Fresh fruit is a healthy treat, sweetened by Mother Nature to perfection. Properly storing your fruit has its benefits, such as extended shelf life and freshness. Following a plan to store your fruit will allow you to preserve the integrity of your fruit while also learning how to store separate types of fruit correctly.
Choose the healthiest looking fruit. The first step in storing fresh fruit is to get the best fruit. Storing fruit that may have already started expiring may speed up the process for surrounding fruits. Make the best choice based on appearance, firmness (if applicable), coloration, and smell. Weird odorous fruit should be avoided as well as discolored or bruised fruit. Inspection of fruit for signs of decay of the fruit or cuts should be done before choosing as well.
Separate the fruit by type. Fruits require different storage so it is necessary to separate them by storage types. Similar fruits like pears and apples require similar storage temperatures and care so to boost your storage efficiency, it is best to lump these two fruits together. Blackberries, cherries, blueberries and grapes also have similar requirements and shelf life when stored properly together.
Refrigerate your fruit at the right temperatures. Grapes, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries and similar fruit all do best at a temperature between 30 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit when stored in the refrigerator. Other fruits like those that would fall in the citrus or tropical category have a wider temperature preference of anywhere between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Apples can also be stored between 30 and 40 degrees.
Freeze fruit for longer shelf lives. Some fruit can be frozen in order to store it for a longer period of time. This process should be done as soon as possible after purchase or harvest. Fruits with seeds or peels may have to be peeled and cut into more manageable pieces before freezing. Deep freezing or flash freezing is recommended. Berries and grapes should be left whole when frozen. Be sure to store this fruit in a sealed freezer bag to avoid damage.
Monitor and remove aged fruit before expiration. Everyone knows the saying about one bad apple spoiling the whole barrel, and this is true with other fruits too. It is imperative to recognize and remove fruit that has reached its' shelf life before it spreads rot to other fruit. Some produce can produce ethylene, which is a gas that can damage other fruits when they begin to expire. Knowing the shelf life of fruit will help to avoid this. Apples stored at the proper can last from 3 to 8 months while blackberries stored in the refrigerator at the correct temperature only have a shelf life of 2 to 3 days. Keeping tabs on the shelf life of your fruit and removing rotting or over-aged and unhealthy fruit will help extend the life of other fruit around it.
Tips & Warnings
- When placing fruit in the refrigerator it is best to place the fruit in perforated bags and in the crisper drawer. Most fruit is best kept at a relative humidity of 90 percent.
- Hard skinned fruit such as watermelons should be gently scrubbed before use and all fruit should be gently rinsed before consumption to avoid the ingestion of harmful chemicals.
- Photo Credit Image provided by soultga.
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