Wednesday August 21, 2019

An Apple Contains 100 Million Bacteria! Are These Microbes Good for You?

The majority of the bacteria are in the seeds, with the flesh accounting for most of the remainder

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An apple a day is 100mn bacteria for your gut. Wikimedia Commons

Next time when you eat an apple for extra fibre, flavonoids and flavour, remember that you are also gulping down about 100 million bacteria, and whether these are good or bad microbes may depend on how the apples were grown.

Most microbes are inside the apple but the strains depend on which bits you eat, and whether you go organic, say researchers, adding that organically-grown apples harbour more diverse and balanced bacteria which make them healthier and tastier than conventional apples.

“The bacteria, fungi and viruses in our food transiently colonise our gut. Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and vegetable are particularly important sources of gut microbes,” said Professor Gabriele Berg from Graz University of Technology in Austria.

apple, bacteria
The majority of the bacteria are in the seeds, with the flesh accounting for most of the remainder. Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, compared the bacteria in conventional store-bought apples with those in visually-matched fresh organic ones. Stem, peel, flesh, seeds and calyx — the straggly bit at the bottom where the flower used to be — were analyzed separately. Overall, the organic and conventional apples were occupied by similar numbers of bacteria.

“Putting together the average for each apple component, we estimate a typical 240-gram apple contains roughly 100 million bacteria,” Berg informed. The majority of the bacteria are in the seeds, with the flesh accounting for most of the remainder. So, if you discard the core, your intake falls to nearer 10 million.

The question is: Are these bacteria good for you? “Freshly harvested, organically-managed apples harbour a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community, compared to conventional ones,” explained Berg. Specific groups of bacteria known for health-affecting potential also weighed in favour of organic apples.

apple, bacteria
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, compared the bacteria in conventional store-bought apples with those in visually-matched fresh organic ones. Wikimedia Commons

“Escherichia-Shigella — a group of bacteria that includes known pathogens — was found in most of the conventional apple samples, but none from organic apples. For beneficial Lactobacilli — of probiotic fame — the reverse was true,” said the researchers.

ALSO READ: To Protect Grains from Drought, Australia Searches for Climate-Proof Crops

Methylobacterium, known to enhance the biosynthesis of strawberry flavour compounds, was significantly more abundant in organic apples, “especially on peel and flesh samples, which in general had a more diverse microbiota than seeds, stem or calyx”, said the researchers.

The results also mirrored findings on fungal communities in apples. “Our results agree remarkably with a recent study on the apple fruit associated fungal community, which revealed specificity of fungal varieties to different tissues and management practices,” said Birgit Wasserman, lead author of the study. (IANS)

Next Story

Apple Commits $6 Billion to Its Original TV Shows and Movies Budget for Its Upcoming Apple TV+ Service

One comedy-drama called "The Morning Show", featuring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell, has cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars

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This is a huge jump in Apple's budget for original shows as the company earlier set aside $1 billion for bringing renowned creators and actors to its platform, The Verge reported on Monday. Pixabay

In a bid to give over-the-top streaming services from Netflix, HBO, Amazon and Hulu a run for their money, Apple has committed $6 billion to its original TV shows and movies budget for its upcoming Apple TV+ service, according to a new report from the Financial Times.

This is a huge jump in Apple’s budget for original shows as the company earlier set aside $1 billion for bringing renowned creators and actors to its platform, The Verge reported on Monday.

One comedy-drama called “The Morning Show”, featuring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell, has cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars, said the report quoting the FT.

Apple announced its TV+ service at an event in March. The on-demand subscription service will come with brand new programming from the world’s celebrated artists including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Apple said.

Apple, TV, Shows
In a bid to give over-the-top streaming services from Netflix, HBO, Amazon and Hulu a run for their money, Apple has committed $6 billion to its original TV shows and movies budget. Pixabay

While the company announced that the service will start rolling out from autumn this year, it did not disclose any exact release date or price for the service.

Also Read- NYS Suspects Kabura, Gethi Charged Afresh then Freed on Ksh.300K Bail

The FT report indicates that Apple may release it before Disney+ launches on November 12. (IANS)