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Microscopics found on raw fruit appear essential to human health

Lise Korsten, a Professor and Co-Director of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of Pretoria, has commented on a recently published study that shows how the microbiome and resistome of apple fruits alter in the post-harvest period.

Ms Korsten says study shows that the well-described beneficial microbes are prevalent on apples. “From other studies, several species have been described as benefitting the gut microbiome contributing to health and wellness. So the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, is actually so true. In our paper, we showed these populations are prevalent on our locally-produced apples.”

“It has also been shown in other studies that these core favourable microbiome populations enhance nutrient absorption in the gut and one can thus draw parallels between fresh apples favouring a healthy gut microbiome versus other food products such as processed food, often devoid of healthy microbes and thus not contributing to the maintenance of a healthy gut,” Korsten says.

The study also suggests is that the growing trend favoring plant-based eating is also more than just a fad. Science now shows us that we get more from eating raw and fresh fruit and vegetables than only the sum of their nutrients and that the positive role the microscopic organisms play in our gut microbiome is increasingly important for our health.


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