Why Some Apples Are Red or Pink Inside

This might be something that happened to you before: You bought a tasty looking red Apple in a supermarket, you brought it home and cut it to pieces only to discover that the flesh of the Apple had red streaks in it.

This exact scenario happened to me a few years back I actually avoided buying deep red Apples for a while until someone finally explained to me why some Apples are sometimes red or pink inside and that it is nothing to worry about.

In this article, I will tell you all the reasons why your apple might be red or pink inside and why it is absolutely nothing you have to worry about.

In short, some Apples are red or pink inside because they either belong to an Apple variant that naturally has red flesh or because the inside of the Apple is reacting with the air and that oxidation process is coloring the inside of the apple brownish-red. The most common Apple variants with red-colored flesh are the Pink Pearl and Scarlet Suprise.

No matter what the reason is for your apple being reddish or pinkish inside you don´t have to be worried. As long as the apple looks and smells good it is good to eat.

Apples Can Get Pink Inside Through An Oxidation Process

This is probably the most common reason for your Apple being pinkish or reddish inside.

As soon as you peel the skin of the Apple away the flesh of the apple is being exposed to the air and an oxidation process will start that will change the color of the flesh from yellow-white to pink then to red and eventually the flesh of the apple will turn brown.

This is a process that will occur with every kind of apple no matter which one. Depending on how old the apple is this process will, however, be slightly faster or slower.

If you are interested in the details of this process or if you want to be convinced that the discolored insides of your Apple are still eatable then read on because I will explain exactly how this process works.

The main reason for this reaction is the presence of phenol inside the Apple.

Phenolic compounds easily oxidize terpenoids. This chemical change will gradually change the color of the Apples inside from yellow to brown.

While this color change is occurring the Apple might temporarily look reddish or pinkish before finally becoming brown.

Sometimes this effect can also result in deep red streaks. These usually only occur when the skin of the Apples was damaged before you peel them.

Simply put, sometimes some of the red color from the damaged skin of the apple can seep in the inside of the apple and the oxidation process can then result in deep red or pink streaks inside the apple.

These may look weird but they are nothing to worry about. You can still eat the apple without any problems.

Some Apple Variants are Naturally Pink or Red Inside

Other reasons some apples have red flesh: Some Apple variants out there that naturally have red flesh. They are usually growing in Asia and in East Europe but they can be bought in the US and some variants have been bred in the US. Many of these apples are bitter, and are not for consumption.

You can easily identify them by cutting them open. The insides are, depending on the variant, either a deep red or a nice pink.

The insides of the Apple will be colored completely through instead of just on the surface. They may look a little weird when you first see them and you might think that something has gone wrong here but the coloring is completely natural and eatable.

Here is a list of the most well known Apple variants with red insides.

Apple VariantColor InsideOrigin
Pink PearlPinkCalifornia
Pink SparklePinkWhale Gulch, Northern California
ThornberryVery PinkWhitethorn, California
Geneva CrabDeep RedOttawa, Canada
Giant RussianVery Light PinkRussia
Winter Red FleshDeep RedCentral Asia
AlmataDeep RedCentral Asia
Mountain RoseRedWestern Oregon
Red WonderDeep RedUS
Hidden RoseDeep RedAirlie, Oregon
Mott´s PinkPinkUS
GrenadineDeep RedHumboldt County, California
Buford Red FleshDeep RedCalifornia
Scarlett SuprisePinkish-RedWillamette Valley, Oregon

As you can see, there are quite a few variants that have red flesh.

Even though a lot of the variants originate in the US they are all just breeds from the original apple variants from central Asia.

Most of these apples look amazing but, unfortunately, they are not all that tasty.

Some of them are mostly used for cooking or for making gin. But some of these variants, like the Pink Suprise, are actually quite tasty.

You can buy some of the red variants in the US specifically if you are living in California. Here, a lot of different variants were discovered and bread over the years, each with its own special taste and every apple with its own uses.

So if you have the chance to taste one of these apples then diffidently go ahead. They are all one of a kind and you can get them rarely outside the US and outside Aisa. Even in Europe, these colored apples are quite rare nowadays.


I enjoy all things outdoors and I love plants! I've never considered myself to be one with a green thumb, but it's my mission to learn, so I figured I would bring you along for the ride. :) Happy planting!

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