Myth busting: Is kiwifruit a citrus fruit?

Myth busting: Is kiwifruit a citrus fruit?

  • Zespri SunGold kiwifruit
  • Vitamin C
  • Zespri Green kiwifruit

Of course not, but you probably knew that already! Thekiwifruit may have some similar qualities to the citrus fruit family, but it is classed as a non-citrus exotic fruit.

Did you know?
When kiwifruit were first brought over to New Zealand from the Far East, people called them “Chinese Gooseberries”
  1. What kiwifruit and citrus fruit have in commonWhy_kiwifruit_might_seem_like_a_citrus_fruit

There are plenty of similarities between kiwifruit, oranges, lemons and limes. For one, you often find kiwifruit growing in places where citrus fruits grow. That’s because they thrive in warm, sunny sub-tropical environments and need lots of water1. What’s more, kiwifruit is very high in vitamin C2,3, a nutrient we often associate with citrus fruits. In fact, Zespri Green kiwifruit contains more vitamin C than oranges / 100 g!2,3

  1. Why kiwifruit and citrus fruit is different1


Citrus fruits contain large quantities of citric acid, which gives them their characteristic sharp, tart taste. Whilst the kiwifruit also contains some acid (which gives it that delicious refreshing flavour), the level is not as high as that found in most citrus fruits. For this reason the kiwifruit is actually considered a non-citrus subtropical fruit, in the same category as the fig and the pomegranate.

  1. Tropical fruit recipes for the whole family


Tropical and sub-tropical fruits like banana and kiwifruit are great for adding an exotic twist to a family meal. You might have used them before in a cake or dessert, but have you ever thought of using them in a different way? The Zespri Banana-Kiwifruit Spring Cake is a surprising combination of sweet and savoury tastes that makes a great breakfast or dessert now that the seasons are changing. So why not try it out today? It will have you dreaming of the tropics in no time!


  1. New Zealand Ministry of Health. New Zealand FOODfiles 2014 Version 01. Available from: (accessed 10 January 2017).
  2. Kader A. and Barrett D. (2004) Classification, Composition of Fruits, and Postharvest Maintenance of Quality. Available online:
  3. USDA national nutrient database for standard reference (release 28). 2015. Available from: (accessed 9 January 2017).