Florida citrus is typically 25% heavier than citrus grown outside the state. Thinner peels, combined with more juice, account for the weight.
Citrus, even though it is closely identified with Florida, is not native to the state. Historians believe that Ponce de Leon and his men brought the first citrus to Florida during their exploration in 1513.
The earliest groves developed around two important sea ports, St. Augustine and Tampa. In 1806, Count Odet Phillippe, who had left his native France for the new world, introduced grapefruit to Florida. In 1823, he planted the state's first grapefruit grove, near Tampa. But grapefruit did not gain commercial acceptance until the late 1800's.
In 1915 the first citrus processing plant in America was built in Haines City, Florida. Mr. Claude E. Street realized the great waste from 'cull fruit' and began an endeavor that would be profitable for the grower. Mr. Street's company was known as the Florida Fruit Products Company, Inc. His first product was bottled in glass and called "Street's Grapefruit Juice".
Florida citrus is one of the best regulated commodities produced in this country. Through a complex network that includes the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Citrus Commission, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, both Florida fresh citrus and Florida processed juices are under continual inspection, to insure that the consumer gets quality.