Table of content A-Z




Botanical name: Malus domestica



The forerunners of the apple came from western Asia. In the Caucasus, a mountainous region of the former Soviet Union between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, there are even today wild apple woods in which the crab apple (Malus sylvestris) and the dwarf apple (Malus pumila) still grow. Both are wild varieties from which our present-day apple stems. The apple left its original home about 5000 years ago and has since spread to all temperate zones of the world. Findings from the pile-dwelling villages in southern Germany (Lake Constance) point to the first cultivated apple on German soil.



Apples are perennial. According to the variety, they are harvested in Germany from August until November. Some varieties (e.g. elstar, boskoop) can be stored under special conditions for months at a time and are therefore available almost throughout the year.


Appearance, taste, characteristics

The apple - certainly familiar to everyone - needn't be described in detail. It is estimated that there are over 20 000 varieties of apple worldwide, around 1000 alone in Germany. Most of these, however, are in domestic gardens or on meadows with scattered fruit trees. About 40 varieties are sold commercially, of which only 20 are of any great importance.


Among these are:


* Early Windsor

- yellow-red skin

- mainly available August to October

- sweet, fruity taste

- suited for eating fresh or for baking


* Berlepsch

- yellow-green to red-brown skin

- mainly available September to March

- very aromatic, finely acidic taste

- very well suited for eating fresh, but also for baking or applesauce

- particularly rich in vitamin C


* (Red) Boskoop

- yellow-orange to red, matte skin

- mainly available September to June

- pungent, fruity, tart

- very well suited for baked apples, for cakes and applesauce, but also for eating fresh

- especially rich in vitamin C


* Braeburn

- gold-yellow - with areas of red - skin

- available all year

- crispy, sweet taste, faintly aromatic

- very good for eating fresh


* Cortland

- normally quite large, evenly flat-round, straw-yellow, with patches of red

- pulp almost white; structure firm and juicy

- slightly sweet-sour, no particular aroma but a distinctive scent

- pulp turns brown quickly; use is therefore limited

- ripens about mid September, keeps up to 3 months at temperature of 3-4°C


* Cox's Orange Pippin

- yellow-green to orange-brown skin

- mainly available September to April

- pungent sweet-sour taste with fine aroma

- very good for eating fresh, but also suited for cakes, baked apples, or applesauce


* Elstar

- smooth, gold-yellow to bright red skin

- mainly available September to June

- pleasant sugar-acid balance and strong aroma

- very good for eating fresh, but also suited for applesauce


* Fuji

- greenish-yellow skin, partly reddish

- white, juicy pulp

- sweet taste

- suited for eating fresh and for cooking


* Gala

- yellowish skin

- mainly available September to April

- fruity-sweet taste


* Glockenapfel (an old type available only in continental Europe)

- bell-shaped

- greenish-yellow skin

- mainly available November to June

- tart-sour taste

- suited for eating fresh, as baked apple, for cakes or applesauce


* Gloster

- red skin

- mainly available September to July

- mild, aromatic taste with fine fruity acidity

- suited for eating fresh, as baked apple, or for applesauce


* Golden Delicious

- gold-yellow to green skin

- mainly available September to July

- sweetish, with little acidity

- suited for eating fresh


* Granny Smith

- grass-green skin

- mainly available November to July

- tart, with little aroma

- suitable exclusively for eating fresh


* Gravenstein

- yellow-green skin, red on the side toward the sun

- mainly available August to October

- very juicy; sweet-sour, very harmonious aroma

- very good for eating fresh, but also well-suited for cakes and applesauce


* Idared

- yellowish-green skin, light to dark-red on the side toward the sun

- mainly available October to July

- sweetish to finely tart taste

- suitable for eating fresh, in cake or for applesauce


* Ingrid Marie

- red, dark-brownish skin

- mainly available October to March

- mild, finely tart taste

- well-suited for eating fresh or for cakes


* Jamba (available only in continental Europe)

- yellowish-greenish, partly washed-out red

- mainly available August to October

- fruity, aromatic taste

- suited for eating fresh


* James Grieve

- yellow-orange skin

- mainly available August to October

- tart, pungent aroma

- suited for eating fresh, for applesauce, cakes or baked apples


* Jonagold

- yellow to orange (on the side toward the sun) skin

- mainly available all year

- sweetish to finely tart taste, aromatic

- very good for eating fresh or as applesauce


* Jonagored

- large fruited; red mutant of Jonagold with striped skin

- winter apple, harvested in October; can be stored 4-6 months

- sweet and at the same time slightly tart taste; firm, but juicy and aromatic

- very well suited for eating fresh


* Yellow transparent

- green to yellow skin

- harvest in September; storable for a long time

- tart taste; crisp and juicy following harvest, later sweeter, mealy

- suited chiefly for eating fresh

- very sensitive to pressure


* McIntosh

- medium-large apple with varying, irregular shape; frequently concave below and spherical above; with smooth, thick and hart skin

- brown-red on side toward the sun, otherwise green

- white pulp, sensitive to pressure

- taste is sweetly aromatic, without pronounced acidity

- poor in vitamin C

- ripens beginning of September; can be stored for about 4 months

- predominantly for eating fresh and for making juice


* Pink Lady

- green-yellow skin with pink areas

- mainly available May to August

- sweet taste, juicy, crisp

- suited above all for eating fresh


* Pinova

- medium-large, regular shape; yellow, sun side vermilion; skin is hard, smooth, dry and pressure-resistant

- very firm pulp, turns brown quickly, moderately juicy

- sweet-tart aroma

- used for eating fresh, but also suited for industrial processing

- ripens about mid October, keeps about 3 months


* Red Delicious

- hard, dark-red skin

- mainly available May to August

- very sweet

-suitable for eating fresh


* Remo (newer variety, cross between James Grieve and Japanese apple, resistant to apple scab, mildew and fire blight)

- medium-large, regular shape, with rough skin; yellowish-green with crimson

- cream-coloured, juicy, medium firm pulp

- tartly accented and slightly aromatic taste

- used predominantly industrially

- ripens about mid September and can be stored for about 4 weeks


* RubinetteRubinette

- gold-yellow, firm, somewhat rough skin

- mainly available September to March

- very fine taste and balanced proportion of sugar to acid

- small to medium large


* Spartan

- firm skin; red-green

- aromatic taste, slightly flowery


* TopazTopaz

- yellow-orange, on sun side bright-red striped or mottled thick, smooth skin; medium-large to large

- very juicy apple with pleasant acidity

- mainly available October to February

- good for eating fresh



Apples contain many nutritionally valuable substances. Among other things, they are rich in potassium, which works as an antihypertensive. The vitamin C content is also often stressed, although this fluctuates greatly according to the variety. Granny Smith, Gloster, or Gala contain less than 10 mg per 100 g on average; particularly rich in vitamin C are Boskoop and Berlepsch (30-40 mg per 100 g). Moreover, weather conditions and storage influence the vitamin C content; with increased storage time the content is reduced.


The apple skin is especially rich in pectin, a fibre. Pectin promotes digestion, because it works in the intestines as a bulking agent, which accelerates and facilitates defecation. In addition, pectin contributes to lowering cholesterol and binds harmful germs in the intestines. A grated apple has long been a proven home remedy for diarrhoea.


Other important ingredients, e.g., many vitamins and the so-called flavonoids, one of the secondary plant substances, are located for the most part in or directly beneath the skin, so that apples are best eaten unpeeled.


Whether an apple tastes sweeter or tarter depends not so much on its sugar (fructose) content as on varying amounts of different fruit acids (e.g. malic acid and citric acid) in the pulp.


100 g or 100 ml juice contain:


Apple, fresh

Apple, dried7

Apple, sugared

Apple juice

Energy (kcal)





Water (g)





Protein (g)





Fat (g)





Carbohydrates (g)





Fibre (g)





Vitamin C (mg)





Vitamin A (RE) (µg)





Folic acid (µg)





Potassium (mg)





Sodium (mg)





Calcium (mg)





Magnesium (mg)





Iron (mg)





*n.a.: no data available

Note: As this is a natural product, and as the information is taken from various sources and therefore from different analyses, there may be fluctuations in the nutritional facts. The minerals in particular may fluctuate, since the plant takes these from the soil, the composition of which itself can vary. Its mineral content is influenced, for instance, by fertilization. The footnotes are explained here.


Harmful substances

In general, apples contain hardly any harmful substances. More or less rotten areas on an apple should be liberally removed in any case. The toxic substance patulin, formed by moulds, is also found in the non-rotten surrounding area and is thus eliminated.


To remove possible residues on the skin (e.g. from environmental pollution or pesticides) apples should always be washed thoroughly before they are eaten.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

You can recognize a good apple by its aromatic, fresh scent. The colour of an apple depends on the variety and is not an indication of ripeness or quality. Truly ripe apples exhibit a broad, deep calyx (this is where the blossom was) and the brown seeds. If the stem is missing, the apple was most likely unripe when picked. Apples are sensitive! If you handle them carefully you will avoid bruises. Apples give off the ripening gas ethylene; thus they should be stored separately so that other fruits will keep longer. Not all varieties can be stored equally well. The early varieties (e.g. Yellow transparent, James Grieve) are not suited for long storage, while the apples harvested in the fall (e.g. Boskoop, Elstar) keep well. They keep best in a cool, dark place.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

The apple is the favourite fruit of the Germans. Each one eats an average of 17 kg per year. Apples are particularly popular as a small snack between meals. In addition, there are innumerable ways to use apples and recipes for them. Consider salads such as raw carrots with apples, herring salad, or Waldorf salad. Well-known sweet dishes with apples are fruit salad, apple pie, apple strudel or baked apples. Apple juice is the most popular fruit juice. Further products are applesauce, apple jelly, apple wine / cider, or apple butter. Moreover, pectin powder can be obtained from apples; it can be stirred into foods or drinks to promote digestion or quicker satiation.



* Apples quickly turn brown when they are peeled and cut up. If you drizzle some lemon juice on the apples pieces you will be able to minimise the brown colouring.

* Apples have always played a large role in mythology, fairy tales, religion, and art.




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