Most of us tend to store the fruits and vegetables we buy from the market in the refrigerator, believing that all products will last longer and keep fresh until they are consumed. In reality, fruits and vegetables have different ideal storage conditions to ensure longevity and freshness. Proper storage of produce is crucial to avoid unnecessary food waste because of spoilage. Storing the produce properly also maintains its taste and nutritional value.
Apples, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, and eggplants are best stored in refrigerator drawers called crispers which are cold (0-3°C) and moist. Onions and garlic cloves are best stored in cold (3°C) but dry storage. Vegetables such as hot peppers, pumpkins, winter squash, and sweet potatoes should be kept warm (10-15°C) and dry.
Keeping fruits and vegetables in containers inside the freezer will prolong freshness. Fruits and vegetables meant to be blended or cooked are best stored frozen. Placing fruits inside the freezer slows the ripening process but may cause the fruits to ripen incorrectly. Keep in mind that leafy vegetables should not be stored in the freezer.
Fruits and vegetables that have been sliced should be stored immediately inside the refrigerator or freezer.
Free your fridge from clutter by storing tomatoes, bananas, potatoes, lemons, and limes in a cool (5-10°C) and dry place. Storage inside the refrigerator may affect the flavor and texture of these fruits.
Harmful microorganisms can contaminate your produce from the farm to the market. Food safety is always a priority. Washing fruits and vegetables before consumption is necessary. Drying the produce before storage is recommended because excessive moisture may shorten its storage life.