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Apples on sale could be from last year's harvest.Many people know that the cheaper European apples available in stores may not be fresh, but dating back to last year?

Apples mature in Europe during the autumn. Stores wish to provide apples to consumers all through the year, which is why they remain in stock for long time periods. If one purchases a European apple during July-August, it dates back to last year, says Hannu Salo from Hedelmän- ja marjanviljelijäin liitto (Fruit and Berry Farmers' Union).

European harvests are finally making it to stores, but shelves also contain last year's stock.

"At the moment they contain both. We hardly purchase old crops," says Product Quality Manager of fresh fruit and vegetables at SOK Tanja Talvenheimo.

According to Talvenheimo, it is rare for apples that have been in stock for over a year to be sold.

Apples have to be picked before they are ripe for it to be possible to store them for long time periods. The fruit is transported as quickly as possible to a storage space with a temperature of 1-2 degrees. Air is also regulated so that oxygen cannot ripen the fruit. Before the fruit is transferred for sale to consumers, it is allowed to ripen.

Long preservation is possible only with certain varieties. SOK sells Golden Delicious and Jonagold apples around the year. These are varieties that are stored the longest.

Johana Tikkanen – HS
Annika Rautakoura – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Image: Antti Johansson / HS

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