Can an apple a day truly keep the doctor a way? It may depend on the apple, according to Australian researchers who have found that a new breed of "Pink Lady"® apples appear to offer greater health benefits than other varieties.
The study, carried out by the Department of Agriculture and Food and University of Western Australia researchers, found Pink Lady® apples — grown in the U.S. as well as Australia — have higher levels of flavonoids and antioxidants that help boost heart health.
"Our initial research showed for the first time that apples can improve clinical indications of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure and its response to stress," said lead researcher Michael Considine.
"What's more, it showed that a flavonoid-rich apple can provide greater health benefits and [the] Pink Lady® variety is richer in these particular flavonoids than some other varieties."
Flavonoids are natural compounds, sometimes called antioxidants, that are concentrated in some plant foods.
"The initial project, funded by the department and the Australian Research Council, has led to new research on ways to breed and commercialize better flavonoid-rich apples," Considine said.
He added that researchers are now working to speed up the process of developing new breeds of flavonoid-rich apples and make them available to consumers.
Pink Lady® is a brand that is protected by a trademark and the apples have to meet certain qualifications to be sold under the name for sweetness, coloring criteria, a certain crunchy texture, and other factors.
Pink Lady® was one of the first apples to be marketed under a specific brand name rather than by its variety name. The variety is grown under license, and then marketed through licensed resellers to the supermarkets. There are many different varieties under the Pink Lady® Brand such Cripps Pink Cultivar, Maslin Pink Cultivar, and Barnsby Pink Cultivar.
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