There’s an old saying that an apple a day will keep the doctor away. It’s a simple saying that says a lot about how people view the fruit. It’s been a staple of healthy diets for as long as most people can remember. What most people don’t give much thought to is the fact that apples in the store come with labels. A recent article sheds some light on just how much information can be hidden on that tiny sticker.
One of the most important points that’s highlighted is how standardized apple labels are. Most people would assume that it’s something stores toss onto apples without much thought. In reality the labels are highly regulated on a federal level. On a practical level, people should know that the adhesives used with the stickers are safe and non-toxic. It’s a good idea to wash apples simply due to the fact that they’ve been sitting out in the open. But if someone misses a bit of glue under the sticker than there’s no need for concern.
The label also contains a PLU code that tells people a little about how the apple was grown. It’s often a good idea to keep stickers around for a bit for later reference. If an apple tastes especially good than one might want to note the PLU code. This could indicate that people have a special taste for organic apples or those which are grown in a particular region.
However, the article also points out that while stickers are mandatory the PLU code itself isn’t. Whether or not this is important comes down to individual preference. However, anyone who cooks with apples on a regular basis would do themselves a favor by going with apples that have PLU codes on them. There’s a tremendous amount of variation in the taste of an apple. A recipe wouldn’t tell someone to just guess on how much sugar to put into a meal. Likewise the amount of sugary taste from an apple should also be as controlled as possible.