May 9, 2022
Our apples start with blossom - growing in groups of 5 with another flower in the middle. Bees come to the orchard to pollinate the flowers and from that point, our apples begin to grow.
As the tiny apples develop, our teams will thin the fruit - often keeping the apples that grew from that centre apple - known as the 'king fruit'. Thinning the apples improves the apple quality by focussing the energy of the tree on a few, amazing quality fruit. About 13 weeks after the flowers blossom, the apples are nearly ready to be picked.
Our laboratory teams assess samples every 4 days and test for sugar level, crunch and colour. Once they are happy that the apples are ready, picking will begin. Our teams pick by hand - picking the ripest fruit from the outside of the tree - in the following weeks, the rest of the fruit is able to ripen and will also be picked. The fruit goes in large wooden 'bins' to our cool stores to be quickly chilled to under 2°.
This slows the ripening and maintains the crispness. When we are ready to pack the apples, they are brought from the coolstore and gently placed in a water bath and carefully washed and brushed to remove any leaves or anything on the skin. They float their way onto the sorting belts and are scanned inside and out for any defects (unacceptable apples are diverted to be turned into juice). Apples are sorted for colour and size and given a final check by hand.
Once packed and protected the cartons are taken to our coolstores to be stored and transported at below 2°. We place temperature sensors in the containers to record the temperature on their journey over the sea - this means we can be sure that they have travelled to their destination in perfect condition. Our knowledge and care means that when they arrive they are sweet, crunchy and safe to eat, straight from the box - enjoy!
The water in Hawke's Bay comes from the pure rain that falls in the ranges and meanders along the plains, helping create the perfect environment for fruit to grow
We know our apples! In fact, Mr Apple can trace each carton of apples back to the small block of land on the very orchard on which they were grown. This means that we can assure the safety of every box of apples we deliver.
Did you know that apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants.