How To Pick The Best Apples Using Those Little Stickers

Although you may think that all apples you see in the supermarket are the same, they fall into different types of categories. While most people aren’t that particular with the apples that they buy, some people only want organic apples and the like. The good news here is that there is a way to differentiate the various types of apples that you can in the supermarket. 

How do you do that?

Well, you just need to look at the stickers on the apples. All you need to do is understand what the stickers mean, and you’ll have no problem with your apples. We’re going to teach you how to do just that. 

So, here’s how it works. All of the apples that are in the supermarket have a sticker with a PLU code or a price lookup number. This PLU number is used to signify whether the fruit is conventionally grown, genetically grown, or purely organic.

The conventionally grown ones have four numbers on their stickers. For instance, if you happen to see an apple with a sticker number like 4102, it means that they’ve been conventionally grown.  

So, what does conventionally grown mean? Well, it simply means growing edible food with some kind of synthetic materials such as fertilizers, antibiotics, and hormones. 

If ever you see a five number code that starts with the number 8, then what you’re about to buy is a genetically modified apple. For instance, this type of apple will have code 84112.

What are the types of apples? Well, these are the apples that have been modified, so that they have certain features that regular apples don’t. For example, some apples do not turn brown. This is the type of apple that you may want to buy if you want one that stays fresh for a really long time. 

Another example of a genetically modified apple is the Honeycrisp which is a rather different tasting one compared to the usual apple. The taste of this apple happens to be a little more addictive. 

Lastly, there are the organically grown apples. These are the ones that do not have any type of modifications on them nor are they grown with any synthetic materials. These apples have a number code that starts with the number 9 and has 5 numbers. An example would be 95401.


So, these PLU codes are universal. Just to give you an idea, the codes are created by the International Federation for Produce Standards or the IFPS. Other organizations regulate these codes. Of course, this will depend on the area that you stay in. 

At least with these codes, you’ll know exactly what kind of apples you’ll be buying. The great thing is that these codes aren’t just for apples. They’re used for other fruits as well. So, if you see them on apples or maybe any fruit that you want to buy, then you know how to identify them.