Wednesday November 13, 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 Brings its Wireless AirPods Pro in India

AirPods Pro feature the same great battery life as AirPods with up to five hours of listening time. Through additional charges from the Wireless Charging Case, AirPods Pro deliver over 24 hours of listening time or over 18 hours of talk time

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An Apple company logo is seen behind tree branches outside an Apple store in Beijing, Dec. 14, 2018. VOA

Apple on Wednesday brought its wireless AirPods Pro with active noise cancellation feature for Rs 24,900 to India.

AirPods Pro will be available through Apple Authorised Resellers on Apple devices running iOS 13.2 or later, iPadOS 13.2 or later, watchOS 6.1 or later, tvOS 13.2 or later, or macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.

AirPods with charging case are available for Rs 14,900 and AirPods with wireless charging case are available for Rs 18,900.

Customers can order the standalone wireless charging case for Rs 7,500, the company said in a statement.

AirPods Pro features an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.

By opening the charging case near an iOS or iPadOS device and giving it a simple tap, AirPods Pro are immediately paired to all the devices signed into a user’s iCloud account, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV and iPod touch.

Each earbud comes with three different sizes of soft, flexible silicone ear tips that conform to the contours of each individual ear, providing both a comfortable fit and a superior seal, a critical factor in delivering immersive sound.

AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant.

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant, making them perfect for active lifestyles. Pixabay

“Active Noise Cancellation” feature on AirPods Pro uses two microphones combined with advanced software to continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit.

This removes background noise to provide a uniquely customised, superior noise-canceling experience that allows a user to focus on what they’re listening to.

The first microphone is outward-facing and detects external sound to analyse environmental noise. A second inward-facing microphone listens toward the ear, and AirPods Pro cancel remaining noise detected by the microphone.

Noise cancellation continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second, said the company.

Also Read: Women Constitute 29.2% of Microsoft’s Workforce Globally

AirPods Pro delivers superior sound quality with Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear.

Transparency mode provides users with the option to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them.

Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes is simple and can be done directly on AirPods Pro using a new, innovative force sensor on the stem.

AirPods Pro feature the same great battery life as AirPods with up to five hours of listening time. Through additional charges from the Wireless Charging Case, AirPods Pro deliver over 24 hours of listening time or over 18 hours of talk time. (IANS)