An apple is a fruit that is harvested from an apple tree (Malus domestica). Apple trees are the most commonly grown species in the Malus genus and are found all over the world. The tree’s wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, can still be found in Central Asia today. If grown from seed, apple trees can grow to be very tall. Apple cultivars are more often propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which limit the size of the resulting tree. Apple cultivars number in the thousands, resulting in a wide variety of desirable characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for different tastes and uses, such as cooking, consuming raw, and making cider. Trees and fruit are susceptible to a variety of fungal, bacterial, and pest issues that can be managed using a variety of organic and non-organic methods.
Apples are a popular fruit that are high in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients. They can help prevent a variety of health conditions due to their varied nutrient content. Apples come in a variety of sizes, colours, and flavors, and they provide a variety of nutrients that can improve a person’s health in a variety of ways.
The apple tree is a deciduous tree that grows to a height of 2 to 4.5 meters (6 to 15 feet) in cultivation and up to 9 meters (30 feet) in the wild. Rootstock collection and trimming process assess the height, form, and branch density of cultivated plants. The leaves are dark green, simple ovals with serrated margins and slightly downy undersides that are alternately arranged.
Blossoms are formed on spurs and some long shoots in the spring, at the same time as the leaves are budding. Flowers are white with a pink tinge that disappears over time, five petaled, and have a cyme with 4–6 flowers in a 3–4 cm (1–12 in) inflorescence. The “king bloom” is the inflorescence’s center flower; it opens first and will produce a larger fruit.
The fruit ripens in the late summer or early fall, and cultivars come in a variety of sizes.Ripe apples’ skin is typically crimson, yellow, green, pink, or russetted, but there are many bi- or tri-colored cultivars available. The skin may also be fully or partially russeted, which means it is rugged and brown. A protective film of epicuticular wax coats the flesh. The exocarp (flesh) is usually a pale yellowish-white color, but pink or yellow exocarps can also be found.
Types (Species) of Apple
There are dozens and dozens of apple types, varieties or species. The following are the most popular varieties:
Lady Alice Apples
Pink is a color that a lot of us are used to. The apple family has more than just lady apples. Lady Alice apples were discovered emerging in Washington, due to bee pollination. They happen to be somewhat smaller and stouter than other varieties. From stem to butte, their skin tends to have red and yellow lines. They have a soft flavor with a tangy end.
Hidden Rose Apples
When you discover a hidden rose apple, it’s a real treat (primarily available in October and November). Hidden rose apples are good to bake and cook with because they have a tart taste and a touch of sugar. Their name comes from their rose-colored skin and flesh, which is blushed with yellow undertones.
These apples are delicate and tasty, and their history is a mystery since they were found growing uncontrolled in the wild. They’re mainly buttery yellow with red patches on them. They’re a little sweeter and less acidic, with a hint of honey.
The Jonagold is a hybrid between a tart Jonathan apple and a soft Golden Delicious apple. Their skin is thick, yellow, and gray, with red spots and blush.
Empire apples are the offspring of a hybrid between McIntosh and Red Delicious apples. They have dense, dark red skin and a firm feel overall. Empires have a sweet and sour flavor about them.
You may not be used to seeing McIntosh apples in your shop, since they are another kind that is better eaten raw. They’re mild, with a good mix of sweet and sour. Since it isn’t as strong as other kinds, it’s better eaten fresh or diced up in a salad or slaw.
When making apple sauce, this is the first option. Gravensteins are tart rather than soft, so they can counteract the flavor of the pie crust and applesauce sugar.
When compared to lighter-hued apples like Honeycrisp or Gala, Liberty apples are deep red, a maroon color that sticks out. They’re mainly soft, with touches of melon and tartness. You would not be disappointed if you use them in your pie filling.
Pacific Rose Apples
You’ll be attracted to the Pacific Rose apple if you like the rosy skin on pink lady apples. Its skin is a lovely pink color. It’s also a big apple, which makes it much more noticeable. When you slice into it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its sweet taste and crisp texture.
Opal apples resemble Golden Delicious apples at first glance. They are, though, a bit more orange. They have a sweet and tangy flavor that makes them a great addition to every dish or eaten fresh. The most interesting thing about opal apples is that they are starting to tan. Not quite a smidgeon!
With their lopsided appearance, these apples can seem a little rough around the edges compared to other varieties, but they have a fantastic flavor. A powerful, tangy taste balances out the sweetness and honey-like flavor at first.
Winesap apples, as their name implies, veer away from sweetness and toward tartness. Winesaps are like a zingy drink of wine that leaves you curious, with only a touch of sweetness and sugar. They’re an excellent choice for making cider.
Granny Smith Apples
The bright green superstar apple is the Granny Smith. They’re crisp and a little tart, so they go well with sweet dips and savory dishes. The months of October and November are the busiest for them. They’re a really versatile kitchen ingredient because they’re firm and have tough skin.
Fuji apples are a close relative to red delicious apples and bring a touch of flavor. They have a milder taste, making them ideal for adding a little something extra to dishes without overpowering the other ingredients. They’re best served raw in salads, slaws, and sauces.
Pink Lady Apples
Pink lady apples are tart at first, but sweeten up when you eat them. You’ll get the best of both worlds because they must meet strict sugar and acid requirements. You might see pink lady apples named Cripps in stores if they don’t meet the right criteria. It’s the same apple that didn’t meet the sugar, acid, or firmness requirements.
This super crisp apple has the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and juicy flesh, making it a famous autumn pick. The skin is blush red with green undertones. Producers must temper them at a low temperature before refrigerating them, which drives up the price. Apple cider is sometimes made with the juice. It keeps its shape well when cooked in cakes, savory dishes, or pureed for sauces.
Envy apples are large, round, and reddish-purple in color. Near the stem, you may see a tinge of green. You’ll get a nice crunch when you bite into them because they’re tough. What about flavor, though? These apples are a little on the sweet side.
Gala apples are taller, thinner, and less articulate than other varieties. They’re a light red color with more yellow on the skin than most red varieties, and they’re slightly sweet and crisp on the palate. Although the flavor isn’t particularly good, they make excellent cooking and baking companions.
Pazazz apples have a yellow and red tie-dye effect on their skin (you might say they have pazazz). They’re also likened to an enriched Honeycrisp apple in terms of flavor — often sweet with a trace of tartness.
The taste of jazz apples is sharp and fruity, and the texture is strong. If you’re going to eat one raw, it’s probably better to hack it up rather than bite into it. Expect a mild, fruity taste that isn’t too acidic.
Red Delicious Apples
Red Delicious apples are delicious, but they have a very mild, plain taste that doesn’t stand out when cooked into dishes or used in pies. As a result, they’re better enjoyed as a standalone snack. They have a tendency to be top-heavy.
These are native to New Zealand, so you won’t see them too much. Braeburn apples have a strong, crisp texture and a dark, red skin (similar to gala apples). Each bite has a perfect sweet-tart balance, and they’re better cooked or eaten raw.
Cameo apples have a yellow background and red stripes. They’re renowned for their thick flesh and being slender and fragile. They have a lemon taste and a hint of sugar to them. Beginning in the autumn, you will normally find them at retail shops until early spring.
Holsteins are a rare breed with a short buying window in late September. The Holstein apple has a beautiful orange blush. In terms of flavor, it strikes a good balance between sweet and tart. Cooking, baking, and eating raw are all options.
Golden Delicious Apples
Golden Delicious apples are smooth and have a thin skin, unlike Red Delicious apples. This is one combination you’ll want to consume or freeze right away. You may use them to bake, cook in, or eat raw.
Historical Background (Origin) of Apple
Malus sieversii is a morphologically related species to the cultivated apple and is recognised as a major progenitor species. Central Asia is widely regarded as the center of production for apples due to its genetic diversity. With hybridization and introgression of wild crabapples from Siberia (M. baccata), the Caucasus (M. orientalis), and Europe, the apple is believed to have been domesticated 4000–10000 years ago in the Tian Shan mountains and then traveled up the Silk Road to Europe (M. sylvestris). The scattered people on the eastern side of the Tian Shan mountains added genetically to the domesticated apple, but only the M. sieversii trees growing on the western side did.
Chinese dessert apples, such as Malus asiatica and Malus prunifolia, have been grown in China for over 2000 years. In Kazakhstan, these are considered to be hybrids of M. baccata and M. sieversii.
Size, fruit acidity, colour, firmness, and soluble sugar are some of the traits that human growers look for. The wild M. sieversii origin is just marginally smaller than the modern domesticated apple, which is unusual for domesticated fruits.
Seeds from some kind of apple have been discovered in material carbon dated to about 4000 BCE at the Sammardenchia-Cueis site near Udine in Northeastern Italy.
The use of genetic analysis to decide if such ancient apples were wild Malus sylvestris or Malus domesticus with Malus sieversii ancestors has yet to be accurate. It’s also difficult to tell the difference between foraged wild apples and apple plantations in the archeological record.
In the third millennium BCE, there is indirect evidence of apple cultivation in the Middle East. In classical antiquity, there was a lot of apple growing, and grafting was definitely a thing. Grafting is a necessary aspect of modern domesticated apple production in order to cultivate the best cultivars; when apple tree grafting was invented is unknown.
Winter apples have long been a popular food in Asia and Europe, picked in late autumn and stored at just above freezing temperatures. Apple trees, among the many Old World plants brought to the Chiloé Archipelago by the Spanish in the 16th century, adapted particularly well. In the 17th century, colonists took apples to North America, and Reverend William Blaxton planted the world’s first apple orchard in Boston in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, also known as “common apples.”
Apple cultivars brought from Europe as seed were disseminated through Native American trade routes and planted on colonial farms. A nursery catalogue from 1845 in the United States of America sold 350 of the “best” cultivars, demonstrating the abundance of modern North American cultivars by the early nineteenth century. Irrigation ventures in Eastern Washington started in the twentieth century, allowing for the growth of a multibillion-dollar fruit industry, with the apple as the leading crop.
Farmers preserved apples in frostproof cellars for their own use or for export until the twentieth century. Fresh apple transportation by train and road has eliminated the need for storage. Apples are kept fresh all year in controlled environment facilities. To keep fruit fresh, managed atmosphere facilities use high humidity, low oxygen, and controlled carbon dioxide levels. They were first seen in the 1960s in the United States.
Nutritional (Composition) Value of Apple
Apples are very nutritious, one raw, unpeeled, medium-sized apple (100 grams) contain Calories (52grams), Water (86%), Protein (0.3 grams), Carbohydrates (13.8 grams), Sugar (10.4 grams), Fiber (2.4 grams) and Fat (0.2 grams).
Carbohydrates and water make up the most of an apple’s composition. Simple sugars like fructose, sucrose, and glucose abound throughout them. Their glycemic index (GI) is modest, ranging from 29 to 44, despite their high carbohydrate and sugar content. The GI is a measurement of how diet influences the increase of blood sugar levels after a meal. Low values are linked to a variety of health benefits. Fruits have a low GI score due to their high fiber and polyphenol content.
Apples have a high fiber content. This nutrient is contained in around 4 grams per medium-sized apple (100 grams), which is 17 percent of the Daily Value (DV). Pectin, an insoluble and soluble fiber, accounts for a majority of their fiber. Soluble fiber is linked to a slew of health effects, thanks to the fact that it feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Fiber will also make you feel fuller and lose weight by lowering blood sugar levels and improving digestion.
Apples contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, but not in large quantities. Apples, on the other hand, are usually high in vitamin C. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a natural antioxidant found in fruits. It’s an essential dietary ingredient for a variety of roles in your body. Potassium is the most abundant mineral in apples, and it has been shown to be beneficial to heart health when ingested in high amount.
Apples are rich in antioxidant plant compounds, which are responsible for many of the health benefits they provide. This include quercetin (a nutrient found in many plant foods that has been shown in animal studies to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, and antidepressant effects), catechin (a natural antioxidant found in large amounts in green tea and has been shown to improve brain and muscle function in animal studies), and chlorogenic acid (a nutrient found in many plant foods that has been shown in animal studies to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, and antidepressant effects) (found in coffee, chlorogenic acid has been found to lower blood sugar and cause weight loss in some studies).
Health Benefits of Apple
Apples are one of the most often consumed fruits, and for good cause. They’re a super-healthy fruit with a slew of research-backed advantages. The following are just a few of the many health benefits that apples have.
High Nutrition Level
1.5 cups of fruit equals a medium apple with a diameter of around 3 inches (7.6 centimeters). On a 2,000-calorie diet, two cups of fruit per day is advised. One medium apple (6.4 ounces or 182 grams) contains 95 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 14 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin C, potassium (6 percent of the RDI), and vitamin K. (5 percent of the RDI). Manganese, zinc, and vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6 all have 2–4% of the RDI in the same meal. Apples are high in polyphenols as well. Although these plant compounds aren’t listed on nutrition labels, they’re likely to be responsible for much of the health benefits. Keep the skin on apples if you want to get the most fiber and polyphenols out of them.
Apples are high in fiber and water, both of which help them fill you up. Before a meal, people who ate apple slices felt fuller than those who ate applesauce, apple juice, or no apple products. Those who began their meal with apple slices consumed 200 fewer calories on average than those who did not. Some of the natural compounds found in them aid in weight loss. People who took ground apple and apple juice concentrate supplements loss more weight and had lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
The consumption of apples has been attributed to a reduced risk of heart disease. One reason could be that apples contain soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties, are also present. The peel contains a high concentration of these. Epicatechin, a flavonoid, is one of these polyphenols that may help to lower blood pressure. High flavonoid intake has been linked to a lower risk of stroke. Flavonoids lower blood pressure, reduce “bad” LDL oxidation, and act as antioxidants, both of which can help prevent heart disease. Eating an apple a day has been shown to reduce the risk of death from heart disease.
Apple consumption reduces the chance of type 2 diabetes. When compared to not consuming any apples, eating an apple a day was related to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Even a few apples per week had a comparable level of protection. It’s likely that the polyphenols in apples protect beta cells in the pancreas from tissue injury. Beta cells in the body contain insulin and are often impaired in people with type 2 diabetes.
Pectin, a form of fiber that serves as a prebiotic, is found in apples. This means it nourishes the gut’s beneficial bacteria. Fiber is not absorbed by the small intestine during digestion. Instead, it travels to the colon, where it can help healthy bacteria thrive. It also breaks down into other beneficial components, which flow back into the bloodstream. This may be the cause for some of apples’ anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, and anti-heart disease attributes.
Apples contain plant components that have been related to a reduced risk of cancer. Consuming apples has also been linked to a lower incidence of cancer mortality. Their apparent cancer-preventive benefits may be attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Fight against Asthma
Apples are high in antioxidants, which serve to shield the lungs from oxidative harm. People who eat apples on a daily basis have the lowest asthma risk. A daily apple consumption has been related to a reduced risk of this disease. The flavonoid quercetin found in apple skin can help control the immune system and reduce inflammation. These are two possible effects on asthma and allergic reactions.
Improves Bone Health
Protects against Stomach Injury From NSAIDs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a form of pain reliever that can damage the stomach lining. Apple protects stomach cells from NSAID-induced damage. In this case, two plant compounds found in apples, chlorogenic acid and catechin, are especially beneficial.
Protects the Brain
Apple juice can help with mental deterioration as people get older. The concentration of juice in the brain tissue decreased unhealthy reactive oxygen species (ROS) and slowed behavioral deterioration. Apple juice can aid in the preservation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that declines with age. Low acetylcholine levels have been attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. Whole apples contain the same compounds as apple juice, and eating the fruit whole is always the better option.