SCIENTIFIC NAME

Litchi chinensis

CLASSIFICATION

Fruit

SEASON

January, February, March, November, December

About

Introduced into Australia by Chinese immigrants around the 1870s, Lychees have slowly worked their way into our kitchens and continue to grow in popularity year after year.

Lychees have a dark pink to red hard skin, smooth edible white flesh and a dark pip in the center which should not be eaten.

Fresh lychees have a unique tropical, floral aroma and sweet tangy taste. Unusually, once peeled and de-pipped, small children in particular seem to love this fruit.

“Grown-ups” on the hand seem to have invented a whole new world of cocktails which involve this lovely tropical fruit either fresh or juiced. Lychees are grown predominantly in Queensland and northern NSW and are available from November to March, peaking in December.

Choose lychees that are deep pink or red in colour. They can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

The external skin of the lychees need to be removed, to reveal the edible pearly white flesh, but the seeds in the middle of the white flesh need to be removed.

Lychees are high in Vitamin C, copper, phosphorus and potassium.

LYCHEES
Nutrient

Value per 100 g

Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 296 kJ
Moisture 80.6 g
Protein 1.1 g
Nitrogen 0.18 g
Fat 0.1 g
Ash 0.3 g
Dietary fibre 1.3 g
Fructose 7.6 g
Glucose 7.9 g
Sucrose 0.7 g
Total sugars 16.2 g
Starch 0 g
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 16.2 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 16.2 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.4 g
Citric acid 0 g
Minerals
Calcium (Ca) 2 mg
Iron (Fe) 0.5 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 7 mg
Potassium (K) 150 mg
Sodium (Na) 1 mg
Zinc (Zn) 0.6 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.05 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.07 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.5 mg
Niacin Equivalents 0.68 mg
Alpha carotene 0 ug
Beta carotene 0 ug
Beta carotene equivalents 0 ug
Xanthorhyl 0 ug
Retinol equivalents 0 ug
Vitamin C 49 mg

Source:

NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand) Wills, R.B.H., Lim, J.S.K. and Greenfield, H. (1986) Composition of Australian foods. 31. Tropical and sub-tropical fruit. Food Technology in Australia 38(3):118-123.