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Apple: Origin, Area, Production, Nutrients and Uses

Apple cultivation

A(caps)pple (Malus x domestica Borkh) carrying basic chromosome number X=17 is a complex interspecific hybrid which may have arisen through hybridization with Malus species indigenous to China. Apple is a member of the family Rosaceae. Most apple cultivars are diploid, self-incompatible and easily cross-pollinated but some triploid and tetraploid cultivars are also available in the apple growing areas of the world.

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Origin and distribution of Apple

The primary centre of origin of apple is central Asia specially Almaty and Kazakhstan. Almaty is a city in Kazakhstan and in Kazakh language Almaty means the city of the apple tree. The region of apple origin includes Asia minor, soviet central Asia, Himalayan India & Pakistan which was introduced to the western world via Persia. The Greeks and Romans domesticated apples and from there it reached Europe and European settlers introduced apples to the new world during the sixteenth century. The famous Ambri apple of Kashmir is said to be native to India.

Area, Production and export of Apple

Apple is cultivated over 47.28 lakh hectare area with annual production of 695.7 lakh MT in the world (FAO 2010). China is the world's largest producer with 332.7 lakh MT annual production and UAS ranks second and produces 42.12 lakh MT. China alone produces 47% of the world's apple. India occupies the 5th position and contributes only 4.1% to world apple production.

In India total area under apple cultivation was 2.89 lakh hectares with 28.91 lakh MT total production in 2010-11 (NHB-2011). Apple shares 4.5% of total fruit cultivation area and contributes 3.9% to total fruit production of India. The Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal are the main apple producing states and produce 64%, 31% and 4.7% of the country, respectively (NHB-2011). Apple is also grown in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland and Meghalaya in North East India. India exported a total 47075 MT apple worth Rs. 597.45 million during 2010-11 to Bangladesh, Nepal, UAE, Maldives, Liberia and Singapore. The highest 88% of total exported quantity is exported to Bangladesh followed by 9% to Nepal (NHB-2011). 

Nutritional Values and uses of Apple

The nutrients contents of fresh apple fruits are shown in the table. The fruit is very rich in potassium and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium.

Table: Nutritive Value of apple (USDA-National Nutrient Database)

Nutrients Value/100g

Water 85.56 g

Energy 52 kcal

Protein 0.26 g

Total lipid(fat) 0.17 g

Carbohydrates 13.81g

Fibre 2.4 g

Total sugar 10.39 g

Ca 6 mg

Fe 0.12 mg

Mg 5 mg

P 11 mg

K 107 mg

Vitamin C 4.6 mg

Niacin 0.091 mg

The fruit is used for fresh consumption and popular as dessert. A variety of palatable processed products is also prepared from apple fruits like jam, preserve and cider.

Apple: Propagation and Root Stocks

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