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Clementine vs. Mandarin orange — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 28, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan
Clementine
vs
Mandarin orange

Summary

Clementine contains more Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, and folate than mandarin orange. It is also lower in sodium, sugars, and saturated fat.

Mandarin is richer in Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

Introduction

Clementines and mandarin oranges are the most popular citrus fruits, usually confused with each other. Why? Because they are very similar in appearance, they sometimes can also have similar tastes. However, to better understand the main differences, we will look at them individually.

The actual difference

Clementines are a type of mandarin orange. They are a cross between mandarin oranges and sweet oranges.

However, the main difference between clementine and mandarin is that clementines are the smallest mandarin orange variety. Compared to mandarin, clementines have loose skin that makes them easy to peel. They are extremely sweetseedless, and have smooth and shiny red-orange skin.

Nutrition

Macronutrients and Calories

This article section will compare the nutritional content between a mandarin orange and clementine. Slightly note: both have similar nutritional profiles. At the bottom of this page, you can find a nutrition infographic, which will help you better understand the differences in the nutrition of these fruits.

Calories

Mandarin and clementine are low in calories. On the other hand, mandarin has more calories than clementine: it has roughly 57 calories per 100g, while clementine has 53 calories per 100g (1.2).

Protein

There is little protein in these two fruits. Their protein content is less than 1g per 100g (1.2). 

Carbs

The carbohydrate content of mandarin is slightly higher than that of clementine. There are 13.3 grams of carbohydrates in 100 g of clementine, compared with 13.6 grams in 100 g of mandarin. 100g of mandarin contains 2.1 g of dietary fiber, while 100g of clementine contains 1.8 g.

Fats

There is no need to consider the fat content of these fruits, as they have less than 1g of fat per 100g.  Mandarin and clementine have no cholesterol.

Vitamins

Clementine is richer in vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and folateClementine falls in the range of the top 13% of foods as a source of vitamin C. This vitamin may preserve a strong immune system, promote healing, and have antioxidant activity.

Mandarin orange has more vitamin B2 and vitamin B5.

Both these fruits contain equal amounts of vitamin E and vitamin B6.

Both fruits lack vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin B9.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin C +82.8%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +48.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +69.1%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Choline +37.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +20%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +43%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.2
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.078
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 4% 0% 163% 22% 7% 12% 10% 18% 18% 0% 8% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 41% 4% 0% 89% 15% 9% 8% 13% 18% 12% 0% 6% 0%
Contains more Vitamin C +82.8%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +48.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +69.1%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Choline +37.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +20%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +43%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.2
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.078

Minerals

Mandarin has a relatively higher amount of calcium, zinc, and magnesium.

Clementine has less sodium than mandarin.

Both fruits have equal iron, phosphorus, copper, and potassium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains less Sodium -50%
Contains more Calcium +23.3%
Contains more Magnesium +20%
Contains more Zinc +16.7%
Contains more Manganese +69.6%
Equal in Iron - 0.15
Equal in Phosphorus - 20
Equal in Potassium - 166
Equal in Copper - 0.042
Equal in Selenium - 0.1
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 9% 6% 8% 9% 16% 1% 2% 15% 3% 1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 12% 6% 9% 9% 15% 1% 2% 14% 6% 1%
Contains less Sodium -50%
Contains more Calcium +23.3%
Contains more Magnesium +20%
Contains more Zinc +16.7%
Contains more Manganese +69.6%
Equal in Iron - 0.15
Equal in Phosphorus - 20
Equal in Potassium - 166
Equal in Copper - 0.042
Equal in Selenium - 0.1

Glycemic Index

According to The International Tables of Glycemic Index Values, the glycemic index of mandarin orange falls in the range of 47±2. Clementines, which are a hybrid of willow leaves mandarin orange with sweet orange, have a low glycemic index, but their glycemic index has not been determined (3).

Acidity

These fruits are alkaline, but exact data is not available. The quality of the produced fruit is determined by the coexistence of internal ripeness (lower acidity, increased sugar/acid ratio) and outward coloring. The PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) specifications require that clementines be harvested when the orange coloration, which occurs naturally on the tree, covers at least 80% of the peel, and have an acid concentration between 0.65g and 1.4g of citric acid per 100g of juice (4).

Weight loss and diets

Clementine and Mandarin orange are low-calorie fruits, so they can be included in a variety of diets. 

  • Because the Atkins diet is low in carbohydrates, most fruits should be avoided. Clementine and mandarin orange consumption is not recommended during this diet.
  • The Dukan diet, like the Atkins diet, is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Until the third (consolidation) phase, fruits, including these, are off the menu.
  • The Mediterranean diet encourages the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Consumption of clementines and mandarin oranges is advised throughout this diet.
  • The paleo diet often includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – foods that may have been gotten through hunting and gathering in the past, thus these fruits are suggested.
  • Intermittent fasting is more like an eating habit than a diet because it regulates when you eat rather than what you consume. These fruits are recommended with this diet.
  • They can also be included in the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

Health impact

Cardiovascular Health

Mandarin orange and clementine’s direct effects on arterial blood pressure are unknown; however, according to this rat study, hesperidin found in citrus fruits may lower blood pressure and cardiac hypertrophies (thickening of the heart's wall, which negatively affects the heart) (5).

Citrus flavonoids are antioxidants that may protect cells from oxidative damage, which is crucial for preventing atherosclerosis. Besides this, some components found in citrus fruits, like naringin, may reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood (5). Based on this, we can say that flavonoids have anti-ischaemic activity and may have a role in preventing myocardial infarction (6).

Citrus flavonoids may reduce platelet activity via a number of routes. This effect is important for preventing atherothrombosis in patients with atherosclerosis, especially after stenting the coronary artery (5).

Citrus fruits contain dietary fiber that may help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, it makes you feel full, so you can eat less and possibly lose weight (7). It’s important for this section because obesity was found to be a convincing risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, both of which are risk factors for heart disease (8). 

Diabetes

Clementine and mandarin orange have anti-diabetic properties.

Citrus fruits containing flavanone glycosides may reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic patients by inhibiting α-amylase and α-glucosidase in the intestinal tract. Several studies have reported that naringenin has neuroprotective properties that could help manage diabetic neuropathy (9).

Satsuma mandarin may suppress liver cell damage and inhibit liver dysfunction caused by chronic hyperglycemia in diabetics, according to this study (10). This effect of clementine is unknown.

According to this study, the consumption of citrus (including clementine and mandarin orange) for a prolonged period of time modulates diabetes-related markers in a positive way (11).

Decreases the transit time of food in the gut, improves gut microflora, and may improve glycemic control. Dietary fibers may also decrease hyperinsulinemia in type 2 diabetes patients (11).

Digestive Health

Dietary fiber in these fruits has been shown to enhance the frequency of bowel movements and may be beneficial in the treatment of constipation (12).

Dietary fiber can change the gut flora to improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and reduce inflammation. Fiber aids in the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which improves muscle performance and may aid in the prevention of chronic diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (13).

Flavonoids found in these fruits may inhibit pancreatic lipase. When the lipase enzyme is suppressed, total cholesterol levels in the body are reduced, which is important for obesity treatment (14).

Cancer

Both of these fruits include hesperidin and flavonoids, both of which have the potential to be chemoprotective. Hesperidin has been proven to have antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory properties, and an inhibitory effect on prostaglandin formation. This flavonoid prevents chemically induced carcinogenesis in a variety of organs (15). 

Tangeritin, contained in these fruits, has been demonstrated to prevent cancer cell development via increasing intracellular gap junctional communication (15).

According to these studies, high citrus fruit (including mandarin orange and clementine) consumption has a protective effect on the risk of stomach, breast, oral, and pancreatic cancer (16.17.18.19).

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

Both mandarin oranges and clementine can cause an allergic reaction․ The symptoms are frequently localized, which means you feel them exactly where the raw fruit touched your skin. Intense tingling and itching of the lips, tongue, and throat are among the symptoms (20).

References

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2503019/nutrients
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2344658/nutrients
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/114/5/1625/6320814?login=false
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566537/#:~:text=The%20PGI%20specifications%20constrain%20producers,(European%20Union%2C%202005).
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6431442/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452232/
  7. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/eat-more-fiber-rich-foods-to-foster-heart-health
  8. https://www.citrusaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Health-Benefits-of-Citrus-Fruits-CSIRO-Full-Report.pdf
  9. https://blog.univ-reunion.fr/detroi/files/2015/03/preventive-medecine.pdf
  10. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/29/3/29_3_588/_article/-char/ja/
  11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092422442100412X
  12. https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/96/5/997/59899/An-Overview-of-the-Effects-of-Dietary-Fiber-on
  13. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/fabulous-fiber
  14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814620306476
  15. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Saravana-Jaganathan/publication/261998860_Role_of_pomegranate_and_citrus_fruit_juices_in_colon_cancer_prevention/links/004635392c841c5856000000/Role-of-pomegranate-and-citrus-fruit-juices-in-colon-cancer-prevention.pdf
  16. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10120-007-0447-2
  17. https://synapse.koreamed.org/articles/1036462
  18. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661818304729
  19. https://journals.lww.com/pancreasjournal/Abstract/2009/03000/Citrus_Fruit_Intake_and_Pancreatic_Cancer_Risk__A.11.aspx
  20. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0091674913018472
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 28, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan

Infographic

Clementine vs Mandarin orange infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +106.7%
Contains more Carbs +11%
Equal in Protein - 0.81
Equal in Water - 85.17
Equal in Other - 0.37
12% 87%
Protein: 0.85 g
Fats: 0.15 g
Carbs: 12.02 g
Water: 86.58 g
Other: 0.4 g
13% 85%
Protein: 0.81 g
Fats: 0.31 g
Carbs: 13.34 g
Water: 85.17 g
Other: 0.37 g
Contains more Fats +106.7%
Contains more Carbs +11%
Equal in Protein - 0.81
Equal in Water - 85.17
Equal in Other - 0.37

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Glucose +34%
Contains more Fructose +46.3%
Equal in Sucrose - 6.05
65% 17% 18%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 5.96 g
Glucose: 1.59 g
Fructose: 1.64 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
57% 20% 23%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 6.05 g
Glucose: 2.13 g
Fructose: 2.4 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Glucose +34%
Contains more Fructose +46.3%
Equal in Sucrose - 6.05

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Clementine Mandarin orange
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Clementine Mandarin orange Opinion
Net carbs 10.32g 11.54g Mandarin orange
Protein 0.85g 0.81g Clementine
Fats 0.15g 0.31g Mandarin orange
Carbs 12.02g 13.34g Mandarin orange
Calories 47kcal 53kcal Mandarin orange
Fructose 1.64g 2.4g Mandarin orange
Sugar 9.18g 10.58g Clementine
Fiber 1.7g 1.8g Mandarin orange
Calcium 30mg 37mg Mandarin orange
Iron 0.14mg 0.15mg Mandarin orange
Magnesium 10mg 12mg Mandarin orange
Phosphorus 21mg 20mg Clementine
Potassium 177mg 166mg Clementine
Sodium 1mg 2mg Clementine
Zinc 0.06mg 0.07mg Mandarin orange
Copper 0.043mg 0.042mg Clementine
Manganese 0.023mg 0.039mg Mandarin orange
Selenium 0.1µg 0.1µg
Vitamin A 681IU Mandarin orange
Vitamin A RAE 34µg Mandarin orange
Vitamin E 0.2mg 0.2mg
Vitamin C 48.8mg 26.7mg Clementine
Vitamin B1 0.086mg 0.058mg Clementine
Vitamin B2 0.03mg 0.036mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin B3 0.636mg 0.376mg Clementine
Vitamin B5 0.151mg 0.216mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin B6 0.075mg 0.078mg Mandarin orange
Folate 24µg 16µg Clementine
Choline 14mg 10.2mg Clementine
Tryptophan 0.002mg Mandarin orange
Threonine 0.016mg Mandarin orange
Isoleucine 0.017mg Mandarin orange
Leucine 0.028mg Mandarin orange
Lysine 0.032mg Mandarin orange
Methionine 0.002mg Mandarin orange
Phenylalanine 0.018mg Mandarin orange
Valine 0.021mg Mandarin orange
Histidine 0.011mg Mandarin orange
Saturated Fat 0.039g Clementine
Monounsaturated Fat 0.06g Mandarin orange
Polyunsaturated fat 0.065g Mandarin orange

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Clementine Mandarin orange
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
20%
Clementine
16%
Mandarin orange
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
7%
Clementine
7%
Mandarin orange

Comparison summary

Which food is richer in minerals?
Mandarin orange
Mandarin orange is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Clementine
Clementine is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.4g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Clementine
Clementine contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Clementine
Clementine is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 0mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Clementine
Clementine is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.039g)
Which food is cheaper?
Clementine
Clementine is cheaper (difference - $0.4)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (47)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Clementine - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168195/nutrients
  2. Mandarin orange - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169105/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.