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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Study: Red Delicious high in anti-oxidants

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. – America’s most common apple may be its most potent – but don’t skimp on the skin.

A Canadian government study that measured anti-oxidants in eight varieties of apples found that the Red Delicious variety contains the highest concentrations of the health-enhancing chemicals.

And to get the most bang for your bite, be sure to eat the peel.

The skin of Red Delicious apples – the most common variety grown in the United States – contains more than six times more anti-oxidant activity than the inside, according to researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

But don’t swear off other varieties.

Though anti-oxidants are believed to help ward off certain diseases, more research is needed to learn if quantity alone counts. The study did not consider if anti-oxidants in some apples may be better absorbed than others.

Until then, food scientist Rong Tsao says his study – which also identified chemicals responsible for anti-oxidant activity in apples – probably is most useful to horticulturists breeding new anti-oxidant-rich varieties.

The data also could lead to development of techniques for harvesting anti-oxidants from waste products of the apple-processing industry, Tsao said.

The study, to be published in the June 29 issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, compared apple varieties popular in Canada, some of which are available only regionally in the United States.

The Red Delicious variety, which accounts for 27 percent of U.S. apple production, has more than six times the anti-oxidants as the bottom-ranked Empire variety. Northern Spy was No. 2, followed by Cortland, Ida Red, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Mutsu.

In every variety tested, the skins contained substantially higher levels of anti-oxidants than the flesh.