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Home » Do ‘Mandarins’ Become Sweeter When ‘Microwaved’?

Do ‘Mandarins’ Become Sweeter When ‘Microwaved’?

  • Food

Mandarins, often enjoyed in winter, are
nicknamed “treasures of vitamins” and contain various nutrients like
dietary fibers and flavonoids. Many people use microwaves to enhance the flavor
of mandarins, but is this method really effective?

1. Heat Softens Mandarin Sourness

When mandarins are heated in a microwave,
components like acidity or distinct aroma decrease. This changes the taste
balance, making them seem sweeter to people. However, caution is needed when
using a microwave. Heating for 20-30 seconds is appropriate, and excessive
heating should be avoided, especially since the peel can pose a fire hazard.

Another method is to warm the mandarin by
hand. According to research by the Rural Development Administration, foods
closer to body temperature allow us to perceive sweetness better. Therefore,
warming mandarins with your hands makes them lukewarm, enhancing the perception
of sweetness.

2. Thin-Peel Mandarins Are Sweeter

There are key points in selecting sweet
mandarins. First, it’s better to choose mandarins that are less glossy with
some blemishes and spots. Overly shiny mandarins might be artificially coated,
indicating they were picked unripe. A mandarin with a deep pink belly button
indicates higher sugar content. Also, choose mandarins that are firm with a
bluish stem attached.

The thickness of the mandarin peel is also
important. The peel contains a polysaccharide called pectin, which when broken
down into smaller units, releases sweetness. Mandarins with thicker peels have
less conversion of these polysaccharides into sweet units. Therefore, choosing
mandarins with thinner peels is a way to enjoy a sweeter taste.

However, mandarins with mold should never
be consumed. Compared to other fruits, mandarins are soft and moist inside,
making them susceptible to deep fungal penetration. The mold commonly found on
mandarins can cause allergic reactions, including hives or rashes. For this
reason, any mandarin with mold should be completely discarded.

These tips will help in selecting sweet
mandarins during winter. Pay close attention to the gloss, blemishes, peel
thickness, navel color, and stem condition when choosing mandarins.

3. Mandarin: Summary

Mandarins, popular in winter for their rich
vitamin content, become less sour and more sweet when heated in a microwave. To
choose sweet mandarins, opt for those with less gloss and thinner skins, and
avoid any with mold.