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Apple Handling Information

How do you know whether an apple is ripe?

A ripe red apple has a soft, light green undercast of background color. Immature apples have a bright dark green undercast; overripe fruit has a dull, yellowish green background and soft, often bruised, skin.

Buying Tips: Look for apples that are free of bruises and firm to the touch. Larger apples should be very firm, since they mature faster than small apples and become soft sooner. Color should be judged relative to the variety. Brownish, russetted areas on the skin, usually caused by weather, mar appearance somewhat but don't affect the flavor.

Storage Tips: Care must be taken to store apples at home to keep them at their best. Keep small quantities of apples in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, away from strong smelling foods. The plastic bag helps the apples retain moisture and prevents shriveling. Refrigerator storage life is one to two weeks depending upon the variety and the maturity of the apple. Larger quantities may be stored in a cool, dark, airy place such as a garage or cellar. Line the box or container with plastic and cover the apples with a damp towel. Apples stored at room temperature will soften about 10 times faster than if refrigerated.

Basic Preperation: Peel apples, if desired, remove cores and slice or cut into wedges. Use an apple corer, if desired, or an apple cutter to separate fruit into neat wedges. When cut, an apple's inner color turns brown quickly, so dip slices or wedges in lemon juice and water to preserve the color.

Yield: One pound of apples = 2 large, 3 medium or 4 small apples.
One pound of apples yields 3 cups of diced fruit or 2 1/2 cups peeled, sliced fruit.
Two pounds of apples = enough for a 9-inch pie.

Nutrition Facts: One medium-sized apple yields between 70 to 90 calories. Apples are generous in dietary fiber. They contain some minerals, organic acids, pectin, and vitamins A and C. Apples contain natural fruit sugars which can enhance the flavor of many foods with the addition of little or no extra sugar.

Return to Apple Page

NCDA&CS Markets Division, Joe Sanderson, Director
Mailing Address: 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1020
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Room 402, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3100; FAX: (919) 733-0999