Throwing away and wasting beautiful fresh produce is something we all want to avoid. It's a waste of all the time and effort put into growing and transporting the produce. Besides that, it's also a waste for the environment when products have to be thrown away. Storing fruits and vegetables in the right way keeps them nice and fresh. This means we don't have to throw away as much! Check out the tips below so you can save extra effort and money!

 What do you store refrigerated?

  • Leafy vegetables: All leafy vegetables such as Lettuce, Endive, Spinach, Chicory, Spring Onion, Chard, etc. can be stored in the refrigerator. These vegetables will keep longer if stored properly and refrigerated.
  • Cabbages: Cabbages such as Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are best kept cold in the refrigerator. The more enclosed cabbages such as a pointed cabbage, green cabbage and red cabbage can hold up reasonably well outside of refrigeration, but of course, keeping cool is better!
  • Beans: Haricot verts and sugar snaps will keep well in the refrigerator for several days. If you are storing them too long, they may get black spots from the cold. Thicker beans can be stored outside the refrigerator for several days.
  • Mushrooms: These are best stored in their original packaging in a cool dark place.
  • Precut/grated vegetables: Anything that has already been cut should be kept cold.

Most vegetables contain a lot of moisture, therefore dehydration is a major concern. If you are able to increase the humidity in your storage area, this can increase the shelf life of your products considerable. Do keep in mind that it doesn't work for every product. Some of them will rot when it's too humid.

  • Berries Berries are very fragile. It is good to keep them cold. You don't want to have too much moisture while storing berries. When they get damp they spoil faster. So it can help to keep moisture absorbent materials near the berries to keep them fresh.
  • Grapes: Grapes grow in temperate regions, so they can be stored outside the refrigerator as well as inside. However, refrigerated is the better option.
  • Apples: Apples regularly end up outside the refrigerator, but it's better to keep them cool. Apples stored in a good cool environment can be kept for several weeks!
  • Pre-cut fruit: The same applies here as for cutted vegetables. It is best to keep these refrigerated. If you can store them airtight, this is especially good.

What can you store outside the refrigerator?

There is a difference between "cool storage" and actual refrigerated storage. For some products, a moderate temperature is best.
  • Citrus: Citrus fruits do not need to be kept completely refrigerated. If they are kept in a dark cool place between 10 and 15 degrees then it should be perfect!
  • Bananas and other exotic fruits: Most exotic fruits don't need to be kept heavily refrigerated. When you store these products below 7 degrees, cold damage occurs. The cells of the product break down, lose moisture and can even rot faster.
  • Cucumber: A cucumber may be kept in the same cool place as an exotic fruit. If they are in the refrigerator, the skin can be damaged and the product will spoil faster.
  • Tomatoes: Storing tomatoes in the refrigerator is also a mistake! Cold damage occurs, causing the skin to wrinkle and the product to spoil faster. The flavor is also affected.
  • Onions and potatoes: With these products, it is especially important to keep them in a dark and dry place. If they get damp, onions and garlic quickly start to mold and rot. If they are stored properly they will remain edible for a long time!
  • Root vegetables: The same applies to carrots, parsnips and celeriac. These are not very resistant to moisture. This causes rotten spots to develop more quickly. A dry place between 12 and 15 degrees is perfect!
  • Eggplant, zucchini and capsicums: These products can be kept outside the refrigerator. The cold incurs damage and affects the quality of the product.

Storage tips

There are all kinds of tips for making sure your produce stays fresh for a longer period of time.
  1. Bananas are known to emit ethylene. This gas causes pieces of fruit close to the bananas to ripen faster! This is not only a charactistic of bananas, but also pears, kiwi, nectarines, plums, avocados, apples and tomatoes emit ethylene. Want something to ripen quickly? Then put it near these products or in a container together overnight and you will speed up the process tremendously!
  2. If you don't want your produce to ripen faster, then keep them away from the above products. Eggplants, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers and cabbages are especially sensitive to ethylene gas.
  3. Putting a sheet of kitchen paper between your lettuce will prevent it from going limp quickly. It will absorb the excess moisture.
  4. Try putting an apple with your potatoes. To complicate matters, the ethylene gas from the apple actually causes the potatoes to germinate less quickly. So they stay firm longer.
  5. Try to store bananas on the bunch as much as possible. Loose bananas ripen much faster. You can wrap the end of your bananas in a whet paper and to keep them fresh even longer!
  6. Wash your berries with 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Make sure you dry them well and store them in the refrigerator. Add a kitchen paper next to the berries for extra moisture absorption. This should keep the berries fresh significantly longer!
  7. Be careful when storing onions. Many people store onions and potatoes together. This is not wise! Onions absorb the moisture from the potatoes and they will start rotting.. So not an onion, but an apple with the potatoes. ????

Hopefully this will help you when you later walk through your storage or open the refrigerator and see that it could be better! So it is definitely worth the effort to take a look at the storage layout and see if it could be better. Over time, it can make a big difference!

If you have any remaining questions regarding the best storage of your produce, don't hestitate to contact me! Jan van den Berg, via Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.and I will help you!