"To the heroes among you who eat the whole apple: besides extra fiber, flavonoids and flavor, you're also quaffing 10 times as many bacteria per fruit as your core-discarding counterparts," the authors said in a statement.
But organic apples have an edge over the conventional ones, because they “harbor a more diverse and balanced bacterial community -- which could make them healthier and tastier than conventional apples, as well as better for the environment,” the team said.
For example, escherichia-shigella, which includes known pathogens, was found in most of the conventional apples but not the organic ones. Lactobacilli, which is a type of probiotic, was found in most organic apples but not conventional ones. And methylobacterium, known to enhance the biosynthesis of strawberry flavor compounds, was more prominent in organic apples.
The scientists now hope to continue their investigations to better understand the bacteria makeup of other fruits.
“The microbiome and antioxidant profiles of fresh produce may one day become standard nutritional information, displayed alongside macronutrients, vitamins and minerals to guide consumers,” the scientists concluded. “Here, a key step will be to confirm to what extent diversity in the food microbiome translates to gut microbial diversity and improved health outcomes.”
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