Apple Cider

Apples are climacteric fruit, with respiration increasing as the fruit matures. The ripening process will continue postharvest. Indices of maturation are variety specific; they include hardness, °Brix, and/or color. The composition of apple juice is dependent on fruit variety. A study by Mattick and Moyer examined 15 varieties of apple from 8 geographic locations over 3 years [23]. Although 15 varieties were examined, only composite data were reported. Composite results over this 3-year period showed a mean °Brix of 12.74, with minimum and maximum values of 9.8 and 16.9, respectively. The mean estimate of composite pH for this same period was 3.69, with a range of 3.23 to 6.54. Total acid calculated as % malic acid was 0.42% with minimum and maximum values of 0.15 and 0.91%, respectively. Malic acid represents >85% of the acid present in apples [24]. In an earlier study by Goverd et al., pH values and acid levels (% malic) were listed for six different apple varieties [25]. Acid content and pH values varied from 0.17 % with a pH of 4.03 for variety Sweet Coppin to 1.43 % with a pH of 2.92 for variety Bramley's Seedling. Brix was not reported.

In a study initiated by the FDA in 1998, seven apple varieties were examined for pH, % acid, and °Brix prior to fresh juice/cider manufacture [26]. Brix, pH, and % titratable acidity (TA, calculated as malic acid) averages for fresh juice/cider made from both fresh and stored apples that were harvested from trees and from the ground are shown in Table 9.1. All three parameters were significantly influenced by apple variety (p < 0.0001).

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