has its roots.
Citrus bergamot is commercially grown in southern Calabria (province of Reggio), southern Italy. It is also grown in southern France and in Côte d'Ivoire for the essential oil and in Antalya in southern Turkey for its marmalade. The fruit is not generally grown for juice consumption. However, in Mauritius where it is grown on a small-scale basis, it is largely consumed as juice by the locals.
One hundred bergamot oranges yield about three ounces (85g) of bergamot oil.
An essence extracted from the aromatic skin of this sour fruit is used to flavour Earl Grey and Lady Greyteas, as well as confectionery (including Turkish delight). It is often used to make marmalade, particularly in Italy. In Sweden and Norway, bergamot is a very common flavourant in snus, a smokeless tobacco product. Likewise, in dry nasal snuff, it is also a common aroma in traditional blends. Carpentierbe, a company based in San Giorgio Morgeto, makes a digestif liqueur derived from bergamot marketed under the name Liquore al Bergamotto.
In France, particularly the Ardennes region and the city of Nancy, essential oils made from the fruit are used to make a square, flat candy called the "Bergamote de Nancy".
Bergamot peel is one of the most common ingredients used in perfumery, prized for its ability to combine with an array of scents to form a bouquet of aromas which complement each other. Bergamot is a major component of the original Eau de Cologne composed by Farina at the beginning of the 18th century in Germany. The first record of bergamot oil as a fragrance ingredient was in 1714, to be found in the Farina Archive in Cologne.
As of 2017, clinical research conducted on bergamot oil has been of poor quality, with no conclusions about its possible health effects. Use on the skin can be unsafe, particularly for children and pregnant women. Potential side effects of drinking large amounts of bergamot oil can include convulsions.[better source needed] Consuming bergamot oil as a component of tea may cause muscle cramps or blurred vision, and its application to the skin may induce rashes. The juice of the fruit has been used in European folk medicine for various disorders.
^ abDavidson, Alan (2006). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food (Second ed.). p. 75. ISBN0-19-280681-5. The bergamot orange is not edible and is grown only for its fragrant oil, although its peel is sometimes candied.
^Cappello, AR, Dolce V, Iacopetta D, Martello M, Fiorillo M, Curcio R, Muto L, Dhanyalayam D. (2015). "Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) Flavonoids and Their Potential Benefits in Human Hyperlipidemia and Atherosclerosis: an Overview". Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry. 16: 1-11. doi:10.2174/1389557515666150709110222. PMID26156545.
^Di Donna, Leonardo; De Luca, Giuseppina; Mazzotti, Fabio; Napoli, Anna; Salerno, Raffaele; Taverna, Domenico; Sindona, Giovanni (2009). "Statin-like Principles of Bergamot Fruit: Isolation of 3-Hydroxymethylglutaryl Flavonoid Glycosides". Journal of Natural Products. 72 (7): 1352-1354. doi:10.1021/np900096w. PMID19572741.
^Mohr, Melissa (17 November 2014). "How did we get from snuff to vaping?". OUP Blog. Retrieved 2016. snuff could be colored and flavored in hundreds of combinations, including orange flower, rose, bergamot, musk, and tonka bean
^"FAQs". Wilsons & Co. (Sharrow) Ltd. Retrieved 2016. The recipes known only to two members of the Wilson family in each generation since 1737, natural oils such as Bergamot, Attar of Roses, Jasmine and Sandalwood are added in precise measure to delight the nose.
^Girard J, Unkovic J, Delahayes J, Lafille C (1979). "Phototoxicity of Bergamot oil. Comparison between humans and guinea pigs". Dermatologica (in French). 158 (4): 229-43. doi:10.1159/000250763. PMID428611.
^Kejlova K, Jirova D, Bendova H, Kandarova H, Weidenhoffer Z, Kolarova H, Liebsch M (2007). "Phototoxicity of bergamot oil assessed by in vitro techniques in combination with human patch tests". Toxicology in Vitro. 21 (7): 1298-1303. doi:10.1016/j.tiv.2007.05.016. PMID17669618.
^Autier P, Dore JF, Schifflers E, et al. (1995). "Melanoma and use of sunscreens: An EORTC case control study in Germany, Belgium and France". Int. J. Cancer. 61 (6): 749-755. doi:10.1002/ijc.2910610602. PMID7790106.