Energy / Climate Change

November 11, 2013


Global Warming Sweetening Apples, Proves Japanese Research Team

Keywords: Climate Change Adaptation 

Copyright National Agriculture and Food Research Organization All Rights Reserved.

Global warming makes apples sweeter, according to the results of a study released on August 20, 2013, by the Institute of Fruit Tree Science, which belongs to the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Japan. The research is the first to prove global warming causes changes in the taste of agricultural products.

In coordination with research groups from the Nagano Prefectural Fruit Tree Experiment Station and the Apple Laboratory of the Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Center, the NARO research team analyzed apple quality data gathered during the last 30 to 40 years. The team found that the acidity of apples has gradually reduced while the sugar content has increased, making apples taste sweeter. The study is the first in the world to show that the taste of produce is affected by global warming, which has been previously known to affect the yield and harvesting times of agricultural products.

The team thinks that those changes may have resulted from earlier budding and flowering caused by higher temperatures in early spring, allowing fruit to grow for a longer period of time. Higher temperatures during the growing season may also have accelerated the decrease in the acidity of apples.

The researchers expect the study will help in the development of a new technique adapted to climate change and capable of producing tasty and high quality fruit even under global warming.