Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Apple tree; domestic malus

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Genus of pome fruits (Pyrinae) from the rose family (Rosaceae). These are deciduous trees or shrubs. The fleshy tissue of the apple (Malus), known as the fruit, originates from the flower axis.

General information
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The complex aroma of the apple is composed of numerous substances. The quantitative composition of the apple's aroma substances varies greatly depending on the variety. Essentially, esters, aldehydes and alcohols are involved in the apple aroma. The most important esters include ethyl 2-methyl butyrate, ethyl butyrate, 2-methyl butyl acetate, butyl acetate and hexyl acetate. Hexanal and 2-hexenal belong to the aldehydes, some of which are formed only when crushed or chewed in the mouth by a very rapid enzymatic conversion of fatty acids (taste of green apples, such as Granny Smith). Among the alcohols, 1-butanol, 2-methylbutanol, 1-hexanol and 2-hexenol are important. In Europe, three common apple varieties account for almost 70 % of the total supply on the apple fruit market:
  • Golden Delicious
  • Jonagold
  • red delicious
Other economically important varieties which can be grown at low cost in commercial fruit growing (roughly descending order of economic importance) are Gala, Granny Smith, Elstar, Cox Orange, Schöner from Boskoop, Gloster, Idared.

Clinical picture
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Apples play an important role from an allergological point of view (see apple allergy)

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In fruit growing, the cultivated apple (Malus domestica) is of outstanding importance. Malus domestica is a cultivated form which apparently originated from crossing the wooden apple (Malus sylvestris), which still occurs wild today, with Malus praecox and/or Malus dasyphylia. Its original home may have been in Asia. In addition, some species originating from East Asia with fruits only about the size of cherries, such as the Japanese apple, are planted as ornamental shrubs and trees in temperate climate zones. The oldest documented variety of cultivated apple is probably the Borsdorf apple, which was already mentioned by the Cistercians in 1170. Around 1880 more than 20,000 apple varieties were cultivated worldwide, of which more than 2,300 varieties were cultivated in Prussia alone. Today there are about 1,500 varieties in Germany, but only 60 of these are economically significant.

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Apple allergy;


Last updated on: 29.10.2020