Apricot

What is Apricot?

The Apricot is a fruit that belongs to the family of Rosaceae, and its scientific name is Prunus armeniaca. The apricot fruit is classified as a drupe, which means it has a hard outer layer covering a seed inside. The fruit has a yellowish-orange skin and a soft, fleshy interior with a single seed in the center. The fruit is harvested in the summer months, and it is commonly eaten fresh or dried.

Apricot trees are native to China, and they have been cultivated for thousands of years. The fruit was introduced to the Mediterranean region by the Greeks, and it was later spread to other parts of the world by traders and explorers. Today, apricot is grown in many countries, including Turkey, Iran, Spain, and the United States.

The apricot fruit has been used in many cultures for its medicinal properties. The fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. It also contains vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. The fruit has been used to treat a range of ailments, including constipation, fever, and respiratory infections.

Apricot Production in the World

Türkiye is the top country producing apricots in the world. As of 2022, Türkiye produced 803,000 tonnes of apricot, accounting for 20.79% of the total production. Uzbekistan is the world's second-largest apricot producer, with 451,263 tonnes, which represents 11.68% of the total production. In terms of apricot yield, Albania is the most productive country on the planet with 151,099. Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, and Algeria are the top three leading countries with '305,932', '230,080', '203,916', and '174,546' tonnes respectively. Malta has the lowest production of apricots in the world with only 30 tonnes in 2022. The world's total production of apricots was estimated at 3,863,180 tonnes in 2022.

Source: FAOSTAT

Top 10 Countries by Apricot Production in 2022

Top Countries by Production of Apricot in 2022

Rank Country production(Tonnes) acreage(Hectare) Yield
1
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Türkiye
803,000141,85156,609
2
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Uzbekistan
451,26339,332114,731
3
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Iran (Islamic Republic of)
305,93254,16756,479
4
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Italy
230,08017,450131,851
5
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Algeria
203,91629,45869,223
6
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Pakistan
174,54613,551128,810
7
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Afghanistan
170,50822,65075,279
8
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France
128,08011,360112,746
9
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Armenia
113,57211,48798,870
10
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Greece
112,2309,360119,904
11
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Japan
96,60013,50071,556
12
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Russian Federation
84,90014,72157,673
13
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Spain
80,87018,43043,880
14
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Egypt
71,9794,838148,776
15
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Morocco
68,0019,28873,215
16
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Syrian Arab Republic
57,77913,70742,153
17
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China
53,32517,65930,198
18
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Ukraine
49,7106,00082,850
19
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Serbia
44,3866,09272,859
20
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Tunisia
37,0006,82354,231
21
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Turkmenistan
34,9722,629133,004
22
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Lebanon
32,6393,45594,474
23
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Iraq
31,1516,02451,709
24
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Tajikistan
31,03611,29027,490
25
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Azerbaijan
30,2843,73181,178
26
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South Africa
29,2763,50183,625
27
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Libya
28,1894,96456,786
28
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Argentina
27,5172,369116,144
29
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United States of America
26,8902,505107,345
30
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Kyrgyzstan
26,0678,32931,297
31
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Kazakhstan
24,2084,34555,718
32
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Hungary
24,1105,82041,426
33
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Romania
23,5001,960119,898
34
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Bulgaria
19,0403,05062,426
35
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Jordan
18,7931,478127,148
36
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Taiwan
16,1553,21250,295
37
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India
14,8745,29128,113
38
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Republic of Moldova
11,8004,50026,222
39
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Switzerland
9,445729129,561
40
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Israel
6,500577112,652
41
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Austria
6,28086073,023
42
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Albania
5,500364151,099
43
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North Macedonia
5,31254597,550
44
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Australia
5,2675,13610,255
45
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Poland
4,6001,00046,000
46
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Chile
4,56252886,396
47
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
4,11742197,791
48
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Portugal
4,01060066,833
49
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Georgia
2,6002,6769,716
50
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Nepal
2,22631670,443
51
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New Zealand
1,94627171,792
52
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Yemen
1,72279221,746
53
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Czechia
1,5301,11013,784
54
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Madagascar
1,48517982,856
55
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Mexico
1,08319356,234
56
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Cyprus
1,00019052,632
57
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Cameroon
92417951,735
58
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Slovenia
91090101,111
59
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Palestine
85733225,827
60
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Canada
7829582,316
61
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Croatia
67031021,613
62
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Peru
66911856,918
63
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Slovakia
46019024,211
64
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Ecuador
3597051,158
65
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Kenya
761646,739
66
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Zimbabwe
452319,846
67
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Bhutan
35751,840
68
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Malta
30--

Cultivation of Apricot

Here are some key points about the cultivation of apricots:

  1. Site selection: Choose a site that provides full sun exposure and well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.
  2. Soil preparation: Tilling the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches, adding organic matter such as compost or manure to improve soil fertility, and removing weeds and debris.
  3. Propagation: Apricot trees can be propagated from seed or cuttings. However, grafted trees are preferred as they are more disease-resistant and produce higher-quality fruit.
  4. Planting: The tree should be set at the same depth it was grown in the nursery, with the graft union above the soil line.
  5. Care and maintenance: Apricot trees require regular watering and fertilization during the growing season. Pruning may also be necessary to promote fruit production and maintain the tree's shape. Pests and diseases such as aphids, spider mites, and brown rot can be a problem and may require treatment with insecticides or fungicides.
  6. Harvesting: Apricot fruits are typically harvested during the summer months and can be consumed fresh, dried, or used in numerous recipes.

By following these steps, you can cultivate healthy apricot trees that produce high-quality fruits for many years.

Health Benefits of Apricot

Apricots are nutritious fruit that offers a range of health benefits. Here are some of the key health benefits of apricots:

  1. Good source of vitamins and minerals: Apricots contain essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and potassium, making them a healthy fruit choice. Vitamin A is beneficial for maintaining good eyesight and a robust immune system. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and protects the body's cells from harm. Potassium plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure and promoting heart health, while dietary fiber supports digestive health.
  2. May reduce the risk of chronic diseases: The antioxidants in apricots, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
  3. May improve digestion: Apricots are high in fiber, which helps promote digestive health and may reduce the risk of digestive problems such as constipation.
  4. May improve skin health: Apricots contain vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin A helps promote the growth and repair of skin cells and may help reduce the risk of skin damage and premature aging.
  5. May support healthy vision: Apricots' abundant vitamin A content plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy eyesight, shielding the eyes from harm, and possibly reducing the likelihood of age-related macular degeneration, a prevalent eye ailment.

Apricots are a highly nutritious fruit that provides a wide array of health benefits. They can be consumed fresh or dried, and can also be used in a variety of recipes to enhance flavor and nutritional value in your diet.

Nutritional Information of Apricot

A 100-gram serving of fresh apricots provides essential nutrients in the following quantities: 48 calories, 1.4 grams of fiber, and 0.5 grams of fat. Here's a closer look at the nutrient profile of 100 grams of fresh apricot fruit:

  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Vitamin A: 674 IU (International Units)
  • Vitamin C: 10 milligrams
  • Vitamin E: 0.9 milligrams
  • Potassium: 259 milligrams
  • Calcium: 13 milligrams
  • Iron: 0.4 milligrams

Apricots are a rich source of vitamin A, vital for maintaining healthy vision, skin, and immune function, and vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports the immune system. In addition, they are a good source of potassium, a mineral that regulates fluid balance and promotes heart health.

Dried apricots, however, have a higher calorie and sugar content than fresh apricots because of the removal of water during the drying process. Nonetheless, they still offer a good source of nutrients and can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Structure of Apricot

Apricot fruit has a characteristic structure that consists of three main parts: the outer skin, the fleshy fruit pulp, and the inner seed or kernel.

Apricots have thin, velvety outer skin that is covered in tiny hairs and typically appears in a yellowish-orange color with a reddish blush. Although edible, the skin can be slightly bitter and tough, so it is commonly removed before consumption.

Beneath the skin is the fleshy fruit pulp, which is the edible part of the fruit. The pulp is soft, juicy, and has a sweet flavor with a hint of tartness. It is typically a bright orange color and surrounds a single hard seed or kernel in the center of the fruit.

The inner seed or kernel of the apricot is oval-shaped and about 2-3 centimeters in length. It is hard and woody, with a slightly pointed end. The kernel is usually not eaten as it contains small amounts of cyanide, a toxic compound. However, it is sometimes used to make apricot kernel oil, which has various cosmetic and medicinal uses.

The structure of apricot fruit is simple yet distinctive, with a velvety skin, juicy fruit pulp, and hard central seed or kernel.

Types of Apricot

There are many different varieties of apricots grown around the world. Here are some of the most common types of apricots along with their regions of origin:

  1. Blenheim: This is a popular variety of apricot grown in California, USA. It has a sweet, rich flavor and is commonly used for canning and drying.
  2. Moorpark: Another popular variety is grown in California, the Moorpark apricot has a tangy-sweet flavor and is commonly used in pies, jams, and preserves.
  3. Hungarian: As the name suggests, this variety is native to Hungary and is prized for its large size, juicy texture, and sweet flavor.
  4. Goldcot: This is a popular apricot variety grown in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It has a firm texture and a sweet, slightly tart flavor.
  5. Chinese: This is a popular apricot variety grown in China and is known for its small size and intense, sweet flavor.
  6. Hargrand: This is a popular apricot variety grown in France and is prized for its large size, soft texture, and sweet flavor.
  7. Rival: This variety is grown in Australia and is known for its bright orange color, sweet flavor, and high sugar content.

These are just a few examples of the many types of apricots grown around the world. The specific flavor and texture of each variety can vary depending on factors such as climate, soil conditions, and growing practices.

Uses of Apricot

Apricots have a wide range of uses in culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic applications. Here are some of the common uses of apricots:

  1. Culinary uses: Apricots are often used in a variety of culinary applications, such as making jams, jellies, and preserves. They are also used in baked goods, such as muffins, cakes, and tarts. Dried apricots are commonly used as a snack or as an ingredient in trail mix, granola bars, and other healthy snacks.
  2. Medicinal uses: Apricots have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as coughs, fever, and constipation. The high levels of antioxidants in apricots may also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
  3. Cosmetic uses: Apricot kernel oil is used in a variety of cosmetic applications, such as moisturizers, soaps, and hair care products. The oil is high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which help nourish and protect the skin and hair.
  4. Nutritional uses: Apricots are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, making them a healthy addition to any diet. They can be eaten fresh or dried and can be used in a variety of recipes to add flavor and nutrition.

Overall, apricots have a wide range of uses and are enjoyed around the world for their flavor, nutrition, and health benefits.