If you’re wasting your food because it ripens and then rots faster, then you have to know the best way to store them so they can last longer. Storing food the best way can make all the difference.
Naturally, fruit and vegetables release Ethylene, a natural gas that speeds the ripening process. This is great in some way since it can help fruits like avocado ripen quickly, but the gas can still spoil it.
Apart from Ethylene, temperature also plays a pivotal role here. So, if you want to know the best way to store fruits and vegetables, then keep reading.
Fruits and vegetables should be kept in the refrigerator to last longer. The temperature inside the refrigerator should not be too cold, for it can really cause damage to your fruits and vegetable, especially if you are using old refrigerators that do not have a strong cooling system.
Even the fridge itself needs to be cleaned since a lot of bacteria can survive there. The purpose of keeping your fruits and vegetables inside the refrigerator is to slow down their ripening process since they tend to release Ethylene while ripening.
It is best to store your fruits and vegetables in a container while keeping them in the fridge. You can use normal storage bags or buckets but ensure that they don’t leak on your food because this can contaminate it.
Also, make sure you properly clean and disinfect the container with bleach after washing them for residual germs. If you bought canned fruits and vegetables, then you should also inspect them before storing them since some cans have internal blemishes that can ruin foods if not detected.
Another good way of storing fruits and vegetables is freezing. You can freeze vegetables right after it is harvested or even before.
This will help them last longer by stopping the ripening process, and they can still be enjoyed when they are eaten after being frozen.
When you freeze a vegetable, you should leave it in its skin so that the enzyme content in the skin remains intact while doing so, as this will prevent it from developing freezer burn.
3. Store them at room temperature
If you can’t afford to put all your fruits and vegetables in the fridge or freezer, then you can store them at room temperature. This is actually the best way since this keeps it away from bacteria and remains fresh that way.
Some fruits and vegetables are more sensitive to room temperature, so they will have fewer chances of becoming spoilt.
It should be noted that things like melons, apples and citrus fruits should always be stored at room temperature since they have an extra thick skin which prevents them from rotting quickly in normal temperatures.
The best ways to store fruits and vegetables are also determined by their variety or type, i.e., which fruit or vegetable has its own way of storing itself best when considering the best way to store them.
For example, potatoes, carrots and corn are best kept inside a cold dark place, while fruits like apples and peaches need a warm temperature.
Should You Wash Produce Before Storing?
You should always wash your fruits and vegetables before putting them in the fridge or freezer.
This will remove chemicals and pesticides that might come along with it. You can do a quick rinsing to remove dirt, but if there are other chemicals present, then you should dust it off instead of immersing it in water.
Make sure to clean the farm produce thoroughly before storing it. If you bought organic produce, then you don’t have to worry about this step except if they are not clean enough already.
Just make sure that they don’t have any mould or any slimy substance on them.
What to do when storing fruits and vegetables
Keep the correct space
it is very important to keep the correct space because when fruits and vegetables are kept in the correct space, they will stay fresh longer.
If you want your fruits and vegetables to last long, then do not use plastic or aluminium packing since they do not keep fruits like avocado from developing bacteria and mould.
Avoid too much exposure to light
It is very important to make sure that the fruits and vegetables are never exposed to light. The best way of doing this is to place them in a dark box.
Protect them from moisture
Fruits and vegetables should be kept in a dry and cool place, but it is important not to expose them directly to excessive moisture. The best way of preventing this is by placing them on plastic or paper in the fridge.
Refrigeration is good for fruits like avocados and strawberries, which you don’t want to ripen fast so that they can last longer. It’s best to keep them in a cool place like the vegetable crisper or anywhere in your refrigerator where the temperature is around 50 degrees or less. But if you would like to keep root vegetables like carrots, then it’s best to freeze them. The trick is to wash them and cut them into big chunks so that they have more surface area. Then place them in an air-tight container so that they can stay fresh for a longer period of time.
So, you now know the best ways to store fruits and vegetables. Whichever method you choose, it is most important to properly clean and disinfect your storage container before putting the produce in there. This way, you will be sure that they get the right amount of oxygen and moisture so they can last longer.