tangerine vs clementine

Tangerine vs Clementine – What Are The Differences?

Who does not like to have a good tangerine or clementine? These fruits are particularly refreshing when it is summer and warm. But do you know how to tell these two apart? 

Take a deeper look at what makes tangerines and clementines different and why!

What Is A Tangerine?

This citrus fruit is colored orange, and it is a hybrid between the mandarin orange and the pomelo. The fruit was first described in Tangier, Morocco. Tangerines are small and less round than traditional orange.

Even though tangerines are less sour than oranges, they also have a stronger flavor. You can usually find this fruit from the fall to the springtime. Tangerines are 85% water, 13% carbohydrates, and very small amounts of fat and protein. 

Tangerines are a great source of vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin in keeping your immune system strong. You will also obtain a high amount of vitamin A, which is an important contributor to eye health. If you live in tropical regions, you may be lucky enough to find tangerines year-round anywhere you go. 

Nutrition Facts

One medium (88 g) tangerine has the following nutritional content (*): 

  • 46.6 calories
  • 75 g water 
  • 0.713 g protein
  • 0.273 g fat
  • 11.7 g carbohydrate
  • 1.58 g fiber 
  • 9.31 g sugar
  • 32.6 mg calcium 
  • 10.6 mg magnesium 
  • 17.6 mg phosphorus 
  • 146 mg potassium 
  • 1.76 mg sodium 
  • 23.5 mg vitamin C
  • 14.1 µg folate 
  • 8.98 mg choline 
  • 29.9 µg vitamin A 

Are Tangerines Good For You?

Yes, tangerines are a great addition to your diet! Since this fruit has many vitamins and minerals, and fiber, it can be of benefit. Because this fruit is not too big, the sugar load on your body will also not be excessively high. 

The most important nutrient you will get from tangerines is vitamin C. You have probably heard that this vitamin is good for improving immunity, and this is true! Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant as well, which helps your body fight off damage and stress. 

Eating tangerines will also give you a high amount of vitamin A. This vitamin, like vitamin C, works as an antioxidant, helping in the prevention of disease and inflammation. Plus, vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for vision. 

You will also obtain some calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate, and choline. All of these are micronutrients that you should consume daily and that may not be easy to find. Eating tangerines after a workout is a great way to keep your body healthy! 

While tangerines are not necessarily the fruit highest in fiber, this fruit still has some. You can eat one tangerine a day to get a few healthy carbohydrates and the fiber that your body needs. For better satiety, consume some protein along with your tangerine. 

Make sure to eat your tangerines fresh, anything that is dried or in juice form contains more added sugars. You can certainly think of tangerines as healthy food, but make sure to limit the amount, as it can have a big load of sugar for your body to eat all at once. If you are starting to feel sick, eat a tangerine to get your immunity strong! 

What Is A Clementine?

A clementine is a citrus fruit that is a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange. Like tangerines, clementines are easy to peel, and they are also small. This fruit first originated in Africa in the early 19th century. 

There are three varieties of clementines, seedless, clementines with a maximum of 10 seeds, and Monreal with more than ten seeds. 

Unlike other citrus fruits, clementines do not require a lot of heat, and they can grow in unfavorable environments. Because of this phenomenon, you may find clementines available year-round. 

Clementines are high in water, but they also contain sugar and insignificant amounts of protein and fat. As with tangerines, you can also obtain vitamin C and A from eating clementines. The peel of the fruit is also used for jellies and jams.     

Nutrition Facts

One clementine (85 g) has the following nutritional content (*): 

  • 45 calories
  • 72.4 g water 
  • 0.689 g protein
  • 0.264 g fat
  • 11.3 g carbohydrate
  • 1.53 g fiber 
  • 8.99 g sugar
  • 31.4 mg calcium 
  • 10.2 mg magnesium 
  • 17 mg phosphorus 
  • 141 mg potassium 
  • 1.7 mg sodium 
  • 22.7 mg vitamin C
  • 13.6 µg folate 
  • 8.67 mg choline 
  • 28.9 µg vitamin A 

Are Clementines Good For You?

Clementines are a healthy addition to your diet, as they contain vitamins and minerals but are low in calories. You can add one or two clementines a day to your diet and see great benefits. For better results, though, you should try to eat a protein source when you eat fruits.

Like tangerines, clementines will give you a high amount of vitamin C. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant, preventing oxidative damage and inflammation in your body. It can also boost immunity at times when you feel sick.

The other vitamin this fruit contains is vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant as well. Vitamin A is essential for eye health, and for helping fight off oxidative stress. You can get more vitamin A in one small clementine than in other foods. 

Clementines also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and choline. These amounts may not be as high, but they are significant because they give you some of your daily requirements. You can eat clementines a day to obtain some micronutrients that may be low in your regular diet. 

Since they are so small, clementines do not contain a ton of fiber. However, they do have some fiber that lowers the amount of sugar that your body receives all at once. Most of the fruit is made up of water, making it a hydration source as well. 

When compared to other fruits, clementines are low in calories and sugars, so they are considered healthier. Still, to avoid overeating, pair your clementine with other foods, like cottage cheese, almonds, or Greek yogurt. 

What Are The Key Differences Between Tangerine and Clementine?

The first difference between tangerine and clementine is their origin. Tangerines are a hybrid citrus fruit that comes from mandarin orange and pomelo. Clementines are a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange. 

A second difference between these two fruits is the flavor. Tangerines are sweet, but they are also sour and slightly bitter. Clementines, instead, are much sweeter in comparison to tangerines. 

The appearance of these two fruits is not the same and can be helpful when you do not know which one is which. Tangerines have tougher skin, and without deep groves, so it is harder to break the skin. Clementines have shiny and smooth skin, but the skin is also thinner, so it is easier to peel. 

Another difference between the two citrus fruits is whether they have seeds or not. Tangerines do not have seeds and are instead grown using grafting. Clementines can contain no seeds, a few seeds, or many seeds, which also alters the flavor. 

The final difference between these two closely related fruits is their shape. Clementines are more oval and have a flat top and bottom. Tangerines are rounder and smaller in size. 

Main DifferencesTangerineClementine
Origin China and MoroccoAlgeria
Aroma Fresh, sweet, and citrusSweet, citrus, and slightly bitter
ColorDeep orangeReddish-orange
Price $3.50 per pound$4.50 per pound
Taste Sweet and acidicVery sweet and slightly bitter
How To CookSimply feel the skin off and eat the fruit. Simply feel the skin off and eat the fruit. 
Cook TimeCooking time: 5 minutesCooking time: 5 minutes 
Calories per 100 gram serving53 calories53 calories

Is Tangerine or Clementine Healthier?

As you can see, these two fruits are pretty much the same when it comes to nutrition. One tangerine will give you 46.6 calories, while one clementine will give you 45 calories. In terms of calories, you are safe eating either fruit.  

In terms of micronutrients, both tangerines and clementines have the same amount of vitamins and minerals. These two fruits are great sources of vitamin C and vitamin A, so eating either will not make a difference. If you feel sick, eat a tangerine or clementine for a boost to your immune system.

The two fruits taste very similar, so making a decision should be based on preference. However, tangerines are usually smaller, so you may end up with fewer nutrients. Clementines are bigger and easier to peel. 

When it comes to health, these two fruits are good for you. The decision on which one to eat should be based on your taste preference. Keep in mind that both fruits are better when consumed with a protein source to prevent a spike in blood sugar. 


You will never be confused again when going to the grocery store! Now you are an expert on tangerines and clementines, so you can decide which one you like better. If the decision is too hard, try both!

*image by an_chicago_2016

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