Keeping your Produce Fresh

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Some fruits and veggies produce a gas called ethylene as they ripen. This gas can prematurely ripen foods that are sensitive to it. Therefore, the secret to keeping your produce fresh longer is to keep ethylene-producing foods away from ethylene-sensitive foods. Below we have 2 lists to help you know what produce to keep separately.

Ethylene-producing

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupes
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Ethylene-sensitive

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce and other greens
  • Potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Watermelons

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Here are some storage tips on how you can store your fruits and vegetables, so they will last longer!

Fruit bowls – Having more than one fruit bowl is essential, especially if you buy lots of fruits and vegetables. Keep your citrus fruits away from your melons and bananas. Using separate fruit bowls will help prolong the life of your fruits and veggies.
Avocados – Unripe avocados can be stored on the counter top. Ripe avocados can be stored in the fridge in a bag.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are best if they are kept at room temperature left uncovered. They can be refrigerated if ripe. But when eating make sure they have been taken out of the fridge in advance as they taste much better at room temperature.
Bananas – Bananas are an ethylene producing fruit and should be kept away from all other produce. Buy a banana tree or simply wrap a small amount of foil or cling film around the bunch stalk. It’s this section that gives off the most ethylene. Covering this section will prolong the life of each of the bananas too! Store them on the counter top.
Berries and cherries – If bought from a grocer or supermarket, most berries and cherries come in separate containers, often with perforated packaging over them. Simply store in the fridge in the package. If there is no packaging, keep covered in the fridge.
Citrus fruits – All citrus can be kept on the counter top at room temperature and stored together in a bowl.
Apples – If under a week old, they can be kept on the counter top. After that they can be kept loose in the refrigerator.
Stone fruits – Peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots can be kept on the counter top until they are ripe. They can then be placed in the refrigerator. Keep them in their packaging or a paper bag.
Grapes – Store in the refrigerator in a bag
Kiwis – These can be stored at room temperature and then refrigerated when ripe.
Melons and mangoes – These can be stored on the countertop and then stored in the refrigerator in a bag.

 

Ethylene producing fruits and vegetables will cause ethylene sensitive produce to ripen faster. So, use this knowledge to your advantage. If you want to ripen your produce faster, pair an ethylene producing fruit or vegetable with an ethylene sensitive one. Place in a loosely closed paper bag and leave at room temperature.

We hope this information will help you enjoy your produce just a little bit longer by separating them. Or, ripen them faster so you can eat them sooner. Learn more about ethylene producing foods here.

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