Are apple skins safe to eat?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question, “Are apple skins safe to eat?”. We will discuss the health benefits and risks of eating apple skins. We will also look at how to safely eat apple skins.

Are apple skins safe to eat? 

Yes, apple skins are safe to eat. Apple skins have many health benefits (1,2). If you use a knife or a slicer to remove the fruit’s healthy skin, you’re losing out on many of the fruit’s wonderful health advantages. The only risks in apple skins come from the pesticides and chemicals sprayed on the apples (8). 

What are the benefits of eating apple skins?

There are numerous health benefits of eating apple skins. Apple skins are rich in polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and pectin, all of which are very beneficial to health.

High in polyphenols and flavonoids

Apples with their skins had higher levels of polyphenols and flavonoids, two chemicals that are known to protect against cancer (1,2,3).

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Apples with skin had stronger antioxidant potential than those without, owing to increased vitamin C levels (1,2).

When it comes to vitamin C, apple peels have high quantities of minerals and vitamins that are absent or minimal in apple meat. 

A fresh apple with skin has up to 312 percent higher vitamin K, 70 percent extra vitamin A, 35 percent more potassium and calcium, and 30 percent more vitamin C than a cooked apple with skin (1,2,4).

High in fiber

The bulk of the fiber present in apples is also found in apple peels. A medium apple contains only 2 grams of fiber without the skin, while a medium apple with the skin contains more than twice that: 4.4 grams per serving (5).

Contains pectin

Apple skin also contains a lot of pectins, which are a sort of fiber. The fiber has prebiotic properties, which means it functions as a source of food for the good “probiotic” bacteria in your gut, allowing them to thrive and support your health (6). 

Pectin has been demonstrated to increase the amount of anti-inflammatory good bacteria in the gut bacteria, which are known to have health-promoting properties (7).

What are the risks of eating apple skins?

Apple skins may have pesticides, chemicals, and wax coatings. Another risk is microbial contamination when not properly washed.

Do all apple skins have pesticides?

It depends on the type of apple and how well it is washed. Of course, if you cultivate your own without using chemicals, there will be no problem. Chemically cultivated apples, unfortunately, soak the chemicals into the interior, not only on the top (8).

Most customers are aware that pesticide residues can be found on the skins of fruits and vegetables.

Organic apples also are the favorite product of health-conscious consumers, as they contain a more diversified and healthy bacterial community than conventional apples, resulting in a more varied and healthier microbiome.

Unfortunately, conventionally cultivated apples are sprayed with diphenylamine after collection in some regions. The goal is to keep food from rotting in storage. However, some tumors have been related to this molecule (9). Fungicides are used to treat apple scab disease up to 15 times annually!

Do apple skins have wax?

Apples have a natural wax coating that protects them. This aids the fruit’s firmness by preventing moisture loss. Natural deterioration is slowed by the waxy coating. It works as a physical wall to keep microbes out of the fruit (10).

The waxy covering can appear murky at times, but it can be made to shine by gently rubbing it. Ursolic acid, the primary cyclic element of apple wax, is highly water-repellent (11). 

Ursolic acid has been proven to inhibit a variety of cancerous cells and can be used as a precursor material for the creation of more effective bioactive chemicals such as anti-cancer medicines (12).

Farmers, on the other hand, frequently apply a second wax coating to enhance shelf life. Wax coats can come from a variety of sources, including trees, leaves of plants, and insects. Artificial lab polymers and oil products are also used to make waxes (13).

Microbial Contamination

Due to its moisture content and nutrient content, the skin of apples offers a perfect environment for microbial growth. When apples are damaged, bruised, or handled incorrectly during harvest, transit, or storage, bacteria, yeasts, and molds can thrive on their surface (16). 

Apples may also contain pathogenic germs such Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes, which can result in foodborne diseases if consumed. While washing apples thoroughly under running water can help, it might not completely remove all pollutants from their surface (17).

How to safely eat apple skin?

To safely eat apple skin It’s good wisdom to wash apples thoroughly regardless of the variety (14). 

  • Wash apples in warm water with a gentle brush. 
  • Use 1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice, plus 1 tbsp. baking soda. 
  • This solution may aid in the dissolution of wax and the removal of some pesticides and toxins from the surface. 
  • Systemic compounds, on the other hand, will persist in the fruit.


In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Are apple skins safe to eat?”. We discussed the health benefits and risks of eating apple skins. We also looked at how to safely eat apple skins.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.


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3. Casazza, A. A. Polyphenols from apple skins: A study on microwave-assisted extraction optimization and exhausted solid characterization. Separation and Purification Technology, 2020, 240.

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7. Dang G. et al. Pectin supplement alleviates gut injury potentially through improving gut microbiota community in piglets. Front. Microbiol. 2022, 13.

8. Lecerf JM., et al. Comparison of pesticide residue and specific nutrient levels in peeled and unpeeled apples. J Sci Food Agric. 2023, 30, 103(2):496-505.

9. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet: Diphenylamine. New Jersey Depart of Health and Senior Serv.

10. Yang, Y. et al. Relationships between cuticular waxes and skin greasiness of apples during storage. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 2017, 131, 55-67.

11. Frighetto R.T.S., et al. Isolation of ursolic acid from apple peels by high speed counter-current chromatography. Food Chem. 2008;106:767–771.

12. Seo DY, Lee SR, Heo JW, et al. Ursolic acid in health and disease. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2018, 22(3):235-248.

13. Verardo, G., et al. A thorough study of the surface wax of apple fruits. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2003, 376(5):659-67.

14. Zander, A., Bunning, M. Guide to Washing Fresh Produce. Colorado State University, 2010.

15. Kilonzo-Nthenge, A. et al. Efficacy of home washing methods in controlling surface microbial contamination on fresh produce. J Food Prot. 2006, 69(2):330-4. 

16. Qiu Y, Zhou Y, Chang Y, et al. The Effects of Ventilation, Humidity, and Temperature on Bacterial Growth and Bacterial Genera Distribution. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(22).

17. Juhneviča, K. et al. Evaluation of microbiological contamination of apple fruit stored in a modified atmosphere. Environmental and Experimental Biology, (2011) 9: 53–59.

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