What to Know About the Shelf Life of Apples

There’s an old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are certainly one of the more popular fruits, ranked among the top three around the world. When you go shopping for produce each week, you’ll want to know how long your apples will last once you get them home. 

About Apples

Because of their popularity, apples are available year-round. Their nutritional benefits include:

One medium apple counts as one serving of fruit. It contains:

  • 95 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 25 grams of carbohydrate
  • 19 grams of sugar
  • 3 grams fiber 

The phytochemicals in apples, specifically quercetin and pectin, contribute most to their health benefits. Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Pectin helps to prevent constipation and improve your overall digestive and bowel function. When pectin is digested, it ferments and contributes to good bacteria in your colon. It also helps to lower bad cholesterol levels in your bloodstream.

The most nutritious apples are ones that are whole and fresh. In order to get the most nutrients, it’s important to store apples properly and to avoid as:

  • Removing the skin
  • Dehydrating or drying
  • Making juice

How Long Do Apples Last?

There are several factors that impact the shelf life of apples: 

  • The type of apple
  • Stage of maturity at picking
  • Handling before properly storing
  • How soon they’re refrigerated

Some types of apple store well, while others are better if eaten quickly.  Ideal storage for apples is 30-32 degrees Fahrenheit with 90-95% relative humidity. Apples under these storage conditions can last for several weeks to months, depending on the type:  

  • Lodi: 1-2 weeks
  • Wealthy: 3-10 weeks 
  • Cortland: 3-4 months 
  • McIntosh: 3-4 months 
  • Golden Delicious: 3-5 months 
  • Jonathan: 3-5 months 
  • Red Delicious: 3-5 months 
  • Chieftain: 3-6 months 

There are several things you can do in order to extend the shelf life of your apples: 

  • Sort out the apples that you want to store.
  • Remove apples that are bruised, cut, or have signs of decay.
  • Eat larger apples sooner, since smaller apples can be stored longer.
  • If possible, store apples in a drawer of your fridge where the temperature remains consistent.
  • If you can’t store your apples in the fridge, put them in a cooler or a basement that stays cool. 
WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source: “Apples.”

Iowa State University: Horticulture and Home Pest News: “Harvesting and storing apples.”

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