Apple: Complete information about Varieties, Benefits, Growing and More

In this blog, we’ll show you the characteristics of apples (both the fruit and the plant), the main types of apples, their properties, history, main exporters and importers, how they are grown, and some products made from this fruit. Don’t miss it!  

What are apples and what are their characteristics? 

Scientific nameMalus Domestica
Common nameCommon Apple tree or European Apple tree.
Place of originCentral Asia and Europe
HabitatPlaces with humid and cold temperatures followed by cool summers with high amounts of sunlight.
DistributionNorth America, Asia, Africa, and Europe

Characteristics of apple plants  

It belongs to the Rosaceae family, and the common name of the tree is the same (apple tree) and is mainly cultivated for its fruit, clearly.  

It can reach up to 4 m high and has an open crown so that its branches spread horizontally rather than upwards. This tree decays very easily once it reaches maturity.  

It yields a maximum of 4 to 8 flowers with a queen flower, which is the central flower that achieves the best positioning and development level in the whole tree. These flowers have five round petals, white with some red or pink spots.  

Its leaves are oval-shaped and green, when squeezed they give off a pleasant fragrance.

Description of the apple fruit  

The apple is a round fruit measuring 7 to 8 cm in diameter and weighing approximately 200 to 210 grams.  

Its color varies from species to species; its skin is, in some cases, light or dark red, green or red wine with yellowish spots. In the same way, its flavor changes according to the type of apple, we find from the sweetest and softest flavors to those that are acidic and intense.  

Its seeds, which are found in the fruit’s core, measure a maximum of 8 millimeters.  

The apple’s flesh or inner part is whitish in color and has a juicy texture, not soft but relatively firm.


Types of apples  

In general, there are 7500 types or varieties of apples, some of them are:  

  1. McIntosh
  2. Fuji
  3. Granny Smith
  4. Royal Gala
  5. Delicious or Red Delicious
  6. Ralls Genet
  7. Golden Delicious 
  8. Reineta 
  9. Lady Williams
  10.  Starking 
  11. Gala
  12. Cripps Pink
  13. Pink Lady
  14. Kidd’s Orange Red.

Today we’ll focus on the first five types mentioned since they are the main ones.

McIntosh Apple  

Scientific nameMalus Domestica
Common nameMcIntosh Apple or Mac
Place of originCanada
HabitatGermplasm Banks
DistributionNorth America.

Its name was given by its discoverer, the farmer John Mclntosh in Ontario, Canada, in 1796. This is the most traditional type of apple among all subtypes. It’s round and red with hints of yellow. It is somewhat crunchy and juicy when chewed and tastes slightly tart.  

In the United States in the region of New England, its peel is used to make a rose-colored compote.  

McIntoshDe User:MarkusHagenlocher – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Fuji Apple   

Scientific nameMalus Domestica, Ralls Genet x Red Delicious 
Common nameFuji apple
Place of originJapan
Habitat(see the global technical data sheet of apple)
DistributionNorth America and Asia

This apple is a hybrid between the Ralls Genet and the Red Delicious species, which we’ll discuss later. It is named after the city where it was created, Fujisaki, Japan. Its color can change from a red tone to one closer to pink because of the lighter shades of spots that can be present. It’s a crunchy and juicy fruit with a sweet flavor.   

By Aomorikuma – Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Granny Smith Apple 

Scientific nameMalus doméstica Var. Granny Smith
Common nameGreen apple, Granny Ramsey Smith apple.
Place of originAustralia
HabitatCold climates between 10°C and a maximum of 20°C.

The person who discovered this apple was a third-age granny called Mary Ann Smith Sherwood, being the reason why this apple takes its name. After discovering it, Mary spread this fruit by the middle of the XlX century in Australia.

It has a green shade, and its flavor is probably the most acidic among all the apple varieties, resulting from its peel and flesh that are thicker and thus concentrate the flavor better.

Contrary to the other apples, this one has a slower oxidation period which means that once started, you can let it in the open air for longer.

By fir0002flagstaffotos [at] gmail.comCanon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 – Trabajo propio, GFDL 1.2,

Royal Gala apple 

Scientific nameMalus doméstica Gala, Kidd’s Orange Red x Golden Delicious 
Common nameRoyal Gala apple
Place of originNew Zealand
HabitatWarehouses and Controlled Atmosphere Chambers from 0 to -0.2°C
DistributionChile, Argentina (Patagonia), and New Zealand.

Native to New Zealand, it’s a hybrid between the Golden Delicious and the Kidd’s Orange Red.

Its name “Royal” comes after the Queen Elizabeth II of England. And you may be wondering if the fruit comes from New Zealand, what does Queen Elizabeth have to do with it?

Well, the Commonwealth of Nations is a group of countries that share historical bonds with the English country and within this group is New Zealand, so one of the situations that links them is that the queen is also the symbolic head of state in New Zealand and it is because of this event that the apple is given its name.

On the outside, its color is red with an orange or greenish tone and on the bottom, like all other types of apples, it is whitish. Its texture is the same as mentioned in the previous apples and its flavor is sweet.

Traditional apple
From Ivar Leidus – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Delicious Apple or Red Delicious 

Scientific nameMalus Domestica red delicious
Common nameDelicious Apple or Red Delicious
Place of originUnited States
Habitat(see the global technical data sheet of apple)
DistributionUnited States

This apple was born in the year 1880 in the state of Iowa in the United States. It has even more subdivisions such as the Top Red and the Red King and is more elongated than the rest of the apples mentioned. It is a bright red wine with some small whitish spots. Its peel is thick and its texture is sandy, and it has an intense sweet flavor.

Chilean Apple
From Shuhrataxmedov – Own Work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Properties and benefits of apples   

Apple nutritional profile   

We invite you to see the nutritional table of apples per unit.

CompositionQuantity (gr)CDR(%)
         MineralsQuantity (mg)CDR(%)
    VitaminsQuantity (mg)CDR(%)
Vitamin A00.3%
Vitamin B10.043.3%
Vitamin B20.032.3%
Vitamin B30.130%
Vitamin B1200%
Vitamin C12.413.8%

Taken from Vegaffinity

Apple properties  

Combats acidity  

The apple is key to relieving problems such as heartburn by having compounds such as pectins that balance the acid level in the body making it more neutral, so it also relieves pain related to this condition, which is often the most unpleasant part, and in some cases can be disabling.

Relieves intestinal complaints  

Whether constipation or diarrhea, apples will cure either because of their pectins that support the digestion processes in the body, so you can eat it to use as a laxative (especially if you bake it and eat it first thing in the morning) or as an astringent mainly because of its peel in case you have gastroenteritis or diarrhea.

Eliminates body toxins

Since apples are diuretics, you can eat them whenever you feel you need extra help to get rid of substances that your body does not need, such as fluid retention. This can also be a very good option for gout, high uric acid, kidney disease, kidney failure, or stones.  


This fruit will help you quit smoking as it contains potassium, B12, and B6 vitamins which are useful to reduce stress and anxiety when you are quitting cigarettes. It is said that if you consume only apples for a whole day you can quit this habit: you should try it. In the same way, it helps to cure insomnia and release body tension when we go to sleep.

Cures hearing diseases  

Using apple cider vinegar can help your ear in many ways. One of them is that this liquid, having a high amount of potassium, stimulates your auditory system preventing deficiency of this mineral that can lead to deafness. Additionally, if you have a dry ear, you can use this vinegar to restore and lubricate the mucous inside the ear canal.

History and origin of apples   

The Malus Domestica has a wild ancestor called Malus sieversi from central Asia and its specimens are still present today.  

Besides being native to Asia, from forest regions such as Tian Shan that delimits the borders between Kazakhstan, China and Kyrgyzstan, it is also native to Europe since 4000 or 10,000 years ago and expanded to North America throughout the United States and Chiloé with the arrival of European settlers.

The apple has several religious connotations, the most popular being that it is the fruit of sin in the Garden of Eden of the Catholic Old Testament. It is said that God had forbidden Adam and Eve to eat one apple from the tree of good and evil, but a serpent convinced Eve to eat it and Adam did the same; they were expelled from paradise as a result of their disobedience.

Global apple industry 

Get to know the main apple exporters and importers in the world.  

Top 10 apple producers in the world   

According to IndexBox in its World: Apple-Market Report, Analysis and Forecast To 2025, around the world, there is an apple production figure of 89’300,000 tons, with China in the first place, producing 46% of this number, followed by the United States and Poland.

Below, we’ll see the 10 countries with the highest amount of apple tons produced:

CountryTons of produced apples per year (approx.)
United States4.652.500

After looking at the figures of the 10 countries, we shall now take a closer look at the top 5 countries.


This country was the number 1 apple producer in the world in 2018 with around 39,233,400 million tons, representing 50% of the global production. From 2007 to 2016, China increased its production levels by 5.3% each year, this progressive increase is thanks to the fact that the country’s temperatures were ideal for the crop and its producing areas multiplied.

United States  

The U.S. apple has 2500 varieties out of 7500 varieties, which is equivalent to 33.3% of the world’s production. Of these varieties, only 100 are used commercially. 36 out of the 50 states in the country are producers of apples, first introduced by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts Bay.  

In this country, the approximate size of an apple orchard is 50 acres. This fruit is the second most valuable in the nation after the orange. The first orchard for the cultivation of this fruit was established in this country in Flushing in New York State in the 1730s.


The national apple production of this country has reached more than 3,999,523 tons with 1 million tons exported worldwide in 2013 – its record figure so far. Thanks to the apple market, this fruit is considered a symbol of the Polish economy and, thus, the country becomes one of the European leaders in the production of this fruit.  


In 2018, Turkish apple production had figures of 3,625,960 tons, with a harvested area of 174,690 hectares, while by 2020 the number of apples produced grew 674,526 tons more (4,300,486), ironically its harvested area decreased by 3,787 hectares giving a total of 170,903.


Both the output and harvested area of Iranian apple has been rising from 2018 to 2020. The variable that has presented the largest increase is the harvested area with initial figures of 99,418 hectares that grew to 112,270 hectares. In terms of production, they had 1,936,697 tons of apples in 2018, a figure that increased by 2020 to 2,206,723 tons.

The following graph illustrates these quantities.

Top apple importers in the world   

According to OEC, the 9 countries with the highest apple import value in the world for 2019 are:  

1. Vietnam with $317M with a quota of 4.47% of apple import in the world.

2. Mexico with $271M and 3.83% of apple imports worldwide.

3. Taiwan with $267M and a world percentage of 3.77% of apple imports.

4. Indonesia with $248M and 3.50% of world apple imports.

5. India with $221M and a 3.12% share of imports.

6. Thailand equals India with $221M and with the same percentage of 3.13% in imports in the whole world.

7. Bangladesh with $205M and 2.89% of imports worldwide.

8. Canada with $201M and 2.84% share.

9. Egypt with $193M and 2.72% of imports.

How is apple cultivated?   

To grow this fruit there are a series of requirements that must be met. Below, we’ll show you what they are:  


The soil must not contain any type of residual water to prevent the tree from drowning before flowering and to avoid diseases related to humidity, so it is advisable to drain it to ensure that it has only the necessary level of water.  

It must be sandy-textured, shallow, fertile soil with a pH close to 7. Unlike other trees, the apple tree has a wide tolerance to grassy soils.  


The fact that the apple tree comes from cold weather has enabled it to settle in different cold regions around the world, especially in Europe where all its countries grow this plant. This factor also makes it more predisposed to withstand strong cold rather than very warm climates.  

It prefers humid climates; however, be careful with the combination of vegetation and humidity because it encourages the presence of fungus in the plant, which is why it is important to remove as many weeds as possible.

Its flowers are very susceptible to frost so it is recommended to administer an anti-freeze irrigation or some other way to protect them from wilting. However, these (as well as its tree) withstand temperatures of -10°C, but not more than -15°C where flowers begin to suffer.

If it is to be grown in warm climates, it is appropriate to surround the plant with other plants to protect it from excessive sunlight and to regulate the temperature around it.  

Method of apple planting  


Apple tree planting should be done between the end of autumn and the beginning of spring.  

Usually, a distance of 2 to 10 meters between trees, depending on the growth of each plant, is usual. At this point, it is advisable to find a balance so that the plants are neither too far apart nor too close to each other so that significant space is not wasted or their growth is not obstructed. It is possible to plant from 1,000 to 3,000 trees per hectare.


Watering this plant is often done using a simple focused irrigation system such as drip irrigation, which is usually well adapted to heavy, light, and medium soils; or fertigation, a method in which the plant is not only watered but also fertilizer is applied.

It’s necessary to hydrate the tree constantly in warm seasons when it transpires a lot and loses a great amount of water and minerals, which can cause its leaves and fruits to fall before time. For this reason, it is necessary to provide the tree with 200 to 300 liters of water annually at maturity.  


This tree is pruned in order to form a rigid tree that supports the weight of its fruits. For this purpose, the branches are trimmed until they grow in the desired direction. On the other hand, dry branches or diseased should also be cut so that the tree receives enough air and illumination and do not affect the development of the tree. In the same way, control is made so that the fruits grow in the desired size, quality, and quantity.  

The advantage of pruning this tree is that its wood is very flexible, so removing the damaged bark or cutting the plant is much easier than in other crops.


In order for the fruits to receive enough sunlight, it is necessary to carry out a procedure called thinning because this plant tends to grow more fruits per branch than desired, and this excess means that it is not receiving enough sunlight.

This process consists of eliminating unnecessary fruit either manually or chemically. It is suggested to do it chemically when there is an excessive amount of fruit production.

Through this action, the fruits produce enough sugar and acidity by receiving the required energy from sunlight.  

It is also very important to thin the flowers because they are part of the resources used by the tree to produce fruit again.  

Apple harvesting  

Apple harvesting can be done manually or mechanically.  

When it is done mechanically, it is done using machines that move through the middle of the trees emitting vibrations strong enough to make the fruit fall into trays at the back of the machine.  

The harvest date for apples is September and October or July and August when the fruit is very green. Depending on the destination of the fruit, a time for harvesting is selected. If the fruit is taken to the fresh market, it should be harvested in broad daylight, without humidity, and with care not to hit it.

If it is harvested unripe it cannot be taken to market. Some types of this fruit have very soft skins and are prone to wrinkling and shrinking to the point of removing a large part of the fruit’s contents.

Apple post-harvesting

Once harvested, apples can be kept at room temperature avoiding closed and dark spaces to prevent early rotting, so it is not necessary to store them in the refrigerator or similar spaces.  

The estimated time before it gets spoiled is about two weeks, so if you eat them within this period you’ll be able to enjoy their flavor at its best.

Uses and Products made from apples  

Apples are primarily eaten fresh and whole. They are also often consumed as a dessert and used as a base ingredient in various dishes or products, both sweet such as compotes, drinks, and pies, and savory including sauces for meats. And these are just a few products that are made from apples.

Cosmetic use of apples  

We had already talked about the role this fruit could play when it comes to quitting smoking, but what if I told you that now you can also remove the stains that cigarettes leave on your teeth with the fruit’s peel? And not only it removes cigarette stains but it helps to vitalize the teeth’s color after aging. In general, we could say that it helps the cleanliness and aesthetics of our mouth because it also eliminates possible debris left on our teeth. When we eat it, we produce a greater amount of saliva that keeps our level of oral acidity in an optimal state.  

Apple peel

Handmade products made from apples  

Apple puree   

This dish is obtained by cutting the apple into small pieces and then mashing them until forming a thick liquid. This process can be done at home or industrially where the apple, in addition to being crushed and mashed by machines in factories, has artificial flavorings and preservatives added to it to be sold as baby compote.

When making this snack it is highly recommended not to remove the peel as it is rich in pectin which helps our digestive system.  

One way in which we can increase the properties of the fruit in this state is by adding cinnamon and honey because by adding honey, for example, we make it last longer due to its antimicrobial agents Cinnamon, besides enhancing the puree’s flavor, adds its benefits to treat diabetes, making it a better option to sweeten it naturally.


Apple juice  

Apple juice is a practical option since it is not necessary to strain it after blending, and only a few pieces of fruit, water, and some sweetener are needed to obtain this drink. But it is also produced industrially.

This juice is a source of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, which not only stimulates your immune system but also increases the production of collagen that fights skin aging and helps the stability and restoration of ligaments and tendons.  

Additionally, when you drink this juice, you are consuming vitamin E which fights free radicals, which are often the culprit of cancer.  

Apple juice

Apple Dumpling   

This dessert consists of a pie prepared using dough made from flour that surrounds the peeled and cored apple that has been previously cooked and sweetened with sugar and cinnamon: the latter also used to give it a pleasant aroma. After placing the apple inside, it is wrapped in flour and baked in the oven.  Sometimes the apple core is replaced with raisins, walnuts, or other dried fruits. This dish is also usually served with ice cream or milk.  

Apple pie
From apium – Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

Apple Crumble  

Also known as Apple Crumble in England and Apple Crisp in the United States, it is a dessert consisting of cooked apples covered by a crispy crust. Sugar, butter, cinnamon and flour are usually added. Often oatmeal or brown sugar are included instead of conventional sugar, nutmeg or ginger, and a scoop of ice cream on top with flavors such as vanilla.   

By Pattie – Apple Crisp, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Industrial products made from apples  

Apple vinegar  

This vinegar, made from the pulp of the fruit, is not only used in the kitchen to accompany salads and other dishes, it has many uses for the body, such as being an analgesic to prevent muscle pain caused by physical exertion; a natural deodorant alternative for people who have a bad underarm odor; and a treatment for foot fungus that alleviates the pain caused by the fungus.  

Apple cider vinegar

In conclusion, we can see how the apple is a fruit with many more uses, properties, and products than we are used to seeing and it is so interesting that it gives a lot to talk about. But the most important thing is its unique and incomparable flavor and the way in which it benefits your body. Wouldn’t you like to eat one right now?