Now more than ever you're paying attention to all the food in your kitchen, making sure you've stocked up on items that are going to last a while.Even though it seems like just about everyone is flocking to frozen and canned goods, some are still hoping to make the most of the fresh fruits and veggies they do have on hand.But knowing a few simple tricks can help them last longer—some rules of thumb, for example, include avoiding washing and chopping up your produce before you're ready to consume them, and making sure you're storing all of your eats properly (tomatoes should never be in your fridge!But to find out more about which items you need to be paying particularly close attention to we reached out to some well-known health experts and asked them to single out foods that spoil the fastest and what you can do to extend the freshness.Note, however, that when berries begin to spoil don't think you can simply cut off or toss the piece of moldy fruit.Also, note that storing bananas in brown bags can make them ripen faster.Instead, leave them on the counter and enjoy them when they're ripe," recommends Dr. Zelana Montminy, Suja's health and wellness expert and author of 21 Days to Resilience."Potatoes prefer cool over cold, and storing them in the fridge can cause their starch to convert to sugar more quickly, affecting their taste, texture and flavor," says Dr.
Montminy."Instead, potatoes are best left in a cool, dry cupboard, which will help extend their shelf life and result in a better taste.".Ideally, store your beans in an open Ziploc bag with a piece of paper towel to absorb excess moisture."To save them from moisture loss, wrap them in a plastic bag with a piece of paper towel and store in the produce drawer to add days to their life," recommends Desiree Nielsen, BSc, RD."In addition, many nutrients such as vitamin C degrade quickly – so for the most nutritious drink, use cold-pressed juices within a couple of days and always keep them refrigerated," says Nielsen."Broccoli will begin to smell and change color at the first sign of spoilage and the crisp texture will become limp," explains Siegel.To optimize freshness store your mushrooms in a cool, dry place and in a paper bag."Trim off the bottoms of the stems when storing asparagus and place them in water and cover the tops with a plastic bag to keep them as fresh as possible," says Dr. Montminy.Peeled or unpeeled hard-boiled eggs are safe one week after cooking when stored in the refrigerator.Leaving hard-boiled eggs at room temperature for extended periods of time allows for dangerous bacteria to grow.Siegel warns that any hard-boiled eggs left at room temperature for longer than two hours should be tossed."Treat all herbs like you would a plant: trim the ends, place in a glass with an inch of water and ideally, top with a Ziploc bag to protect from moisture loss."."Because spoilage bacteria is present in yogurt, it will spoil easily," says Nielsen who recommends getting your probiotics from Bio-K+, which is probiotic supplement packaged in a sterile environment with no spoilage bacteria, if you won't be consuming your yogurt soon after purchase."It contains healthy fats, which go bad quickly in addition to enzymes that breakdown the proteins in the fish along with bacteria that are well-adapted to colder temperatures, meaning that refrigeration doesn't slow them down as much.".
How To Store Tomatoes to Increase Their Shelf Life
Whilst most of us will probably buy the canned variety more often than not, there’s still something great about taking the time to make a homemade tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, or slicing up some nice big juicy ones to put straight into your salad.Unripe – the countertop at room temperature or a cooler pantry is the best place to ripen your tomatoes.Storing them upside down helps to prevent air and extra moisture entering the tomato via the scar which would cause mold to grow and make them go bad.This will trap ethylene gas that tomatoes produce whilst they ripen.You can also store tomatoes in a paper bag with other ethylene-producing produce such as avocados or bananas.In some cases, the ripening process will be stopped all-together, meaning the tomatoes will never become ripe.This will significantly slow down or even halt the ripening process, keeping them from going bad too quickly.Some advice says that you should take refrigerated tomatoes out of the fridge and place them on the counter for 24 hours before you wish to use them.Then, place them on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other, before putting them into the freezer.Because the freezing process damages the cells, the tomatoes will be soft when thawed.This mold will look like dark green or black spots on the skin of the tomato, as well as a fuzzier white kind.Feel – if a tomato is soft or mushy when given a light squeeze, it has gone bad.Is freezing ripe tomatoes easier for peeling rather than using hot water? .
How to Store Tomatoes
If you want to get a room full of tomato lovers fired up, announce to everyone that you put them in the fridge, and watch the vitriol flow.He notes that anything other than fully ripe tomatoes really suffer after refrigeration in every way—flavor development, coloration, and mealy texture.However, the key phrase to pay attention to here is “anything other than fully ripe tomatoes.” Temperatures below 55° F (like the inside of your refrigerator) halt unripe tomatoes’ flavor-producing enzyme activity.McGee notes that while fully ripe fresh tomatoes are still susceptible to flavor loss when placed in the refrigerator, some of that enzyme activity can come back if they are allowed to recover for a day or two at room temperature before eating.You might have heard not to store tomatoes upside-down because the “shoulders” (the area around the stem scar) are delicate and susceptible to bruising.If you’re worried about that, America’s Test Kitchen has a solution: Place a piece of tape over the stem scar. .
How Long Do Tomatoes Last? Shelf Life, Storage, Expiration
Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.Fresh tomatoes will begin to get soft and then may leak liquid when they are going bad. .
7 Foods You Likely Aren't Storing The Right Way, Causing Them To
Although it’s obvious that milk goes in the refrigerator and a box of cereal goes into the pantry, there are some other foods you may not realize you are storing in the wrong place.If you’re looking to reorganize your kitchen and maximize the shelf-life of your groceries, consider these seven foods you probably aren’t storing properly.Apples are best kept in temperatures between 30 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit; anything below that and their cell walls collapse, and too much above that greatly shortens their lifespan.Keep your apples in a crisper drawer in the fridge, and cover them with a slightly dampened paper towels.Store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for maximum shelf life, where they can last up to a year.Fresh herbs often wilt or go dry pretty quickly, but storing them the right way can prevent this.Store it in an airtight bag or plastic container to prevent it from picking up any surrounding flavors. .
7 Common Foods That Spoil Sooner Than You Think
So we surveyed a dozen experts to find out what's at risk—and learned some tips for prolonging your food's nutritional shelf life.Canned tomato juice loses 50 percent of its lycopene (an antioxidant) after three months in the refrigerator—even when it's unopened, says a study in Food Chemistry.Whole and diced tomatoes contain more solids, which provide added protection for the lycopene, says B. H. Chen, Ph.D., a food scientist at Fu Jen University in Taiwan.Vitamin C declined 40 percent, on average, after eight months in proper storage (in a place that's cool, dark, and dry), according to researchers in Holland.Make it last: Look for smaller potatoes (often labeled new), which have a slightly higher vitamin C content to begin with, and buy only what you can eat in a few weeks.The potency of antioxidants declined 40 percent after six months, according to a 2009 Italian study of bottled olive oil in the Journal of Food Science.The anthocyanins—flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory, memory-preserving, antioxidant effects—in blueberry jam decline by 23 percent, on average, after two months of storage at room temperature, say researchers at the University of Arkansas.The riboflavin—a vitamin that helps break down other nutrients—in enriched macaroni plummeted 50 percent after being exposed to light for only a day, according to a study published in the Journal of Food Science.A dry cupboard is better than the fridge—except in the case of brown rice—which contains a small amount of oil and therefore spoils faster at room temperature.The capsaicin—which may contribute to weight loss and fight certain cancers—in chili powder decreased continuously during nine months of storage in one Chinese study.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
How to Store Tomatoes (and Whether to Refrigerate Them)
But the question has made me think back on it, and to be honest, I can remember losing quite a few beautiful summer tomatoes over the years to rapid rot and decomposition, because they were sitting out in sweltering heat.Right now, for example, I'm typing this while sitting in my sweltering apartment, and I'd guess—based on the amount of sweat soaking from my lower back into my chair—that it's at least 90° in here.To answer these questions, I set up a series of experiments that spanned an entire summer and included literally hundreds upon hundreds of tomatoes of different sources, varieties, and quality and ripeness levels, and recruited a small army of blind-tasters to evaluate the results.If your tomatoes have never been refrigerated (i.e., if you grew them yourself or bought them from a farmers market stand you trust, in season):.Remove the stems and store unripe tomatoes upside down on a plate or cutting board at room temperature until they fully ripen.Refrigerate any unconsumed fully ripe tomatoes, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving them.But this is the relevant quote: "Red ripe fruits were stored at 5°C for 1, 3, or 7 d followed by a recovery period of either 1 or 3 d at 20°C, and volatiles were measured.So here’s what you need to know: Leave your tomatoes at room temp for as long as possible, especially if they’re still a little shy of hitting their peak ripeness.And here’s the other thing to know: The refrigerator is not great for tomatoes—it can degrade their texture and dampen their flavor—but it’s far more harmful to lower-quality and underripe tomatoes than it is to truly ripe, delicious ones.I bought several of each variety, selecting similar-looking specimens to minimize variations in ripeness—fairly easy, given that these were all pretty crappy yet highly invariable mass-market fruit.In terms of relative quality, the cherry tomatoes were the best, the plums in the middle, and the standard ones were the worst.To make sure the cold of the refrigerator didn't sway their votes, I let the chilled tomatoes warm up to room temp before proceeding with the tasting.The standard tomatoes, for instance, had turned redder on the counter than they had in the fridge, though the difference was subtle.The plum tomatoes showed a similar effect, with the countertop ones (at left in the photo above) redder than the chilled ones to the right.Here, the refrigerated sample is to the left, with a slightly lighter, less red color, though the difference is just barely visible.The plum tomato showed the most drastic visual difference, with the refrigerated sample appearing more white and grainy in its flesh than the countertop one.The cherry tomatoes showed the least difference, with a just barely perceptible increase in redness in the countertop sample (at left).Well, first, my mom was disqualified because she kept rejecting all the tomatoes, regardless of storage method, while reminiscing about what they used to taste like in the farmlands of Maryland where she grew up in the '40s and '50s.My sister, thankfully, was able to focus on the task at hand—analyzing the relative, not absolute, merits of these tomatoes—and give me her opinion.She found the countertop ones to be more aromatic and sweet, with a better texture, than the refrigerated ones, though she said the differences weren't as apparent with the cherry tomatoes.A tomato that is just fine, but not great, like the plums I bought, can benefit quite a bit from being left out at room temp.So, a day later, I sat my family down again—this time my sister, stepfather, and mother (who, I explained to her, could only participate if she forgot about those mythic Maryland tomatoes and focused on the ones in front of her).Once again, I let the refrigerated tomatoes warm up to room temperature before serving them alongside the countertop ones.And the weirdest thing happened: My sister reversed all her picks from the day before, and consistently selected the refrigerated tomatoes as her favorites this time.One possibility with this initial set of test results is that, because my mom's home was a warmish 75 to 80°F, the heat started to take its toll on my countertop samples once enough time had elapsed.As I've reviewed some tomato literature, this explanation starts to make some sense, though I haven't verified that it's correct.According to this report from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, firm, ripe tomatoes are best held at anywhere from 44 to 50°F (7 to 10°C), which is higher than fridge temperature but lower than most rooms.But what the studies I've found fail to explore is the effect of even higher temperatures on tomato storage.Given that tomatoes ripen in the summer, the challenge is that we're trying to store them at home during a season characterized by intense heat, and we don't usually have storage conditions in the 44-to-50°F range.This article from Business Insider illustrates my point well: The scientist quoted in the piece, who is recommending that we not refrigerate our tomatoes, casually defines normal kitchen temperature as between 68 and 73°F (20 and 23°C).My first test delivered some surprises, but it was based on just a few varieties of lesser-quality supermarket tomatoes, which left some questions unanswered.In five out of 11 tests, tasters unanimously preferred the refrigerated tomatoes—the countertop tomatoes tasted flat and dull in comparison.Below, you can see the relative merits of counter versus refrigerator storage at the four-day mark on a pair of tomatoes that started out just about equally ripe.If you buy underripe tomatoes, leave them out at room temperature until they're fully ripened, then move them to a cooler spot for longer storage.If you have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day there.If you don't have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day in the refrigerator.If you're storing tomatoes in the refrigerator, it may be better to locate them on a top shelf near the door, which is often warmer than the bottom and back of the fridge.If you're the kind of person who can't stand eating fridge-cold tomatoes and doesn't have the time or patience to let them warm back up on the counter, then you've got some tough decisions ahead of you, I'm afraid.Here on the East Coast, I went to the farmers market and bought a large load of both regular red tomatoes and a variety of heirlooms.** My plan was to do one giant blind tasting in the office, with as many people as I could wrangle, and more quantitative measures (as opposed to the strictly qualitative assessments I had done earlier in the summer).Meanwhile, over yonder in the Bay Area, Kenji went and picked his own tomatoes straight from the vine, just to remove any lingering question about the handling practices of the middlemen.When I ran my initial series of tests, it was at the height of summer in New York City, with temperatures well above 80°F (27°C).My whole argument revolved around very hot summertime conditions, and I had made no claim that the refrigerator was equal to or better than temps in the 70s and below.Tasters evaluated the tomatoes on a scale of one to 10 on four criteria: overall preference, flavor, aroma, and texture.Of all the tomatoes in the tasting, all of us (the 10 tasters plus me) agreed, unanimously, that the small yellow tomatoes—the ones that scored highest in the fridge and out—were the best.After 12 rounds, Max had correctly identified the odd tomato six times, which is slightly better than chance.(In a triangle test, random guessing should yield correct answers one-third of the time, which in this case would be four out of the 12 rounds.).What this test shows is that once that knowledge is removed, the differences can be subtle enough that tasters have a very hard time telling refrigerated and countertop tomatoes apart.Out in the Bay Area, Kenji also ran his tests, with tomatoes he picked directly off the vine himself.The fourth person who did the triangle test selected the odd one out incorrectly, but she still picked the refrigerated tomato as her favorite.Science itself has done nothing wrong: It's a beautiful system—the best one we've got—for answering questions about how pretty much everything in the observable universe works.The studies I found didn't examine tomatoes that were picked when fully ripe, and they didn't consider warmer storage temperatures, certainly not above 80°F.But that last step is the problem: The don't-refrigerate wisdom was good throughout the supply chain and kept the tomatoes in the best possible condition, but it doesn't necessarily apply to the retail customer with different storage conditions at home, or to tomatoes that are picked when ripe—conditions that had not been tested in any scientific study I found.Another example of the misuse of science is in this Alton Brown Facebook directive: "Do me a favor: Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator," he implores.How can we possibly draw an actionable conclusion from one single factor in such an intricate system as a tomato?None of my tests, nor Kenji's, are rigorous enough for publication in any kind of scientific journal, but I think we've each had clear enough results that no one should at this point continue to believe that the no-refrigeration rule is always true. .
How to store your fruits and vegetables the right way
You bring home fresh fruits and vegetables, stash them in the refrigerator and then wonder what the heck happened to make them shrivel, rot or go limp a few days later.An airtight plastic bag is the worst choice for storing vegetables, according to Barry Swanson, professor emeritus of food science at Washington State University.Washing fruits or vegetables before storing them makes them more likely to spoil, because dampness encourages bacteria growth, says food research scientist Amanda Deering of Purdue University. .