Comparative Study of Organic and Integrated Apple Growing: Differences in Fruit Nutrition

Péter Tamás Nagy, Tibor Bíró, József Nyéki, Zoltán Szabó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of our research was to compare the nutritional aspects of organic and integrated production systems in apples (Malus domestica Borkh., Rewena, Retina, and Reanda) in the region of Hajdúság (eastern Hungary). Adjacent pairs of production systems were studied. In our 2-year study, the macronutrient statuses of soil and leaves as well as fruit inner parameters were compared in integrated and organic apple management systems to determine the differences in nutrient uptake and utilization with the aim to improve and harmonize nutrient supply in environmentally benign apple orchards. The effects of year, cultivar, and production system were studied on leaf mineral concentrations and acid and sugar contents of apples. There were no differences in soil nutrient contents between examined production systems. Regarding leaf mineral composition, the year effect was significant for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and magnesium (Mg) and less significant for potassium (K) and calcium (Ca). Production system and cultivar had no significant effect on leaf nutrients examined, except Mg and P in 2009. It seems that cultivars had stronger effect on acid contents of apples than production system. The effects of year, cultivar, and production system on the vitamin C content of apples were significant. Moreover, the concentrations of sugars (except sucrose) were not significantly affected by production system and cultivar. Although fruit quality (sugar and organic acid contents) depends on environmental factors, which can be influenced by irrigation, nutrition, plant protection, and training system, we found that the effect of species (plant genetic factor) was stronger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-687
Number of pages10
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 26 2013


  • Fruit nutrition
  • integrated and organic apple growing
  • leaf and fruit analysis
  • soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

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