Botanical Name: Malus sylvestris, Mill
Family Name : Rosaceae
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" This old adage may be truer than you think.
Apple tree is rather small. It has a sturdy, erect trunk, that divides into strong branches to create a fine crown. When young, its bark is smooth but it becomes rough with age. The dark green, alternate leaves are oval with a short petiole. The inflorescence consists of clusters of 4-6 flowers emerging from a resottle of leaves. Each flower has a persistent calyx of 5 sepals and pinkish-white, 5 petalled corolla. The rosy object is usually referred to as its fruit. It contains dark seeds in the lightcoloured pulp.
Apples are cultivated in most of India's hilly regions over an estimated area of 40,000 acres. The important parts where apple is mostly grown are Kashmir, Jammu, Srinagar, Nainital, Almora, Shimla etc.The types cultivated in India have been mostly introduced from the U.K. and other European countries and the U.S.A.; a few varieties have also been introduced from Australia.
Properties of apples
Antacid, nutritive, tranquillizer, anti-uricaemic, anti-diarrhoeic, cardiotonic.
Food Value of apple
Apples are valued mainly as dessert fruits. Some types, particularly those with high acid content, are used for culinary purposes. Apples may be preserved for later use after slicing and drying them. They are also canned and jams and jellies are made from them. The juice extracted from apple is used fresh or after fermentation into cider, wine and vinegar. Apple brandy is obtained after distilling the cider.
Sugar constitutes 80% of the total carbohydrates of ripe apple. Fructose (60%) is the principal sugar component followed by glucose 25% and sucrose 15%.
Malic acid is the principal acid-90-95% of the total acid in an apple. Citric, lactic and succinic acids are also present barring other acids in traces.
Medicinal Uses & benefits
Products/Preservation Dried Apples & Apple Powder
Dehydrated apples, apple flour or powder find use in bakeries. Apple flour is also used in the treatment of certain types of infant diarrhea. Vacuum shelf driers are used to obtain a product of superior quality.
Canned & Frozen Apple :- Canned apples are usually available in large packing and are used in pies. Apple segments are preserved by dehydro freezing which involves partial drying of prepared fruit to 50% moisture and freezing.
Apple Juice :- It is the flavored by-product of apple. Ripe and sound fruits are pressed out in basket-press. The juice, thus obtained is strained through a thin cotton cloth and bottled after pasteurization. Fresh apple juice is an amber colored fluid with mild, delicate flavor.
Murabba :- Apple murabba is one of the most popular preparations and is being still used by the people. It is a cardiotonic and controls palpitation. It is prepared by slicing apple, adding equal amount of sugar, citric acid and potassium metabisulphite.
Apple brandy, apple cider, apple butter, apple pomace are the other by-products.
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