How to store apples
In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to store apples?” with an in-depth analysis of “How to store apples for the short and the long term?”. Moreover, we are going to discuss what affects the shelf life of apples and what are the signs of bad apples.
How to store apples?
There are various methods to store the apples for the short as well as for the long term.
You can store the apples for the short term in the following ways (1,7);
- Keeping apples at room temperature
- Keeping apples in the crisper drawer
- Squeezing the lemon juice on the apples
You can store the apples for the long term in the following ways (2,7);
- Keeping apples in the pantry
- Wrapping the apples before storing them
- Freezing the apples
How can you store the apples for the short term?
If you have to store the apples for a short time of a few weeks, you can store them in the following ways;
At the room temperature:
You can keep the apples at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. It will keep them protected for a week (1,3).
In the fridge:
You can store the apples in the crisper drawer of your fridge too. The apples will stay fresh there for up to 3 weeks (1,3).
But before storing them there, wrap them in a paper towel and put them in a plastic bag.
Make sure to keep the apples away from the other items present in the fridge as the ethylene produced from the apples can spoil them (4).
Squeezing the lemon juice on the apples:
You can also store the apples by cutting the apples into slices and then squeezing the lemon juice over them (5).
It will protect the apples from browning.
How can you store the apples for the long term?
You can store the apples for the long term in the following ways to protect them from getting spoiled;
Placing the apples in the Dark, cool place:
Traditionally, the best method to store the apples for the long term is to keep them in the root cellars (6).
Because these root cellars provide cool and dark places for their storage.
If you don’t have a root cellar, you can use an unheated basement or garage for this purpose.
Make sure to store the apples in the cool room away from the direct sunlight.
Wrapping the apples before storage:
If you have to store the apples in the long term, you can wrap each apple in the paper and put them in a box (7).
However, you should make sure to check the apples every week and remove the apples that have been spoiled.
Freezing the apples:
You can also store the apples by freezing them (2).
It will keep them good for up to 6 months (2,3).
For this purpose, cut the apples and then spread the lemon juice over them.
Dry the cut slices of the apples and then freeze them.
How long can your apples last?
The shelf life of the apples depends on the way they have been harvested along with the way they have been stored.
The shelf life of the apples if they are properly stored is given below (3,4,7);
- Apples last for 5-7 days on the counter.
- Apples can last for 3 weeks in the pantry.
- Apples can last in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.
- Once the apples have been cut, you store them for 3-5 days in the fridge and eight months in the freezer.
What affects the shelf life of apples?
Variety and Maturity
The shelf life of various apple varieties vary. Granny Smith and Fuji types, for example, have a longer shelf life than other varieties (4,8).
Apples that are picked when they are at their ripest typically have a shorter shelf life. Apples may last longer if they are picked when they are slightly underripe (9).
Apples should be kept between 32 and 40 °F (0 and °C) in a cold, dark, and well-ventilated area. Higher temperature storage of apples might hasten ripening and deterioration (4,9).
Apples can quickly decay when there is too much moisture. To avoid the buildup of moisture, it’s crucial to store them in a dry environment or with adequate airflow (9).
Apples can degrade more quickly if they are stored near ethylene-sensitive fruit, such as berries or leafy greens. (4,9).
Bruising and Damage
Apples that have scratches or other damage are more likely to rot. Avoiding hard treatment and managing them carefully can extend their shelf life (10).
What are the signs of bad apples?
The apples can go bad if they aren’t properly stored and sometimes if after being stored properly, they go bad.
Some of the signs that can easily let you know that your apples have been spoiled are as follows (11,12,13);
- soft spots or bruising
- wrinkled skin
- holes and brown blemishes
- liquid oozing from its skin
- a mushy texture
- a mealy or bland and grainy taste
If you notice any such sign, your apples have been spoiled and you should discard them.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to store apples?” with an in-depth analysis of “How to store apples for the short and the long term?”. Moreover, we discussed what affects the shelf life of apples and what are the signs of bad apples.
1. Hirst, Peter., et al. Home Storage of Apples. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, 2006.
2. Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.
3. Food labeling and product dating. USDA.
4. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Agricultural Research Service Agriculture, Handbook Number 66, 2016, 176-180.
5. Andress, E.L. et al. Preserving food: Freezing fruits. University of Georgia Extension, 2019.
6. Storage of Fruits and Vegetables. Missouri Botanical Garden.
7. Harris, L.J. Apples: Safe Methods to store, preserve, and enjoy. University of California, 2007.
8. Salomão, B.C.M. et al. Influence of Storage Temperature and Apple Variety on Patulin Production by Penicillium expansum. Journal of Food Protection, 72, 5, 2009, 1030–1036.
9. Juhnevica-Radenkova, K. et al. Impact Of The Degree Of Maturity On Apple Quality During The Shelf Life. FoodBalt, 2014.
10. Opara, U.L., Pathare, P.B. Bruise damage measurement and analysis of fresh horticultural produce – A review. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 2014, 91, 9-24.
11. M. Barth et al. Microbiological Spoilage of Fruits and Vegetables. USDA, 2009.
12. Porat, R. Fallik. E. Production of off-flavours in fruit and vegetables under fermentative conditions. Fruit and Vegetable Flavour, 2008, 150-164.
13. Harker, F.R., Johnston, J.W. Importance of texture in fruit and its interaction with flavour. Fruit and Vegetable Flavour, 2008, 132-149.