Organically grown apples from the 12th Century have higher levels of health- giving plant compounds than modern non organically grown rivals, such as Granny Smith, Royal Gala and Cox. From peel to core, the medieval apple outperformed 14 other competitors.
Pharmacist Michael Wakeman will announce the findings of his research at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Annual Conference in Manchester. He has been researching the health giving properties of apples for a decade at secret orchards around the country, where horticulturists have been bringing back to life 300 varieties of ancient English apple.
The findings of the study directly counter the claims of the Food Standard Agency who claim that organic food is no healthier than standard food. In fact, of all the organic varieties, the medieval Pendragon was the best apple variety and contained 7 of the 8 kinds of healthy components at the highest levels. In contrast, the non-organic apples consistently had low levels and less major healthy components in both the flesh and the peel.
Runners up to Pendragon were an organically grown variety of Golden Delicious, a cider apple called Collogett Pippin, and old Cornish and Devon apple varieties, Bens Red and Devonshire Quarrenden.
Michael Wakeman who conducted the research discusses his findings in this video