Apples: Acidic or Alkaline pH?

Because apples are incredibly nutritious, the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” remains true. Apples are high in fibre, which aids digestion and keeps the digestive system running smoothly. This fibre also aids in the reduction of cholesterol levels in the body, which is beneficial to heart health. Apples are a good source of polyphenols as well.

So, how acidic is an apple? Apples have a pH of 4, which is slightly acidic. As a result, apples have a high acidity level. The presence of malic acid in apples can be attributed to its acidity. Because of the vinegar mother contained in it, the pH of apple cider vinegar is in the range of 2-3, making it exceedingly acidic. Unless we add any other agents that affect this pH range, the pH of apple juice is quite near to 3.5.

Polyphenols can be thought of as antioxidants in a broader sense, as they help reduce the risk of diabetes and a range of malignancies.

We grow apples on a massive scale because of all of these health benefits. Apples are produced in 60 million metric tonnes annually over the world.

Fresh fruit, apple cider vinegar, applesauce, apple juice, apple jam, and apple butter are just some of the ways we can use these apples.

The amount of nutrients contained varies depending on the stage of ripening and the final treatment used.

Because of the health benefits that foodstuffs, particularly fruits, have, pH can help to identify the total richness of the fruits more indirectly by commenting on the maturity of fresh fruits and the additives used in the processing of apples to create various goods.

As a result, we must evaluate the pH of apples in order to assess the nutritional value and consequently the advantages.

What causes apples to be acidic in the first place?

Apples contain a lot of malic acid, which lowers the pH below 7 and classifies them as slightly acidic fruits.

Apples also include basic or alkaline earth elements such as calcium and magnesium, in addition to malic acid.

When apples are consumed, these components are critical in establishing a modest acidic-alkaline equilibrium within the human body.

The sweetness and sourness of different apples varies due to changes in malic acid concentration caused by changes in the atmosphere in which the cultivation is done, soil and water conditions, and fertilisers utilised during cultivation.

The pH range for apples is typically 3-4, with 4 representing more mature fruits and 3 representing immature apples.

Malic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that is responsible for the sour taste of a variety of fruits.

It is essential for the human body because it is involved in the Krebs cycle, which is the process by which a live body generates energy.

Overconsumption of malic acid causes acidity and heartburn; yet, due of the presence of calcium and magnesium in apples, they provide an alkaline environment.

As a result, the risk of acidity from excessive gastric juice production is lowered. Apples are also recommended in cases of hyperacidity for the same reason.

Apple cider vinegar and apple juice have different pH levels.

With a pH of 2-3, apple cider vinegar is acidic. The vinegar’s acidity and antioxidants are the main reasons for its popularity in providing amazing health advantages, particularly for the skin and hair.

When apple cider vinegar is digested by the digestive process, it becomes alkaline due to buffer systems, which helps to maintain the equilibrium inside the gut and generates an environment conducive to pro bacterial growth. Metabolic alkalosis is the term for this metabolic process.

However, it is a popular misconception that drinking acidic apple cider vinegar makes your body alkaline. This is incorrect because when acids are broken down, the human digestive system produces even more acidic chemicals.

As a result, the pH of the body drops, making it slightly more acidic.

The pH buffers in the human system, on the other hand, have a significant power to resist this change and preserve the environment under alkaline conditions.

So an alkaline environment is created not by the breakdown of acidic compounds, but by pH buffers that resist the reduction in pH.

When it comes to apple juice, the pH ranges between 3.4 and 3.5 to be precise.

Traditionally, no preservatives were added to apple juice because the acidity of the juice was sufficient to ensure a long shelf life for the product.

Preservatives are now being added to increase the freshness of the juice for a longer period of time.

The pH reduction in apple juice is caused by sodium benzoate, a major preservative used in the industry.

Is Apple Acidity Unpleasant or Harmful to Human Health?

Because apples do not have a high pH, their ingestion and the acidity that comes with it are not harmful to human health.

However, because so much depends on the person, it is uncommon to discover people who develop hyperacidity as a result of eating apples.

Because apples include alkaline components like calcium and magnesium, as well as malic acid, they help to maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance in the body.

As a result, there is a very minimal chance of acidity and heartburn as a result of excessive gastric juice or acid production.

Is there any danger in consuming too much apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is far more acidic than fresh apples, and while it has many health benefits, it can also have negative side effects if drunk in excess.

Because of the acidic pH of apple cider vinegar, these negative effects are significant, and some of them are as follows:

Tooth enamel erosion–Due to the acidic pH, the enamel on the teeth erodes. If taken in large quantities, acidic vinegar can cause a loss of 1-20 percent of the minerals found in teeth.

Throat burns–This is a regular occurrence in youngsters and some adults with a sensitive throat. It’s due to the presence of acetic acid.

Because of its acidic nature, it can cause skin burns when applied to the skin. As a result, it should be taken with caution.


The pH of apples is 4 and varies depending on ripeness. The pH of apples is an important characteristic for determining the quality of apples and is consequently employed as a quality control measure or a sweetness test.

Because of the presence of malic acid and vinegar broth, apple cider vinegar is a very essential apple product that is acidic.

However, while looking at it, the potential negative effects must be ignored. The incredible health advantages of apples, as well as the acid-alkaline balance, are the driving forces behind pH research on apples and apple products.

Read more: Is it true that lighting a candle causes a chemical change?

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More