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Journal of the American Pomological Society
(J Am Pom Soc)

American Pomological Society

Volume 60 Number 3 Article 16 Pages: 113-128
Year 2006 Month 7
Title: Characterization of Fermented Cider Apple Cultivars Grown in Upstate New York
Authors: S. Valois, I.A. Merwin and O.I. Padilla-Zakour
Cider apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) cultivars were collected from several New York orchards for physiochemical evaluation during 2002-2003, to characterize apples grown specifically for fermented “hard” ciders in upstate New York. Thirty-one cultivars in 2002, and 23 in 2003 (due to biennial bearing and weather events), were analyzed for firmness, pH, titratable acidity, soluble solids, total phenolic content, antioxidant capacity, and yeast assimilable nitrogen. We also categorized them as different cider-making types, based on acidity and tannin (phenolic) content using traditional English cider apple classifications. Physical and chemical characteristics of cider apples were similar to values observed in Europe, although tannin content was often lower in New York. The cultivars analyzed were generally smaller than dessert apples, and juice pH ranged from 2.7 to 4.4, while total acidity ranged from 0.12% to 2.25% (w/w). Soluble solids values ranged from 9 to 18 degrees (Brix scale). Yeast assimilable nitrogen content ranged from 20 to 138 mg N/L, indicating the need to supplement juice with added nitrogen pre-fermentation to achieve recommended levels (for grape wines) of 330 to 470 mg N per L. Total polyphenolic content ranged from 50 to 532 mg Gallic Acid Equivalents (GAE) per 100 g, and antioxidant capacity ranged from 64 to 1282 mg Vitamin C Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (VCEAC) per L. Most of these cider cultivars had substantially greater polyphenolic and antioxidant content than dessert type apples, which could be advantageous for both cider flavor quality and human dietary benefits. There was substantial variation in fruit yeast assimilable nitrogen content, titratable acidity, and polyphenolics content from year to year.

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