Are apple cores biodegradable? (7 reuses of apple cores) 

This article will shed some light on the biodegradability of apple cores. Other targeted topics would include: 

  • How readily do apple cores degrade?
  • Can apple cores be composted?
  • How can apple cores be composted?
  • How can apple cores be reused?
  • Why do apple cores degrade?
  • What happens when apple cores are disposed of incorrectly?
  • FAQs

Are apple cores biodegradable?

Apple cores are absolutely natural and biodegradable. You can also compost them and reuse them in a number of ways. 

Apple cores can be reused to make jams, jellies, apple water, apple vinegar, or taste in your mouth. Correct apple eating can save more than 30% of the apple being wasted. 

Apple cores contain natural biomolecules which can be used as foods by the microbes and therefore, they will readily decompose. It is estimated that apple cores will degrade in about 8 weeks. 

Can apple cores degrade readily?

The question is very much analogous to the biodegradability aspect of apple cores. To probe into the answer to the question, it is important to know what materials are used to make apple cores. 

It is unveiled that apple cores are made mostly from natural materials such as amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside composed of cyanide and sugar. 

Since apple cores are made from natural materials (biomolecules), it is very easy to conclude that apple cores will degrade readily. The time taken may vary on external conditions such as sunlight, heat, aeration, et cetera. 

As a general rule, papers may degrade in about eight weeks. This time duration is very much insignificant as compared to non-biodegradable materials that may require years to degrade. 

Based on it, it can be stanced that yes, apple cores can degrade readily and therefore, are regarded as readily biodegradable. 

Why do apple cores degrade?

We have discussed that apple cores degrade, let us not discuss the science behind it. In order to do that, let us understand the basic definition of biodegradation. 

Biodegradation is defined as the breakdown of waste by the action of microbes and the facilitation of external conditions such as temperature, pressure et cetera. 

The microbes are able to break down waste such as paper because natural materials have nutritional content that can be used as a food source by the microbes. 

On the other hand, non-natural materials such as plastics, do not contain any nutritional content and therefore, can be degraded by the microbes since microbes can not use that material as a food source. 

Based on this discussion, it can very rightly be assumed and finalised that natural materials such as paper or cotton can be degraded easily by microbes and non-natural materials such as plastics can not be degraded by microbes. 

How can you compost apple cores?

You have a lot of apple cores available to you and you are wondering what is the best way to deal with them. You are also inclined to think that simply disposing of them in the trash cans is not a good idea. 

Congratulations. You are at the right place. This section will discuss one of the best ways to deal with used apple cores if you are not in the league (and you should not be) of disposing of them. 

One of the most eco-friendly options that you can explore is to compost apple cores. Composting is the process of making compost from waste. This compost can be used as a natural fertiliser that can replace synthetic fertilisers. 

Composting is a green alternative because it offers a number of benefits that include: 

  • Increased soil fertility 
  • Increased water retention profile
  • The increased organic content of the soil
  • Better yield
  • Decreased use of agrochemicals 

The composting of apple cores can be done in two ways. One is called the hot method and the other is called the cold method. 

As the names imply, the hot method involves a higher temperature that reduces the risk of harmful pathogens; whereas, the cold method involves the use of colder temperatures that do not emit the risk of harmful pathogens. 

What are the steps involved?

Below are some steps that you can follow to compost the products made from AirCarbon: 

  • Selection of place 
  • Building of compost pile 
  • Mixing, shade, and temperature 
  • Patience 
  • Extracting and utilising the compost 

Selection of place

The process of composting starts with selection of the right place. It should be spacious enough so that you may carry out the composting with ease and accessibility. You can prefer an open place or a compost bin. If you are the vintage kind of person, the open pile is your thing. 

Building of compost pile 

This is an important part of the process. The compost pile has to be built with two layers. One is to be of green materials such as leaves, grass. These materials are rich in nitrogen. The other is a brown layer made from materials such as paper cups et cetera. These materials are rich in carbon. 

You need to make a good pile or height of layers. The layering has to be alternate. Some suggest maintaining a ratio of 4:1 in terms of brown: green. 

Mixing, shade and temperature 

The equation of composting has to be completed with ingredients of temperature, shade, and aeration. Therefore, you need to ensure that the compost pile is in a shady location. You need to frequently mix it. And also, you need to maintain a good temperature so that the composting process may be optimised. 

Patience 

Another key ingredient for composting is patience. The compost may require several months to complete. Be patient and ensure regular mixing for proper aeration. 

Utilising the compost 

Once the compost is ready, be sure to make it completely advantageous. You may use compost for your own purposes but you can also share and care. 

What happens when apple cores are disposed of incorrectly?

We have discussed some of the green options through which we can dispose of apple cores. Let us now explore what will happen if apple cores are not disposed of in the way they should be. 

The worst-case scenario is that apple cores will become a part of landfills. This will not have significant environmental impacts because apple cores are made from biomolecules which will degrade readily. 

Also, apple cores do not contain any harmful chemicals (in most cases), so, there is little to no chance of leaking or seeping of harmful chemicals that can contaminate the soil and groundwater. 

Can you reuse apple cores? (7 reuses) 

Let us say that, for some reason, you are not in the league of either composting or disposing of apple cores. You may wonder if there are any other options that you could explore. 

Well, congratulations, again. You are in the right place. There are numerous ways in which apple cores can be reused and recycled. This not only will let you be creative and innovative but will also allow you to help in the conservation and betterment of the environment. 

This is said because every year, there is so much food that is wasted that could have been utilised in much better ways. When a product is disposed of, it simply becomes a part of the landfills. 

The more products that become a part of the landfills, the more problems will be conjured for the waste management systems and authorities. 

Therefore, let us explore some of the ways in which apple cores can be reused and utilised efficiently: 

  • Donate apple cores
  • Use apple core for home recipes like jams
  • Make apple cider vinegar
  • Eat it 
  • Compost apple cores
  • Make apple water
  • Use apple cores as a preservative 

Donating apple cores

One of the options that you can explore in order to utilise apple cores is to donate apple cores because apple cores can be used as fodder for many animals. 

Most animal farms will happily accept apple cores for their animals. This is a good and rather noble way that you are totally utilising the food opportunities that you have. 

Use apple core for home-made recipes

Apple cores can also be used to make homemade recipes like jams, jellies et cetera. This is yet another creative way to properly utilise the leftover apple cores. Some options that you could explore are apple vinegar, apple jelly, and apple syrup. All these recipes can be made by using apple cores. 

Making apple vinegar

One way to utilise apple cores is to make apple vinegar. All you need is a bunch of apple cores and sugar and the rest can be left to the action of bacteria. 

If you want to make apple vinegar at home, consider the following points: 

  • Sterilise a jar
  • Put apple trimmings along with sugar
  • Submerge them in water in a way that apple trimmings are completely buoyed in water
  • Put the jar in a cool, dark place for a month
  • Let the bacteria do its work!

Making apple water

Apple cores can also be used to make apple water. To make it, simply put apple cores in a jar or bottle of water and enjoy. There is nothing else to be done.

By doing so, you will do yourself the following benefits: 

  • Augmenting the qualities of water
  • Better utilising apple cores
  • Contributing to better waste scenarios 

Eat it!

Did you forget that besides all, apple core is still edible and you can always eat it, as long as it does not start deteriorating, of course. 

It is studied that when apples are eaten, more than 30% of apple content is not eaten, but rather wasted. This is because of poor cutting techniques and certain prejudices. You can avoid this by eating apples the right way. 

Another prejudice that people have is that apple seeds can not be eaten as they can become cyanide, which is a poison. Although it is true, you need a whole large amount of apple seeds to be able to affect you. 

You can eat apple seeds because the seeds of one or two apples would not do you any harm. Also, if your apple appears denty or ugly, there is nothing wrong with it. As long as the apple core is not deteriorating, you can always savour the crispy taste of it. 

Conclusion

It is concluded that apple cores are absolutely natural and biodegradable. You can also compost them and reuse them in a number of ways. 

Apple cores can be reused to make jams, jellies, apple water, apple vinegar, or taste of your mouth. Correct apple eating can save more than 30% of the apple being wasted. 

Apple cores contain natural biomolecules which can be used as foods by the microbes and therefore, they will readily decompose. It is estimated that apple cores will degrade in about 8 weeks. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Are apple cores biodegradable?

Do apple cores make good fertilisers?

Yes, apple cores make good fertilisers and therefore, you can rightfully compost them. This compost can replace chemical fertilisers which can do a lot of good for the environment. 

References

  • Schanes, K., Dobernig, K., & Gözet, B. (2018). Food waste matters-A systematic review of household food waste practices and their policy implications. Journal of cleaner production, 182, 978-991.
  • Girotto, F., Alibardi, L., & Cossu, R. (2015). Food waste generation and industrial uses: A review. Waste management, 45, 32-41.
  • Ruijssenaars, H. J., Stingele, F., & Hartmans, S. (2000). Biodegradability of food-associated extracellular polysaccharides. Current microbiology, 40(3), 194-199.
  • Fisgativa, H., Tremier, A., Le Roux, S., Bureau, C., & Dabert, P. (2017). Understanding the anaerobic biodegradability of food waste: Relationship between the typological, biochemical and microbial characteristics. Journal of Environmental Management, 188, 95-107.

 

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