Fruits and vegetables are generally prone to getting spoiled, especially when not specially preserved as manufacturers do after harvesting. This article will help you understand how best to store your apples, as well as when to draw the line in consuming them.
Yes, apples do go bad just like any other fruit or vegetable. There are ways to keep them for longer periods, but at the end of the day, as long as they keep ripening, they start to lose their nutrient and some may even rot. Rotting, getting soft or less crunchy, and housing maggots, are three ways in which apples get spoiled and unsafe to consume.
Does Apple go Bad? How Long Does it Last?
Before we dive into rotten apples, how long exactly can this fruit last in the pantry, in the fridge, or the freezer? Let’s find out!
How Long Does Apple Last Outside?
According to Healthline, whole apples last 5-7 days on the counter, and up to 3 weeks in the pantry. Apples are best stored in cool environments. This way their ripening process is slowed and therefore, they last longer (apples mostly get bad when they overripe to the point of rotting). So if you want to leave your apples outside, make sure the space is as cool and dry as possible. Room temperature is okay, but if you can get somewhere cooler, that would be better for your apples! For cut apples, try not to leave them outside as this exposes them to bacteria. More so, they turn brown due to oxidation and are unsafe to eat.
How Long Does Apple Last in the Fridge?
Whole Apples last longer when refrigerated, approximately 5-6 weeks. “When it comes to storing cut apples, you should transfer them into the fridge in an airtight container. Just like the whole ones, cut apples can last here for as long as 6 weeks. It might get brown, but it’s still safe to eat as long as it wasn’t exposed. This is why an airtight container is recommended to use before throwing it in! To slow down the browning, you can also coat the apples in sugar, syrup, or lemon juice. For detailed information on the browning of apples, read Prof. Lynne McLandsborough’s explanation on Scientific American.
How Long Does Apple Last in the Freezer?
Maybe you’ve never thought of freezing your apples, but this is a pretty good way to keep them long-lasting! In the freezer, an apple can last up to 8 months, even when cut! For apples, the cooler the better. This even is one of the ways manufacturers keep apples fresh after harvesting, before distributing to retailers.
We hope this section will, or has, helped you to select the best method among the options available to you, to store your apples when you want to keep them for longer periods.
How to tell if Apple Has Gone Bad/How to Know if it is Fresh
It’s not so hard to notice when an apple is no longer safe to eat; it tells its own story. For clarity purpose though, here are some proven ways to know when your apple is bad:
The Soft Apple: Sometimes when you leave it in the freezer for too long, especially when you keep thawing then refreezing, it loses its quality. It gets soft and mushy. Anywhere it is stored, when stored longer than the recommended frame or poorly, the apple could get soft and at this stage, it starts to lose its nutrients.
The Rotten Apple: Now people tend to mistake rotten apples with bruised ones. If it’s bruised, it has a scratch probably from being moved or harvested. In this case, it’s still safe to eat, you can simply peel or cut out that part. But once it’s rotten, it starts to smell, change color or even bring out a pulse. At this stage, it is unsafe to eat.
The Apple that Maggots love: Maggot-infested apples are usually easy to identify as they have a certain discoloration, holes, and may change form. If you see any maggot on your apple, whether the apple looks bad or not, just discard it. It is in fact, advisable you discard all the apples in that stack, as they might all be infected. According to extension.com; “Pulp breaks down, discolors and starts to rot as a result of maggots (larvae) tunneling through the flesh. »
The Good Apple: And finally, the apple that is just right. Fresh apples are crunchy, hard, and smell good. If it’s red apples, it remains red. If it’s green, it remains so. Any slight discoloration is a cause for concern.
So if you notice any or all of these bad signs on your apples, we do not recommend that you go ahead with consumption. If you already have, you should see the doctor!
How to Store Apple
Apples can be stored in or out of the fridge/freezer. When storing, here are few things to bear in mind:
Keep in Plastic Bags or Airtight Containers: Before you go ahead to store your apples, keep them in an airtight container or plastic bag.
Keep away from Heat: When exposed to heat, apples ripen faster. Seeing as you are trying to keep yours for longer periods, you wouldn’t want to do this, so keep the apples at the coolest temperature in your home.
They are best Uncut but if You Must Cut Them…; Make sure it is stored in the fridge or freezer. It is not advisable to store cut apples outside.
Apples can be stored anywhere, but with proper guidance. They are the easiest to store, yet the hardest. When next you mention them as a favorite fruit, bear their cautionary steps in mind, as well!
Can you Freeze Apple? How?
Who says apples cannot be frozen? It may be hard to believe, but yes you can freeze your apples. Let’s find out the best method you can easily employ to achieve great frozen apples!
Slice Up: We recommend you don’t freeze your apple whole; slice them first for a better outcome.
Line Up: After slicing and washing, you may choose to dip in lemon juice, sugar, or syrup to prevent the slices from getting brown. Once this is done, line them on a baking sheet.
Freeze Up: Turn your freezer up and freeze for 2-4 hours
Check-Up: Once hard, transfer to a Ziploc or airtight container and return to the freezer.
According to Healthline, apples can remain fresh for up to 8 months in the freezer. So who said freezing apples was a bad idea again?
How to Thaw Apple?
Thawing apple is as easy as it sounds. Once it’s out of the freezer, it begins to defrost itself, till it attains room temperature.
The good news is, most recipes don’t even require that you thaw your apples before using them, take smoothies as an example.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Apples
Can a Bad Apple Affect a Good One if Stored Together? Once you notice a bad apple in your stack, try to separate it from the good ones; depending on what is wrong with that apple, it may have negative impacts on the others.
Am I at risk if I Consume a Bad Apple? If you have taken a bad apple, especially a rotten one, you should see the doctor immediately for a check-up.
We have come to the end of taking you through the world of apples. We hope this article answered a few questions you had. Remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. And good preservation keeps them longer for you!