Apple Nutrition
Apples (Malus domestica)
There are 7,500 varieties of apples in the world. Out of the 2500 varieties produced in the US, there are 100 varieties that are grown commercially.

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Apples are loaded with soluble and insoluble fibers in the skin and flesh that have many health benefits
The antioxidants in apples improve immune response by promoting healthy cell production.and protecting from free radicals
Apples are a good source of anti inflammatory nutrients such as quercetin
Studies have shown that the naturally occurring compounds in apples have cancer fighting properties
The soluble fiber, pectin and other nutrients in apples help lower cholesterol improving circulation and heart function. Apples also are a good source of polyphenols which have been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of atherosclerosis and stroke.
The soluble fiber in apples promotes the feeling of fullness without too many calories. The compounds in apples that improve digestion helps prevent obesity.
Soluble fibers promote healthy gut bacteria and short-chain fatty acids that help with digestion. Insoluble fibers help food move through the digestive system. The fibers line the stomach providing gastrointestinal protection. This may protect against injury from NSAID painkillers.

Compounds in apple juice have a positive effect on neurotransmitters in the brain that improve memory, prevent cognitive decline and may slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease
The antioxidants, calcium and other minerals in apples help strengthen and preserve bone mass.
The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities of nutrients in apples such as quercetin help regulate how the immune system responds and help reduce the symptoms of allergies and asthma. Individuals with asthma that are sensitive to sulfites may want to avoid dried apples that can worsen asthma symptoms
the fiber and polyphenol antioxidants in apples are known to help prevent type 2 diabetes

Where Apples are Grown

Apples are considered one of the most popular fruits in the world.

China is the largest producer of apples, producing 44 million tons produced annually. (USDA)(WA)

Poland rapidly increased the apple production to 3.6 million tons in 2016 making them the third largest producer in the world.

Other apple producing nations are are Turkey (2.93), India (2.87), Iran(2.8), Italy (2.45), Russia (1.84), France (1.8), and Chile (1.76)

The USA is the 2nd largest producer of apples with approximately 58% of apples produced in Washington, 11% in New York, 8% in Michigan, 5% in Pennsylvania, 4% in California and 2% in Virginia

In Season

Apples are available from late July through early November. Gala, Macoun, and McIntosh are ready in September.

Economic Impact

Chinese consumed the majority of their apples domestically and exported approximately 1million tonnes in 2015-16 which did not have a significant effect on the market due to price inflation. China imported 100thousand metric tons. Apples are an important source revenue for the agriculture industry in China.

Turkey exported about 128 thousand tons of apples to Russia, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and other countries.

The USA exported 1.9 million tons of apples once markets opened. The USA had a 24% increase in imported apples bringing in about 1.8 million metric tons in 2016.

Environmental Impact

In most cases, apple orchards are expected to produce for up to 100 years and do not require constant deforestation or slash and burn agriculture.

Studies show that apple orchards may affect deep soil water supply after10 years. In general, renewable agriculture practices can reduce the amount of water and irrigation needed.
Apples are susceptible to a number of pests. Over 80% of apples have been found to have pesticide residue. Innovations are needed to find less toxic methods of pest control.

Fertilizer is regularly added to most apple orchards in order to boost production. The trees uptake of nitrogen is low, so nutrient run off can be high if not well managed. The fertilizer applications can cause nitrous oxide emissions and point source pollution that impact the environment, especially in areas that are not regulated.. Efforts are being assessed on how to minimize the use of fertilizer and pollution.
Farm equipment, transportation, and fertilizer applications can contribute to green house gas emissions. Apple trees also capture carbon from the atmosphere and may help.

Social Impact

Apple production creates jobs and makes significant contributions to the economies where they are grown. Because of their widespread popularity, apples are part of the diet and traditional foods of many cultures. As a nutritious fruit, it has many health benefits and can help prevent malnutrition and other health concerns. Because apple production is a mature industry and widely available, it is not prone to steep volatility that causes booms and busts that can adversely affect cultures. Apples contribute to food security and food equity in the communities where they are grown. Changing trade policies and heavy agriculture equipment can favor large scale commercial producers over smaller farms. In general, apples have not been linked to major social problems.

How can apple production be done more sustainably?

How can apples be used to help food equity?

Nutrition Facts Infographic

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Where Grown


Environmental Impact

Social Impact