Can fruits be left on the kitchen counter?

Do you always get confused which fruit should be kept in the fridge and which can actually be left out on your kitchen counter? Here’s a list below to help you figure it out!

Fruits that does NOT need to be stored in the fridge

1. Store whole fruits on the kitchen counter to avoid antioxidants from breaking down in the cold refrigerator air.
2. Once the fruit has been cut open or fully ripen, then it has to be refrigerated or eaten immediately.
  • Apple and Pear
  • Citrus fruits- Orange, Lemon, Lime, Pomelo, Grapefruit, Kumquat
  • Stone fruit – Peach, Apricot, Nectarine, Plum
  • Tropical fruits – Mangoes, Pineapple, Papaya, Starfruit, Avocado, Guava, Banana (wrap the stems with plastic bag to slow the ripening process)
  • Berres- Kiwi, Passionfrit
  • Melons – Watermelon, Honeydew, Rock melon

Fruits that NEED to be stored in the fridge

  • Tropical fruits – Lychee
  • Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Pomegranate, Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Longan
  • Mangosteen

What is Ethylene and why is it important to know about it?

Ethylene is a plant hormone that triggers the ripening process of your fruits and vegetables.

DO NOT store ethylene-producing products and ethylene-sensitive products together. It will cause the other fruits to ripen quickly and rot.

List of fruits that PRODUCE Ethylene gas
  • Apples and Pears
  • Citrus –
  • Stone fruits – Peaches, Nectarine, Plum, Apricot
  • Tropical – Papaya, Mangoes, Ripening Banana, Avocado, Mangosteen
  • Berries – Kiwi, Passionfruit
  • Melons – Honeydew, Rockmelon
  • Figs
  • Persimmons
  • Prunes
List of Ethylene SENSITIVE fruits
  • Apples and Pears
  • Citrus – Lemons, Lime
  • Stone fruit – Peaches
  • Tropical fruits – Banana, Kiwi, Avocado, Mangoes
  • Berris – Grapes
  • Melons – Rockmelon, Watermelon, Honeydew
List of NOT Ethylene sensitive fruits
  • Citrus fruit – Oranges, Grapefruit
  • Tropical – Pineapple
  • Berries – Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes

Right vs Wrong ways of storing fruits at home

Do not store fruits in a plastic bag tied up
  • Never store fruits that produce ethylene in a plastic bag or sealed container. Gas trapped will speed up the ripen process, resulting in spoilage of your fruits.
  • Instead, place them in a netted bag or in a bowl/basket without a lid.
  • Sliced fruits can be stored in air tight container up to 5 days (except apples, pears, bananas and avocados should only be sliced just before eating)
Wash your fruits only right before you’re planning to eat
  • Added moisture encourages mould to grow.
  • Even if you’re not planning to eat the peel, you should still wash them as bacteria from the peel might come into contact with the flesh inside while cutting up.

The fruit of your own hard work is the sweetest.

Deepika Padukone
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References:
  1. Extension.umd.edu. 2021. Ethylene and the Regulation of Fruit Ripening | University of Maryland Extension. [online] Available at: <https://extension.umd.edu/resource/ethylene-and-regulation-fruit-ripening#:~:text=Ethylene%20is%20a%20gaseous%20plant,signal%20to%20induce%20fruit%20ripening.>.
  2. Ucsdcommunityhealth.org. 2017. Ethylene in Fruits and Vegetables. [online] Available at: <<a href="http://Ucsdcommunityhealth.org. 2017. Ethylene in Fruits and Vegetables. [online] Available at: http://Ucsdcommunityhealth.org. 2017. Ethylene in Fruits and Vegetables. [online] Available at: <https://ucsdcommunityhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/ethylene.pdf&gt;.>.
  3. n.d. Farmers’ Market Tips Storing Fruits & Vegetables. [ebook] Ecology Center in Berkeley. Available at: <https://ecologycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Veggie.Storage.pdf>.

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