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- PublicationIncreasing Functionality of apple productsApples are an inherently 'functional', or healthy, fruit — as indicated by the age-old saying 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'. Presumably this is at least in part because of the content of pectin (a dietary fibre that also reduces cholesterol), antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and other bioactives in apples. So why go any further? The era of functional foods is upon us and consumers are becoming more aware of such foods. Food producers and processors are also facing tighter profit margins and added value is imperative. So, functional apple products may afford new opportunities for both producers and processors. This is why they are one of the research and development (R&D) topics at Ashtown Food Research Centre (AFRC) in Dublin, as part of the EU ISAFRUIT project (a European integrated research project). The R&D at AFRC involves two streams: (i) adding bioactives (food components or dietary supplements, other than those needed to meet basic nutritional needs) to fresh-cut fruit salads with emphasis on apples; and (ii) adding bioactives/functional ingredients to processed apple products. The work will be extended to other tree fruits later in the project.