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Lime is a term referring to a number of different fruits, both species and hybrids and generally citruses, which have their origin in the Himalayan region of Indiamarker and which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and generally containing sour and acidic pulp. They are frequently associated with the lemon. Limes are often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages. They are usually smaller than lemons, and a good source of vitamin C. Limes are grown all year round and are usually sweeter than lemons.

Limes are a small citrus fruit, Citrus aurantifolia, whose skin and flesh are green in colour and which have an oval or round shape with a diameter between one to two inches. Limes can either be sour or sweet, with the latter not readily available in the United States. Sour limes possess a greater sugar and citric acid content than lemons and feature an acidic and tart taste, while sweet limes lack citric acid content and are sweet in flavour.



Zesting a lime
In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest. It is a very common ingredient in authentic Mexican, Southwestern United States, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes. It is also used for its pickling properties in ceviche. Additionally, the leaves of lime are used in southeast Asian cuisine. The use of dried limes (called black lime or loomi) as a flavouring is typical of Persian cuisine and Iraqi cuisine, as well as in Gulf-style baharat (a spice mixture that is also called kabsa or kebsa). Limes are also an essential element in Tamil cuisine.

Lime leaves are also a herb in South, East, and particularly Southeast Asia. In Vietnammarker, people have boiled chicken with lime leaves and a mixture of salt, black pepper and lime juice.


In India, the lime is used in Tantra for removing evil spirits. It is also combined with Indian chilis to make a protective charm to repel the evil eye .

Other uses

In order to prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus such as lime (presumably Citrus aurantifolia) , which led in time to the nickname "limey" for all Britons. It was later discovered that this beneficial effect derived from the quantities of Vitamin C the fruit contains.

Lime extracts and essential oils are frequently used in perfumes, cleaning products, and aromatherapy. Lime is also used occasionally to enhance vision by many Asian martial artists. It is done by squeezing a drop or two on the inside corner of the eye.

Production trends

India with ~16% of worlds overall lemon and lime output tops the production list, followed by Mexico (~14.5%), Argentina (~10%), Brazil (~8%) and Spain (~7%).

Promotional photo for California limes, 1948

Top ten lemon and limes producers — 2007
Country Production (Tonnes) Footnote
2060000 F
1880000 F
1260000 F
1060000 F
880000 F
745100 F
615000 F
World 13032388 A
No symbol = official figure, P = official figure, F = FAO estimate, * = Unofficial/Semi-official/mirror data, C = Calculated figure A = Aggregate (may include official, semi-official or estimates);

Source: Food And Agricultural Organization of United Nations: Economic And Social Department: The Statistical Division

Plants known as "lime"


File:Lime444.jpgFile:Citrus hystrix dsc07772.jpg|Kaffir lime fruitFile:Lime CDC.jpg|Lime wedges are typically used in drinksFile:SlicedlimesNov06.jpg|Sliced limesFile:Lime closeup.jpg|A closeup of a whole limeFile:Limes.jpg|Grocery store limesFile:Lime_Blossom.jpg|Lime and Blossom growing in south Spain


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