Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Is there room for improving the nutraceutical composition of apple?

PMID 25723891


In this study, we assessed the main bioactive compounds of a broad apple germplasm collection, composed by 247 accessions of wild (97) and domesticated (150) species. Among the stilbenes, trans- and cis-piceid were found to be ubiquitary components of both wild and cultivated apples. Apple was suggested to be the second dietary source of resveratrols. Results confirmed that the selection pressure of breeding and domestication did not uniformly affect all the phytochemicals contained in apples. For instance, organic acids (malic and ascorbic acid) and some phenolics (stilbenes, hydroxycinnamic acids, and dihydrochalcones) were significantly influenced by selection, while some relevant flavonoids (flavonols and flavan-3-ols) and triterpenoids (ursolic, oleanolic, and betulinic acids) were not. This comprehensive screening will assist in the selection of Malus accessions with specific nutraceutical traits suitable to establish innovative breeding strategies or to patent new functional foods and beverages.