|MadSci Network: Botany|
This is a great example of a simple question with a complex answer. The composition of an orange can be looked at in two different ways. First, you could look at all of the chemical compounds found. This would be an extremly long list made up of hundreds of proteins, essential oils, sugars, and the like. This list would be much larger than I could list here. A second method would be to break the orange down to an elemental level and measure the amounts present (which is what I will show here). This data is based on an average Valencia orange. The elemental composition varies in the different parts of the fruit (peel, juice, and edible portion). Numbers following elements indicate the percent of the total fresh weight of the orange (for the ones I could find). Essential elements for plant growth are marked with a *. They are listed in descending order of amount present. Water (*Hydrogen and *Oxygen) (87.2% of Fresh wt.) *Carbon *Nitrogen *Potassium (0.185%) *Calcium (0.074%) *Phosphorus (0.022%) *Magnesium (0.015%) *Sulfur (0.014%) Sodium (0.0018%) Silicon *Iron (0.00078%) *Boron Strontium Aluminum (The following are all less than 0.000057%) *Manganese *Copper Titanium Nickel Vanadium Chromium Zirconium *Molybdenum Tin *Zinc *Chlorine Cobalt Barium Silver Bismuth The amounts of the trace elements is dependent on the soil in which the plant is growing. This data is from Southern California. To put this in perspective, the average orange is 130 g. This would mean that the cobalt content would be LESS than 7.41 X 10-5 (0.0000741) grams. Not very much when you come to think of it. If you have any questions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Eric J. Biddinger Graduate Student in Horticulture Penn State University Sources: Birdsall, J.J., P.H. Derse, and L.J. Teply. 1961. Nutrients in California lemons and oranges. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 38:555-589. Sinclare, W.B. 1984. The Biochemistry and Physiology of the Lemon and Other Citrus Fruits. Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Calfornia. Oakland, CA.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Botany.
Page generated by
MODERATOR_1.2b: Tools for Ask-An-Expert websites.
© 1997 Enigma Engines for a Better Universe: We are forever combustible, ever compatible.