Rutaceae in the food context refers to a botanical family of flowering plants known as the citrus or rue family. This diverse plant family includes a wide range of aromatic and flavorful plants, many of which bear fruits commonly used in cooking, flavoring, and beverages. Rutaceae plants are known for their aromatic oils and unique flavor profiles, making them significant contributors to the culinary world.

Application Areas of Rutaceae:

  1. Culinary Uses: Rutaceae plants are primarily used for their fruits and aromatic oils, which are integral to various cuisines around the world. They add flavor and fragrance to dishes, desserts, and beverages.

  2. Beverage Production: Citrus fruits, a prominent member of the Rutaceae family, are widely used in the production of juices, cocktails, and alcoholic beverages. Lemons, limes, and oranges are common choices.

  3. Flavoring Agents: The essential oils extracted from Rutaceae plants are used as natural flavoring agents in food and beverages. For example, orange blossom water and lemon extract.

  4. Traditional Medicine: Some Rutaceae plants are used in traditional medicine and herbal remedies due to their potential health benefits. They may be used for their anti-inflammatory or digestive properties.

Well-Known Examples of Rutaceae:

  1. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, are iconic members of the Rutaceae family. They are enjoyed fresh, used in cooking, and their zest and juice are used in countless recipes.

  2. Bergamot: Bergamot, a small citrus fruit, is known for its aromatic peel, which is used to flavor Earl Grey tea.

  3. Kaffir Lime: The leaves and fruit of the kaffir lime tree are used in Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine for their distinctive citrusy flavor.

Risks Associated with Rutaceae:

  1. Allergies: Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to citrus fruits and essential oils derived from Rutaceae plants. Care should be taken when using these products in cooking or cosmetics.

  2. Photosensitivity: Certain Rutaceae essential oils, such as bergamot oil, can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight and may cause skin reactions if exposed to UV rays.

Popular Rutaceae Recipe - Lemon Butter Shrimp:


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn pink and opaque.
  4. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh parsley.
  6. Serve the lemon butter shrimp over cooked pasta or with crusty bread for dipping.

History and Legal Basics:

The Rutaceae family has a long history of cultivation and use, with citrus fruits being among the earliest cultivated plants. There are no specific legal regulations governing the cultivation and use of Rutaceae plants, but food safety standards and regulations apply to their handling and distribution.

Examples of Sentences:

  • The Rutaceae family includes some of the most widely used culinary plants globally.
  • Lemons and limes, both belonging to Rutaceae, are indispensable in many cuisines.
  • The aromatic oils derived from Rutaceae plants enhance the flavor of various dishes.

Similar Things or Synonyms:

  • Citrus Family
  • Rue Family
  • Citrus Plants


Rutaceae, the citrus or rue family of flowering plants, encompasses a diverse array of aromatic and flavorful plants, many of which play a vital role in culinary applications. Citrus fruits, in particular, are beloved for their use in cooking, flavoring, and beverages worldwide. The essential oils extracted from Rutaceae plants add unique flavors and fragrances to dishes and products across various industries. While Rutaceae plants offer a wealth of culinary possibilities, individuals with allergies or sensitivities should exercise caution, and some essential oils may increase skin sensitivity to sunlight. Overall, Rutaceae plants continue to be treasured for their contributions to the world of food and flavor.

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