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Apple

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The apple is the pomaceous fruit called Pyrus malus belongs to the rose family Rosaceae, and is a perennial. It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. The tree originated in Western Asia. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock.
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Botanical Names
Pyrus Malus
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Sevama, Phalprabhaidaha Hindi : Seb Marathi : Safarchand Kannada : Sebu Gujarati : Safarjun
Chemical Constituents
The main constituents that contribute to the apple’s vast usefulness and great taste are hard to narrow down nearly twenty constituents have been documented in the unpeeled fruit alone to contribute a vast amount of biological activities. Those with known biological activities located in either the fruit or peel or both are: Alpha-Linolenic-Acid, Asparagine, D-Categin, Isoqurctrin, Hyperoside, Ferulic-Acid, Farnesene, Neoxathin, Phosphatidyl-Choline, Reynoutrin, Sinapic-Acid, Caffeic-Acid, Chlorogenic-Acid, P-Hydroxy-Benzoic-Acid, P-Coumaric-Acid, Avicularin, Lutein, Quercitin, Rutin, Ursolic-Acid, Protocatechuic-Acid, and Silver (1). Vitamin A, B1, B2, and B6, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Folic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Pottassium, Selenium, Sodium, and Zinc are the micronutrients present in the fruit. The fats in the apple contain no cholesterol. Phytochemicals include; Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lycine, Methionine, Cystine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine, Argenine, Histidine, Alanine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Proline, and Serine. Trace amounts of Boron and Cobalt are found in apples. There are four to five grams of soluble and insoluble fiber per apple. This fiber is from cellulose, pectin and lignin. The sugars of fructose and sucrose make up about 9% to 12% of the fruit and give it its sweet taste, while the tartness comes from the malic, tartaric, and citric acids. The tannins, making up 0.2%, give it an astringent cooling and thirst quenching effect. Finally, Amygdaline, naturally occurring cyanide is found in the seeds (2).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Health benefits of apple are very important. Apple is diuretic, helps tonic muscle, is refreshing, is good for intestinal antiseptic, laxative, low the level of cholesterol from blood. Is has been proved effective in the treatment of physical and intellectual depression, anemia, rheumatism, gout, obesity, conditions fever, gastritis, gastric ulcer, insomnia, headache (3). Apples have been recommended for headache, bronchial asthma, and inflammation of the bladder, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, neuritis, insomnia, catarrh, gallbladder stones, worms, halitosis, and pyorrhea.
Health Benefits
Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Compared to many other fruits and vegetables, apples contain relatively low amounts of vitamin C, but are a rich source of other antioxidant compounds. The fiber content, while less than in most other fruits, helps regulate bowel movements and may thus reduce the risk of colon cancer (4). They may also help with heart disease weight loss and controlling cholesterol, as they do not have any cholesterol, have fiber, which reduces cholesterol by preventing reabsorption, and are bulky for their caloric content. There is evidence that in vitro apples possess phenolic compounds which may be cancer-protective and demonstrate antioxidant activity. The predominant phenolic phytochemicals in apples are quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2. Apple is a rich source of flavonoid and polyphenols both are powerful antioxidant. Apple contains a large amount of minerals and vitamins that can strengthen the blood. Apple contains malic acid and tartaric acid that can help prevent disturbances of the liver and digestion. Apple cider vinegar when used as beverage can help to prevent the formation of kidney stone. The skin of Apple contains pectin that can help remove toxic substances from the system by supplying galacturonic acid. Pectin helps to prevent protein matter in the intestine from spoiling. Eating an apple daily can lower cholesterol and reduce skin diseases (5).
Application in Cosmetics
Apples contain sugar, tannin, organic acids and pectin. Because of this great content, apples nourish, moisten, soften and renew skin very well. Apples also work as the perfect ingredient to tone tired and stressed-out skin. Green apples are very beneficial, in particular, to give your skin a healthy, toned glow. While all apples are good for skin care, these varieties in particular contain abundant amounts of both collagen and elastin, both great for youthful skin. In addition, Braeburn apples contain ingredients that can protect you from harmful UV rays, one of the most damaging threats to healthy skin. Simply eating raw apples can help your body by introducing antioxidants, which prevent cell and tissue damage, preventing wrinkles and aging, and promoting health hair growth because of a compound known as procyanidinB-2 (6).
Research References
1. Andreas S. Petra K. and Reinhold C. Determination of phenolic acids and flavonoids of apple and pear by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Journal of Chromatography 2001, 910:265-273. 2. Elisabeth D. Bohuon G. Boron A. and Drilleau J-F. High-performance liquid chromatography of the phenolic compounds in the juice of some French cider apple varieties. Journal of Chromatography 1991, 555:125-136. 3. Liu RH, Sun J: Antiproliferative activity of apples is not due to phenolic-induced hydrogen peroxide formation. J Agric Food Chem 2003, 51:1718-1723. . 4. Eberhardt M, Lee C, Liu RH: Antioxidant activity of fresh apples. Nature 2000, 405:903-904. 5. Rui Hai L. Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2003, 78: 517S-520S. 6. Wolfe K, Wu X, Liu RH: Antioxidant activity of apple peels. J Agric Food Chem 2003, 51:609-614 7. Liu RH, Eberhardt M, Lee C: Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of selected New York apple cultivars. New York Fruit Quarterly 2001, 9:15-17. 8. Mayer B, Schumacher M, Branstatter H, Wagner F, Hermetter A: High-throughput flourescence screening of antioxidative capacity in human serum. Analyt Biochem 2001, 297:144-153. 9. Pearson D, Tan C, German B, Davis P, Gershwin M: Apple juice inhibits low density lipoprotein oxidation. Life Sci 1999, 64:1919-1920. 10. Lapidot T, Walker M, Kanner J: Can apple antioxidants inhibit tumor cell proliferation? generation of H2O2 during interaction of phenolic compounds with cell culture media. J Agric Food Chem 2002, 50:3156-3160. 11. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits Jeanelle Boyer and Rui Hai Liu, Nutrition Journal 2004, 3:5
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