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Tru-Cape apples and pears

Microscopics found on raw fruit essential to human health.

Not only are apples delicious but they are also proven to be good for us. And, according to a recently published study, The microbiome and resistome of apple fruits alter in the post-harvest period, by Birgit Wassermann, Ahmed Abdelfattah, Henry Müller, Lise Korsten and Gabriele Berg, the benefits are not diminished by storage.

Lise Korsten, a Professor and Co-Director of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of Pretoria, says the study shows that the well-described beneficial microbes are prevalent on apples. “From other studies, several species have been described as benefitting the gut microbiome contributing to health and wellness. So the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, is actually so true. In our paper, we showed these populations are prevalent on our locally-produced apples.

“It has also been shown in other studies that these core favourable microbiome populations enhance nutrient absorption in the gut and one can thus draw parallels between fresh apples favouring a healthy gut microbiome versus other food products such as processed food, often devoid of healthy microbes and thus not contributing to the maintenance of a healthy gut,” Korsten says.

Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing is the largest exporter of South African apples and pears and is a business wholly owned by apple and pear growers. Tru-Cape’s Henk Griessel is Quality Manager and responsible for ensuring the best quality fruit is packed into Tru-Cape bags. “As people passionate about apples and pears any studies that can help promote eating more apples and pears specifically, and more fresh fruit and vegetables in general, is a good thing. But, what this study also suggests is that the growing trend favouring plant-based eating is also more than only a fad. Science now shows us that we get more from eating raw and fresh fruit and vegetables than only the sum of their nutrients and that the positive role the microscopic organisms play in our gut microbiome is increasingly important for our health. Perhaps the time is now to promote eating two or more apples a day to keep the doctor away!” Griessel ends.

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