1. B. Brouk, Plants Consumed by Man, Academic Press, New York, 1975.

2. The L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Hortus III, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., 1976.

3. C. E. Bueso, Soursop, Tamarind, and Chironja, in S. Nagy and P. E. Shaw, eds., Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, AVI, Westport, Conn., 1980, pp. 375-406.

4. D. Kimball, "Grapefruits, Lemons, and Limes," in L. P. Somogyi, D. M. Barrett, and Y. H. Hui, eds., Processing Fruits: Science and Technology. Major Processed Products, Technomic, Lancaster, Pa., 1996, pp. 305-336.

5. D. Kimball, "Oranges and Tangerines," in L. P. Somogyi, D. M. Barrett, and Y. H. Hui, eds., Processing Fruits: Science and Technology. Major Processed Products, Technomic, Lancaster, Pa., 1996, pp. 265-304.

F. J. Francis Editor-in-Chief University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts


Apples have been known since the beginning of recorded history. The fruit referred to in the Bible by Adam and Eve is thought to be an apple. Apples were very popular in ancient Rome and Greece. Modern apples developed in southwestern Asia in the area from the Caspian to the Black Sea. The Stone Age lake dwellers of central Europe learned to preserve apples by drying them in the sun. The apple was brought to America by the colonists and soon spread across the new continent. The life of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, born in Leominster, Massachusetts, in June 1776, is an American legend. He carried apple seeds with him on his travels west and planted them wherever he went. Apples are the most widely planted of all fruits and are found in nearly all temperate zones around the world (1).

The genus Malus, of the family Rosaceae, contains a number of species and literally hundreds of cultivars of both the edible and ornamental varieties. Large apples are decendants of the species M. pumila, which originated in southwestern Asia, and hybrids with M. sylvestris of Europe. Edible crab apples are derived from M. baccata. Ornamental apples are hybrids of the edible species. The taxonomy of modern cultivated apples is so obscured by centuries of breeding and selection by humans that it is very difficult to assign modern apples to any one species of Malus (2). Botanically, the apple is a pome fruit developed from an inferior ovary and is derived from the ovary wall and the floral tube. The fleshy mesocarp constitutes the main edible portion. The five cavities each contain two seeds.

World production of apples in 1993 was about 40 million metric tons, with the United States contributing about 5 million tons (3). Production is increasing because production in China, Russia, Korea, Poland, and Romania is believed to be underreported. In the United States, about 55% of the apple crop was marketed fresh and 45% processed. Of the processed portion, about 44% was utilized in juice, 26% was canned, 6% was dried, 4% was frozen, and 3% was used in miscellaneous products such as jelly, wine, and vinegar. All of the current cultivars are used to some extent for processing, and some cultivars are grown exclusively for processing; however, most apples used for processing are salvaged from the fresh market.

Apple juice is sold in many forms. Fresh apple juice, or sweet cider, is produced from sound, ripe fruit that has been pressed and bottled. No form of preservation is used other than refrigeration. In the United States, apple cider refers to the fresh juice, but worldwide, it usually means apple juice that has been fermented. Shelf-stable apple juice has been treated with some form of preservation, usually heat treatment. The processed juice can be in several forms: crushed, with a high pulp content; unfiltered, with a lower pulp content; or clarified. The most popular product in the United States has been treated with ascorbic or erythorbic acid to produce a lighter color, depectinized with a pectinase enzyme, and filtered before being pasteurized to produce a clear juice. The manufacture of applesauce is a relatively simple procedure. Apples are washed, sorted, and chopped. Sugar is added, the mixture is cooked, and the skins and seeds are removed with a screen extractor. The puree is then canned or bottled. For sliced apples the fruit is washed, graded, peeled, cored, and sliced. The slices are placed in a container, and a vacuum is applied to remove the air from the slices. The vacuum is broken by injecting a solution of water, salt, ascorbic acid, and/or sugar. The slices are then put into containers, sugar syrup is added, and the containers are steam vacuumed, closed, and thermally processed. For frozen slices, the apple slices are vacuum treated, blanched, put into 35-lb containers, and frozen. For dried apple slices, the slices are prepared as noted previously and treated with sulfur dioxide, or one of its salts, to maintain a light color and to minimize enzymatic activity. Two types are recognized in the United States: Evaporated apple slices have not more than 24% moisture, and dehydrated slices contain not more than 3.5% moisture. A number of specialty products are pro duced from apples, such as glazed apples, spiced crab apples, apple butter, apple jelly, apple vinegar, and baked apples. Apple butter is similar to applesauce except that it is produced with slower heating and the final product is darker in color, more caramelized, and thicker. Apple jelly is made from concentrated apple juice.

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