This is the healthiest part of the apple, according to study

apple
Credit: Charles Rondeau/public domain

Love munching on apples? You could be missing out on the best part of the fruit, according to a new report.

Researchers from Graz University of Technology in Austria recently conducted a study, published in the Frontiers of Microbiology journal, to explore how the food's bacteria, much of which promotes gut health, affects the human body.

To do so, they assessed the bacterial content of the different components of an , including the stem, peel, fruit pulp, seeds, and calyx. They examined both organic and conventional store-bought apples.

After analyzing the results, they found a typical 240g organic or conventional apple contains around 100 million bacteria, and much of it is located in the fruit's core, particularly the seeds. Only 10 million live in the flesh.

"To the heroes among you who eat the whole apple: besides extra fiber, flavonoids and flavor, you're also quaffing 10 times as many bacteria per as your core-discarding counterparts," the authors said in a statement.

But have an edge over the conventional ones, because they "harbor a more diverse and balanced bacterial community—which could make them healthier and tastier than conventional apples, as well as better for the environment," the team said.

apple fruit
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

For example, Escherichia shigella, which includes known pathogens, was found in most of the conventional apples but not the organic ones. Lactobacilli, which is a type of probiotic, was found in most organic apples but not conventional ones. And methylobacterium, known to enhance the biosynthesis of strawberry flavor compounds, was more prominent in organic apples.

The scientists now hope to continue their investigations to better understand the makeup of other fruits.

"The microbiome and antioxidant profiles of fresh produce may one day become standard nutritional information, displayed alongside macronutrients, vitamins and minerals to guide consumers," the scientists concluded. "Here, a key step will be to confirm to what extent diversity in the food translates to gut microbial diversity and improved health outcomes."


Explore further

An apple carries about 100 million bacteria—good luck washing them off

©2019 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: This is the healthiest part of the apple, according to study (2019, August 5) retrieved 21 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-08-healthiest-apple.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
129 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Aug 06, 2019
I've been deliberately not eating them because I was told the seeds naturally coat themselves in cyanide as a pest repellent and it will upset your stomach/generally be bad (even in small amounts over time). I never investigated any this tho

Aug 06, 2019
I've been deliberately not eating them because I was told the seeds naturally coat themselves in cyanide as a pest repellent and it will upset your stomach/generally be bad (even in small amounts over time). I never investigated any this tho


Apples, almonds, cherries, and other fruits have amygdalin in their pits/seeds. This degrades into cyanide but is nowhere near a high enough dose to effect a human.

Aug 06, 2019
I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna eat apple cores, organic or commercial. Get over it.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more