All apples contain Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid), but levels vary considerably between varieties. Vitamin C is usually measured in mg of Vitamin C per 100g of apple. We have categorised the Vitamin C content of apple varieties as follows:
- Low (less than 5mg/100g)
- Medium (5mg/100g to 15mg/100g)
- High (more than 15mg/100g)
We have included this data for its intrinsic interest - we do not feel that "low" is necessarily inferior to "high", since all apples have a wide range of valuable nutrients. It is perhaps worth noting that high quality dessert apples are often at the lower end of the scale.
If you want to get the most Vitamin C from an apple, it is best to eat it straight from the tree. Because levels decay after picking, a variety classified as having medium levels but eaten straight from the tree is likely to have more Vitamin C than a variety classified as having high levels which has been stored for several months. As a rule of thumb, an apple that is still edible, but past its best, is likely to have a Vitamin C level around 25% of what it was just after picking.
Published data on Vitamin C content varies considerably, possibly because of different measuring techniques. The primary source we have used is research carried out by Nigel Deacon of the Diversity website, which we have supplemented with other data where available.
To learn more about Vitamin C in apples and how to measure it, visit the Diversity website.
Where the data is available we show the Vitamin C rating in the "Uses" section of the summary features of our variety pages. See Bramley's Seedling for example.