Turns out washing your apple does nothing (but that’s not a bad thing)

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Washing your apples might clean off some of the dirt on the outside, but there are more than 100 million bacteria on the inside that you can’t do anything about.

And for the most part, that’s fine, according to new research.

A new study published in Frontiers in Microbiology found that apples harbor millions of bacteria that benefit both consumer and environment.


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“The bacteria, fungi, and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut,” said senior author Professor Gabriele Berg in a press release.”Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veg are particularly important sources of gut microbes.”

Berg added, “83 million apples were grown in 2018, and production continues to rise. But while recent studies have mapped their fungal content, less is known about the bacteria in apples.”

Researches compared bacteria comprised of store-bought apples to others that were organic ones. Almost everything in the apples was analyzed from the stem and peel to seeds and calyx. Both apples had the same bacteria numbers with a normal apple (240G) contains about 100 million bacteria. However, not consuming the core or seeds drops the bacteria count closer to 10 million.

When comparing both apples, organic apples were found to have a more diverse bacteria community.

“Freshly harvested, organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community, compared to conventional ones,” explained Berg. “This variety and balance would be expected to limit overgrowth of any one species, and previous studies have reported a negative correlation between human pathogen abundance and microbiome diversity of fresh produce.”