Your organic apples are crawling with millions of bacteria

How do you like them apples?

Apples growing in an orchard at Hopewell Furnace in Pennsylvania. (Photo via National Park Service)
Apples growing in an orchard at Hopewell Furnace in Pennsylvania. (Photo via National Park Service)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The next time you bite into a succulent organic apple, know that you are sinking your teeth into a fruit that carries about 100 million bacteria. 

But don’t let that alarm you. The various types of extra bacteria found in organic apples could make them healthier and tastier than conventional apples in addition to helping the environment.

A new study published in Frontiers in Microbiology shows organic apples are home to a more diverse and balanced bacterial community, which is a good thing for your taste buds and well-being.

"The bacteria, fungi and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut," said Professor Gabriele Berg, of Graz University of Technology, Austria, one of the study's authors. "Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veggies are particularly important sources of gut microbes."

Conventional apple samples harbored bad bacteria called escherichia-shigella, but it was absent in organic apples, which also contained an abundance of beneficial lactobacilli probiotics.

Interestingly, you will get 10 times more helpful microbes if you eat the whole apple: including core, flesh, and seeds.

But the seeds contain cyanide. As dangerous as that sounds, the doses within the seeds are so minute that the body can easily detoxify them without any side-effects.

And you might actually be right if you think organic produce tastes better.

"Methylobacterium, known to enhance the biosynthesis of strawberry flavor compounds, was significantly more abundant in organic apples; here especially on peel and flesh samples, which in general had a more diverse microbiota than seeds, stem or calyx," Professor Berg said.

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