The Kinnow (Kinu) Fruit: An Orange Substitute or a Healthy Fruit Itself?

Reviewed by Dr. Sunanda Ranade

kinu fruit benefits

Kinnow or Kinu fruit comes from the same citrus family as orange and is often mistaken as a substitute for orange. It is more commonly known as ‘tangerine’ and can be found in local grocery shops, being sold in the name of oranges. However, kinnow is not just another variety of orange; it is a separate fruit that offers a multitude of health benefits. In this article, we are going to shed some more light on kinnow.

What is a Kinnow (Kinu) Fruit?

Also pronounced as kinu or kinoo, kinnow is a fruit cultivated as a hybrid of citrus nobilis or ‘King’, and citrus deliciosa or ‘Willow Leaf’. In India, it is mostly cultivated in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Haryana. The growing demand for kinnow fruit in the Indian subcontinent and the multiple kinnow benefits have made it one of the most cultivated fruits of all time. 

Is Kinnow Healthy?

Kinnow mandarins are an excellent source of fiber to stimulate the digestive tract and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation. The fruits also provide vitamin A to maintain optimal organ functioning, antioxidants to protect against free radical damage to cells, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and lower amounts of folate, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and copper.

So, if you ask us – Is kinnow healthy? Our answer will be a definite YES. Let us further take a look at the nutritional value a kinnow can provide:

Nutritional Value of a Kinnow [1]

Here’s a table reflecting the major nutrients found in kinnow along with their quantity per 100 gm of the fruit:

PhysiochemicalQuantity per 100 gm
Average Vitamin C (mg / 100 ml juice)31
Calcium (mg / 100 ml)40
Iron (mg / 100 ml)0.4
Phosphorous (mg / 100 ml)18
Average TSS (%) 11.5
Average acidity (%)0.8-0.9
Average TSS/acid ratio12:1 to 14:1

Oranges v/s Kinnows

Kinnows (kinu) are often considered a substitute for oranges, but it is extremely important to understand what makes a kinnow different from an orange. The following points highlight the key differences between the two fruits.

Oranges are a hybrid of citrus reticulate and citrus maxima.Kinnows are a hybrid of citrus delicious and citrus nobilis.
Oranges have a light and thin peel that is also prone to sunburn.Kinnows have a thicker and tighter peel.
Kinnows are known to have a sour taste.Oranges have a sweeter taste.
Kinnows have more juice.Oranges are less juicy.

Incredible Benefits of Kinnow

1. ber Bones

Kinnows have a higher content of calcium than most citrus fruits. Eating kinnow fruit can make your bones ber.

2. Rich in Fibre, Boosts Digestion

Kinnows are known to boost digestion in the body. Rich in fibre and minerals, it also helps to relieve acidity, chronic constipation, and many other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Anti-Cancer Properties

One of the most vital kinnow benefits is that these fruits are highly rich in antioxidants, making them one of the best fruits to prevent cancer. Antioxidants also help to fight free radicals and prevent many other diseases in the body.

4. Rich in Vitamin C, boosts immunity

They are rich in vitamin C, which is not only important for the growth and development of body tissues but also for boosting the functioning of the immune system.

5. Aids in Weight Loss

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Kinnows are known to boost metabolism in the body, aiding in weight loss. They also help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol and improve the level of good cholesterol in the body, boosting the health of your heart.

6. Great for Skin

The minerals and vitamins present in kinnows are highly beneficial for skin health. Kinnows also have anti-aging properties that further aid in making the skin look flawless. The peels of kinnow fruit are often used as a home remedy for many skin problems.

7. Energy Booster

The ample amounts of carbohydrates present in kinnow fruit help to provide energy to the cells in the body and maintain their overall functioning

How to Consume Kinnows?

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Kinnows (Kinu), like oranges, can be taken as fresh fruits or in the form of freshly squeezed juice. One of the most notable kinnow juice benefits is that it helps to cure indigestion and other stomach issues.

What are the Potential Side Effects of Kinnow

While there aren’t many side effects of kinnow that are well-known or well-researched, here are a few general things one should keep in mind while consuming kinnow:

  1. It is rich in fibre and thus, in cases of heavy consumption, it might lead to diarrhea or stomach upsets.
  2. Some people can be allergic to citrus. They shouldn’t use kinnow for skin care, as it might cause rashes or redness of the skin.
  3. The problem with citrus is its highly acidic properties, combined with significant sugar content. Too much citrus can be a bad thing and wreak havoc on your gums and teeth. Consuming citrus too often and not brushing and rinsing out your mouth after can cause serious irritation and erode your tooth enamel.[2]


1. What does a kinnow taste like?

A kinnow is often found to have a sour taste.

2. Should I eat kinnow every day?

Citrus fruits shouldn’t be eaten every day. It is not healthy for our teeth and gums.

3. What is a kinnow called in English, and where is it mostly cultivated in India?

A kinnow is more commonly known as ‘tangerine’ in English. In India, it is mostly cultivated in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Haryana.


Although kinnows (Kinu) and oranges share almost the same nutritional value, they are separate fruits and should be viewed the same way. Kinnows should not be considered as substitutes for oranges. They are highly rich in minerals and vitamins and offer a wide range of benefits to our bodies. Be sure to have a kinnow every now and then for the best results.


  1. Kinnow Mandarin enriching citrus industry
  2. Can too much citrus be a bad thing?

Dr. Deepa Kadam

Dr. Deepa has over 25 years of experience making her one of the notable medical professionals in the field of Ayurveda with expertise in Ayurvedic pharmacology.


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