What are the best storage conditions for apples and should they be scrubbed before storage?

Gardens & Landscapes, Food Safety, Families, Food and Fitness October 10, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Apples can be washed before eating rather than before storing unless there is any noticeable dirt. If that is the case, wash under running water and dry thoroughly. There is a good publication on apple storage techniques from Purdue University Home Storage of Apples. Here is some general information on handling apples: • Handle apples gently—they bruise very easily and should not be squeezed or dropped—even an inch. • Store only perfect fruits that are free from punctures or bruises. • Do not store apples that have glassy spots in the flesh, known as "water core." • Check stored fruit periodically. One rotten apple will spoil the barrel if not removed. • Keep apples cold—close to but not below 32°F. Relative humidity should be at a 90% level. (Cellars and garages are usually cooler than the rest of the house but are not cool enough for good apple storage). • Store small quantities of fruit in perforated food-grade polyethylene bags to sustain humidity. • Do not seal or tie bags. • Generally, early ripening apples do not store well for long periods of time.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.