National Apple Museum
Biglerville, PA 17307
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Early History
of the
Apple Industry
in Adams County

 A is for apple

Cleaning and waxing

Apples are washed to remove dust and chemical residues. This practice began in 1920, following a fatality blamed on fruit pesticide spray. Now all apples are washed before going to market. The earliest cleaning was done by hand. Mechanical cleaning methods were soon developed and various washing apparatus have been used over the years. Today's apples go through a two-step process of rinsing and brushing.

Freshly harvested apples have their own wax coating that protects them from shriveling and weight loss. When apples are washed, half of the apple's original wax is removed. The wax is replaced with FDA approved shellac or carnauba. This new coat of wax prevents moisture loss and retains firmness. One pound of wax coating will cover approximately 160,000 pieces of fruit.

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The Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society
and The National Apple Museum
154 West Hanover Street - P.O. Box 656
Biglerville, PA 17307-9442 - Telephone: 717-677-4556

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