Apple Facts

  • Peak harvest of NC apples is mid August through October.
  • NC ranks seventh in apple production in the United States.
  • NC has over 200 commercial apple operations comprised of 9,000 bearing acres of apple orchards.
  • Up to 4 million bushels of apples can be produced in a given year.
  • Forty percent of the state’s crop is marketed as fresh apples through packing operations and direct marketing outlets while the remaining 60% is utilized in the processing industry, mainly as applesauce and juice.
  • Apples are produced in four areas of the state around the Henderson, Haywood, Wilkes and Cleveland areas.
  • The four major varieties, which make up the bulk of NC’s production, are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty and Galas.
  • Apples are rich in pectin. Pectin and mild acids found in apples help fight body toxins, aid digestion and pep up the whole system. Pectin too has been associated with helping to keep cholesterol levels in balance and is significant in helping to reduce the incidence of certain types of heart disease.
  • The high potassium…low sodium ratio is important in certain cardiac and renal problems as well as in diet for overweight persons.
  • Studies have shown that person’s eating apples regularly have fewer headaches and other illnesses associated with nervous tension.
  • Other studies have demonstrated an association of regular apple consumption with a reduced incidence of colds and other upper respiratory ailments.
  • Apples are “Nature’s Toothbrush”. The mild fibrous texture of the apple, its non-adherent nature, juice content and mouth watering appeal to accelerate salivary action all combine to make it a wonderful natural aid for cleansing teeth.
  • The mild nature and low acidic content of apples are more readily accepted and digested by infants, and causes less colic and rash-related disorders.
  • The age-old adage, “An Apple A Day…” is being more and more clearly substantiated.
  • Apples contain zero fat per serving. Fiber content is 5 grams per servings. (FDA revised guidelines)
  • Production: A fully producing apple tree may grow up to 20-bushel boxes of apples/yr.
  • Consumption: Americans eat approx. 18.5 lbs. of fresh apples annually, compared to about 46 lbs. annually of many European counties.
  • Best way to store apples at home- always refrigerate your apples as cold as possible without freezing. Apples will ripen and therefore turn soft 10 times faster at room temperature and nearly 5 times faster at 40 degrees F.
  • Apples stored in commercial refrigerated storage will keep for 4-6 months, but for long term storage up to 12 months, growers use CA storage. Apples for CA are picked at their peak of internal quality and condition. They are rushed into CA storage the day they are picked. The oxygen level is lowered to 1.5-3%, temperature is reduced to 30-32 F, and carbon dioxide levels are monitored and controlled.
  • Naturally sweet and fun to eat. Fiber in an apple has been linked to help reduce serum cholesterol levels. Numerous studies have shown a link between high consumption of fruits and vegetables with a lower risk in different cancers.
  • What book of the Bible used the phrase “apple of his eye”? Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye”.
  • What makes apples turn red? The cool nights of late August and early September trigger the change in the enzymes of the apple skin to change the color from green to red. This same condition will put a pink “blush” on green Granny Smiths and add the yellow color to Golden Delicious Apples.
  • What is the nutritional value of apples? An apple’s primary nutritional benefit is in the pectin and fiber. Apples contain as much fiber as a whole bowl of most popular cereals. Other important natural chemicals called flovonoids may play a role in prevention of certain cancers and heart disease.
  • An apple tree begins to blossom and bear fruit in as few as 3 years, depending on the variety and rootstock. Generally speaking, it is 8-10 years before a commercial orchard begins to reach full production and begins giving the grower a return on investment.For complete faxed report call 202-205-5592.

For additional information on suppliers of apples or crop information contact: Stephanie Wise, NCDA Marketing Division, 570 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC 28806. Phone 704-253-1691 or Fax 252-2025. E-Mail Address is stephanie.wise@ncagr.gov.