Pomelo vs Grapefruit

Pomelos and grapefruits are citrus fruits that you may have already encountered if you enjoy them. Despite having a similar appearance, these two fruits differ significantly in taste, appearance, and nutritional value. In this post, we’ll compare the two fruits side by side and examine their distinctive qualities.

Juicy grapefruit pieces with fresh mint in a bowl, close up

Pomelos, which may reach a diameter of 10 inches, are the biggest citrus fruit.

They can have flesh that is either pale yellow, pink, or red, and they have a thick rind that is any color between pale yellow and green.

Contrarily, grapefruits are smaller and often have a vivid orange rind that is thinner.

Depending on the species, their flesh might be white, pink, or red. Although both fruits are great providers of vitamin C, their nutritional profiles are distinct.

Key Takeaways

  • Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit and have a thick rind that ranges in color from pale yellow to green, while grapefruits are smaller and have a thinner rind that’s typically bright orange.
  • Both fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, but they have different nutritional profiles.
  • Pomelos and grapefruits have unique flavor profiles and are used in different ways in culinary applications.

Understanding Pomelo

Pomelos are citrus fruits that are indigenous to Southeast Asia, in case you’re wondering what they are.

Thailand Siam ruby pomelo fruit

It is also referred to as a shaddock, pamplemousse, and pummelo. Pomelos have a diameter ranging from 6 to 10 inches, making them larger than grapefruits.

In January 2023, Japan had its biggest pomelo harvest. It was greater than 12 pounds in weight and had a diameter of more than 10 inches.

Pomelos have a thicker rind than grapefruits with a yellow to light green color. Depending on the type, the flesh ranges from a pale yellow to a pink color.

The flesh has a texture like grapefruit, although it is sweeter and less astringent.

When compared to grapefruits, pomelos have a softer flavor with a trace of sweetness and a faintly acidic aftertaste.

According to The Kitchn, the flavor is frequently compared to a grapefruit and a pear.

Potassium, fiber, and vitamin C are all present in pomelos in good amounts.

They also include antioxidants, which can aid in defending your body from the harm that free radicals can do. Pomelos are a calorie-efficient fruit that make a good choice for a snack.

They are also a wise alternative for those wanting to slim down or keep their weight in check Masterclass.

Pomelos are huge citrus fruits with a thick skin and flesh that ranges in color from pale yellow to pink.

They have a softer flavor and are sweeter and less harsh than grapefruits. Pomelos are low in calories and a rich source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.

Understanding Grapefruit

The citrus fruit grapefruit is a product of the Caribbean. It is renowned for its distinctive flavor and refreshing taste.

Fresh raw grapefruit (citrus x paradisi) on wooden background

You should be aware of the following information regarding grapefruit:

  • Appearance: Grapefruits are typically round or oblong in shape and have a light orange to pink rind. The flesh inside can be either white or pink, depending on the variety.
  • Size: Grapefruits are smaller than pomelos, with an average diameter of about 4 inches.
  • Taste: Grapefruit has a tangy, slightly bitter taste. Some people find it too sour, while others enjoy its refreshing flavor.
  • Nutrition: Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and also contains fiber, potassium, and other important nutrients.
  • Health Benefits: Some studies suggest that grapefruit may help with weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
  • Varieties: There are several different varieties of grapefruit, including Ruby Red, Pink, White, and Oro Blanco.

Grapefruit is an all-around tasty and wholesome fruit that can be consumed in a number of ways.

Grapefruit is a fantastic addition to any diet, whether it is consumed alone, as part of a salad, or in a recipe.

Pomelo vs Grapefruit: A Comparative Analysis

Due to their similar appearance and flavor, pomelo and grapefruit are frequently contrasted when discussing citrus fruits.

Pomelo fruit in wooden basket on blur garden background,

But you should be aware of a few significant differences between the two.


Pomelos often have a yellow to light green rind and are larger than grapefruits. On the other hand, the rind of grapefruits ranges from light orange to pink.

Pomelo flesh is often light in color, but grapefruit flesh is typically red or pink.


When opposed to grapefruits, which may be fairly sour and bitter, pomelos have a gentler and sweeter flavor.

Pomelos have a thicker rind and pith than grapefruits, but they are also less juicy.

Nutritional Value

Both fruits are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and other vital vitamins and minerals.

Pomelos, however, often have less sugar and calories than grapefruits.

Here is a brief comparison of the nutritional content of grapefruits and pomelos:

NutrientPomelo (per 100g)Grapefruit (per 100g)
Vitamin C61% of DV52% of DV
Potassium5% of DV3% of DV

Culinary Uses

Pomelo fruit and grapefruit fruit can both be consumed on their own or in a number of recipes.

While grapefruits are frequently used in juices and drinks, pomelos are frequently utilized in salads.

Both fruits’ rinds can be used to produce candied peel or marmalade.

In conclusion, pomelos and grapefruits have some significant variances while having a similar appearance and flavor.

Both fruits are loaded with important nutrients and can be eaten in a variety of ways, whether you prefer the mild sweetness of a pomelo or the tart bitterness of a grapefruit.

Health Benefits

Pomelo and grapefruit both include a wealth of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can enhance your health in a variety of ways.

Many sliced fresh grapefruits as background, top view

Here are a few of these citrus fruits’ health advantages:

1. Boosts Immune System

Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps strengthen the immune system by shielding the body from damaging free radicals, is abundant in both pomelos and grapefruits.

You can get more than 100% of the daily required amount of vitamin C from one pomelo or grapefruit.

2. Improves Digestion

Pomelo and grapefruit both contain a lot of fiber, which helps with digestion and prevents constipation.

Additionally, fiber lowers the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and helps control blood sugar levels.

3. Promotes Heart Health

Low in calories and high in potassium, pomelos and grapefruits can help lower blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease.

They also include flavonoids, which can aid in enhancing circulation and lowering inflammatory responses in the body.

4. Supports Weight Loss

Pomelo and grapefruit are both low in calories and high in fiber, so they are both great additions to a diet plan for losing weight.

They can assist you in feeling fuller longer and help you avoid overeating.

5. May Reduce Cancer Risk

Limonoids, which are found in pomelos and grapefruits, have been demonstrated to have anti-cancer properties.

These substances may aid in limiting the development and spread of cancer cells within the body.

In general, adding pomelos and grapefruits to your diet can have a number of positive effects on your health.

They are tasty and adaptable fruits that may be eaten in a variety of ways, including raw eating, salads, and desserts.

Culinary Uses

Pomelo and grapefruit both offer a wide range of culinary applications and ways to enjoy them.

Siamese pomegranate pomelo thai fruit

These citrus fruits can be used in your cookery in the following ways:

  • Juice: Both pomelos and grapefruits can be juiced and used in cocktails, smoothies, and other beverages. Grapefruit juice is often used in diet plans as it is believed to help with weight loss. Pomelo juice is also popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, and is often mixed with honey and ginger for a refreshing drink.
  • Salads: Pomelos and grapefruits are often used in salads, as their tart and tangy flavors can add a refreshing contrast to other ingredients. Pomelos are especially popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, and are often paired with shrimp, chicken, or avocado in salads.
  • Marmalade: Both pomelos and grapefruits can be used to make marmalade, a sweet and tangy spread that is often enjoyed on toast or scones. Grapefruit marmalade is especially popular in the UK, where it is often made with pink grapefruit.
  • Sauces: Pomelos and grapefruits can be used to make sauces for meats and fish. Grapefruit sauce is often used with salmon, while pomelo sauce is popular in Thai cuisine and is often paired with pork or chicken.
  • Desserts: Both pomelos and grapefruits can be used in desserts, such as sorbets, cakes, and pies. Pomelo is often used in Southeast Asian desserts, such as pomelo sago, a sweet and creamy dessert made with pomelo, sago pearls, and coconut milk.

In general, grapefruits and pomelos are adaptable citrus fruits that can be employed in a wide range of culinary applications.

These citrus fruits are a terrific addition to any kitchen, whether you want to make a sweet and tangy marmalade or add a refreshing tang to your salads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Juicy grapefruit pieces with fresh mint in a bowl

What is the difference in size between pomelos and grapefruits?

Pomelos are much larger than grapefruits. On average, pomelos can be anywhere between 7 to 10 inches in diameter, while grapefruits are usually about 4 to 6 inches in diameter. If you’re looking for a larger fruit with more flesh to enjoy, pomelos are the way to go.

How do pomelos and grapefruits differ in taste?

Pomelos are less acidic than grapefruits and have a milder, sweeter taste. Grapefruits, on the other hand, are tart and tangy, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. If you prefer a sweeter taste, go for pomelos, but if you like tartness, grapefruits are the way to go.

Are pomelos and grapefruits nutritionally similar?

Both fruits contain nearly your entire daily value of vitamin C. However, pomelos are higher in potassium and fiber than grapefruits. Pomelos also contain a compound called naringin, which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Can you eat the skin of a pomelo or grapefruit?

You can technically eat the skin of a pomelo or grapefruit, but it’s not recommended as it can be tough and bitter. The flesh of the fruit is the most enjoyable part to eat.

How do you prepare and eat pomelos and grapefruits?

To prepare a pomelo or grapefruit, cut off the ends of the fruit and then cut away the skin and pith with a sharp knife. Then, slice the fruit into segments and enjoy. You can also juice pomelos and grapefruits for a refreshing drink or use the segments in salads or desserts.

Fresh peeled pomelo, grapefruit, shaddock with green leaves on dark wooden plank table


In conclusion, pomelos and grapefruits are both citrus fruits that have clear variances as well as some commonalities. Here are some salient conclusions:

  • Size and color: Pomelos are larger than grapefruits and have a greenish-yellow color, while grapefruits are smaller and have a pink or red color.
  • Taste and texture: Pomelos have a milder, sweeter taste with a thicker rind and less juicy flesh, while grapefruits have a tangier, more bitter taste with a thinner rind and more juicy flesh.
  • Nutritional value: Both fruits are high in vitamin C and fiber, but pomelos are also a good source of potassium while grapefruits have more vitamin A and folate.
  • Uses: Both fruits can be eaten fresh, juiced, or used in recipes, but grapefruits are more commonly used in salads and cocktails while pomelos are often used in Asian cuisine.

Personal preference ultimately determines which fruit is preferable when deciding between pomelos and grapefruits.

Choose a pomelo if you want something sweeter and bigger. Choose a grapefruit if you prefer a tangier flavor and more varied usage.

Whichever fruit you select, both are excellent additions to your diet that are both healthful and delicious.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.