Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600656


     Late  maturing  varieties of apples will store for  use
throughout the winter if the fruit is hard,  mature   and in
perfect condition.  Apples picked too green are subject to a
number of storage disorders,  such as scald and bitter  pit;
if  picked beyond maturity,  they quickly become overripe in

    Cool  as  quickly as possible  after  harvest  for  best
results.   For most varieties of apples, the optimum storage
temperature  is  30  to 32  degrees  Fahrenheit  with  a 90%
relative humidity.  Higher storage temperatures reduce   the
storage  life considerably,  and  apples ripen twice as fast
at 40 degrees Fahrenheit as at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.       

    Apples  can  be stored outdoors in insulated  boxes  or 
straw-lined pits or buried containers as long as the outside
temperatures   are  above 10 degrees Fahrenheit.   They will
last   longer  and  retain  more  flavor if  kept in a fruit
cellar  in plastic bags or  in  cardboard  boxes lined  with
plastic sheets.  However, the cardboard box and plastic bags
or liners must be perforated to  allow air circulation.   If
the fruits are  individually  wrapped  in  tissue  paper  or
newspaper before being placed in boxes  or  baskets,  better
results will be achieved.  Plastic liners help maintain high
humidity and prevent  the  apples from being affected by the
surrounding   air.   The  balance  of  humidity  is  subtle;
excess  humidity will  encourage   decay,  and  insufficient
humidity will encourage shriveling.                         

     Avoid  storing apples too long and regularly check  for
signs  of  spoilage.    Mustiness  will  spread  to  healthy
specimens.  Storage duration depends on the variety.        

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