When it comes to storage of vegetables and fruits the first option that comes in mind is refrigerator. We all use refrigerator for the purpose. Here we will discuss how efficiently the refrigerators can be used for this purpose.
So let us discuss about ‘How to keep vegetables and fruits fresh for longer in refrigerator?
Even with the fridge the question arises because sometimes we don’t use fridge properly. Failing to make use of fridge properly gives a bad result in form of vegetables and fruits getting spoiled earlier.
While discussing about this topics there are some basic questions that need to be answered. They are:
- How does a fridge works?
- Changes when vegetables are stored.
- Changes when fruits are stored.
- Factors causing early spoilage of vegetables and fruits in fridge.
- Preventing all above factors.
How does a fridge works?
Knowing how does fridge pr refrigerator works helps us to know ‘How to keep vegetables and fruits fresh for longer in refrigerator?’
Let us first know the basics of the mechanism of fridge. We have discussed in earlier post about it in direct cool fridge.
In short fridge works by cooling the temperature inside. The temperature when cooled it inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus in the fruits and vegetables. It saves the food for us from those spoiling microorganisms.
Additionally keeping at low temperature it prevents the vegetables and fruits from drying. So the vegetables and fruits and are preserved for longer and kept fresh.
If the fridge is not used properly the vegetables and fruits gets spoiled very fast in fridge and your refrigerator may stink with odor which is not desirable.
Changes when vegetables are stored
When green leafy vegetables are stored following changes take place in fridge. Though the fridge reduces the speed of those changes they do occur at low temperature too.
- The vegetables lose its water content.
- The freshness and taste and smell changes over time.
- The vegetables are attacked by bacteria and fungus on it.
- The vegetables get spoiled.
The vegetables lose its water content
Yeah you read it right. The water evaporate from the vegetable surface and escapes in to the fridge as water vapor. This leads to vegetables to become dry.
The dryness comes in direct cool fridge or frost free fridge alike. The retention of water content is very essential for green leafy vegetables to remain fresh.
The freshness and taste and smell changes over time.
Over a period of time water evaporating from the vegetables they look dehydrated and dull.
The change is quiet obvious in terms of fresh look also the changes are seen in taste and smell.
After these changes these vegetables may not be as desirable as they were at the time you bought from the market.
The vegetables are attacked by bacteria and fungus on it.
The bacteria and fungus sitting to get a chance are ready to attack after a period of time even in fridge.
They are fond of green leafy vegetables as you are. When they show their game your vegetables get particular look and smell.
The vegetables get spoiled.
And the times finally when the vegetables get spoiled. Alas!
They they will look as if dead and also smell stinky with a smell you wont love for long. It may haunt the other vegetables and fruits in your fridge with its odor and entire items in fridge may start stinking.
Changes when fruits are stored.
The fruits when kept in fridge they do behave slightly differently in your fridge. Alike vegetables the fruits play a different game.
- Release of ethylene gas.
- Starting ripening.
- Getting spoiled.
Release of ethylene gas
When you keep your fruits in fridge the changes occurring in them are reduced in speed but not stopped.
The fruits release ethylene gas. This gas acts as a hormone. It hepls the fruits to ripen.
More the ethylene gas more rapidly the ripening of fruits takes place.
Some fruits are very efficient in releasing this ethylene gas like bananas. So it is not suggested to keep bananas in fridge or all fruits in your fridge will be ripened very fast and get spoiled.
After becoming ripe finally the fruits are ready to get spoiled. They do get spoiled in sometime after ripening.
Factors causing early spoilage of vegetables and fruits in fridge
Here we after discussing ‘How does fridge works?’ we will see what are the factors causing early spoilage of vegetables and fruits in fridge. We will list those factors for you to be discussed in details further on.
- Buying incorrect type of fridge.
- Setting thermostat at wrong level.
- Overcrowding the vegetables and fruits.
- Improper arrangement of vegetables and fruits in fridge.
- Frequent power failure.
- Frequent opening of fridge.
- Bringing bad quality vegetables from the market.
- Not closing fridge for long.
- Leaking gasket and faulty door seal.
- Not cleaning vegetables before storing.
- Not using crisper correctly.
Buying incorrect type of fridge
Entire purpose of this blog is guiding you all friends to buy a proper fridge.
If you bought a wrong fridge which is not suitable for you the vegetables and fruits wont last as per your expectation.
Buying correct size, type and brand of refrigerator is utmost important in long term to achieve the desirable goal as you need it.
Setting thermostat at wrong level
This is another most common mistake that many people do.
the user manuals describe in details Setting thermostat at wrong level. You should go through it before using fridge. You can ask us in comment section if any doubt.
Setting thermostat at very low in summer and with high load inside will surely spoil your fresh vegetables and fruits early.
Setting thermostat at very high in winter with minimal load will spoil your vegetables and fruits which may be cold sensitive.
The not to high not too low temperature and achieving just optimal temperature range is very essential.
Overcrowding the vegetables and fruits.
Overcrowding vegetables and fruits by stuffing excess number of items inside it is important factor.
This overcrowding leads to decreased air circulation inside the storage compartment of the fridge. The temperature become uneven in parts of the fridge.
The vegetables and fruits mass being higher in this condition the fridge may not handle the load.
Being stored in not so optimal condition leads to spoilage of your fruits and vegetable earlier.
Improper arrangement of vegetables and fruits in fridge.
The vegetables stored in compartment that allows evaporation of the water content from the leafy vegetables lead to early spoilage.
Also fruits stored in compartment that does not allow the ethylene gas to escape will cause early spoilage of fruits.
Frequent power failure.
Frequent power failure in absence of power back up is the main cause that even refrigerator cannot save your food.
In many countries for many homes 24 hour electric supply is the dream yet. They face frequent power failure. Even if power back up is present it is not enough to support the function of equipment like fridge.
Refrigerator stopping work due to power failure intermittently can lead to spoilage of food if no alternate arrangement is made.
Frequent opening of fridge
Frequent opening of the fridge causes frequent entry of room air in fridge which is usually hotter than fridge items.
The items in fridge become hot in this case. There are frequent large fluctuations in fluctuations and sub-optimal functioning of fridge leads to early spoilage of the food.
Bringing bad quality vegetable
If you want to store vegetables and fruits for long period it is recommended to bring the best quality.
Storing already bad quality vegetables and fruits is the mistake that will lead to early spoilage. Sometimes market itself sells bad quality vegetables and fruits that cannot be stored for for long.
Not closing fridge for long
If you have habit of keeping fridge open for long period it will leak all the cold air inside.
The items inside will not be cooled or become warmer causing early spoilage of food.
This habit also increases energy required for fridge to function and that will cause increased power bill.
Leaking gasket and faulty door seal
If the door seal of your fridge is faulty or the gasket is leaking the cold air inside which may allow entry of hot air inside leading to large temperature fluctuations inside the fridge is a important cause of spoilage of food.
Not cleaning vegetables before storing
Vegetables and fruits may have dirt and soil on it. Some of them may be already rotten at the time of the buying from market.
If the vegetables and fruits are directly kept in fridge without cleaning them after bringing from market or garden it will get spoiled earlier for sure.
Not using crisper correctly
The main purpose of the crisper drawer in the fridge is maintaining humidity in the compartment if needed.
Green leafy vegetables need humidity to last longer.
In case of fruits the humidity required is less but the crisper should allow the ethylene gas to escape.
Not knowing the function of crisper or not using it properly for the intended purpose can lead to early spoilage of the food.
Preventing all above factors
Now for you it is simple to know ‘How to keep vegetables and fruits fresh for longer in refrigerator?’
In earlier section we have seen the factors that lead to early spoilage of the food in the fridge. Here in summery we will see the ways to prevent early spoilage on basis of earlier section. We will list the tricks for you here.
- Buying correct type of fridge: It is good to buy fridge best suitable for you. It should be appropriate size and type. Generally frost free fridges are better with inverter compressor.
- Setting thermostat at wrong level: The thermostat should be set according to recommendations by manufacturer and also considering the environment and the mass of vegetables and fruits inside the fridge.
- Not overcrowding the vegetables and fruits: The items in fridge should not be overcrowded. The mass of vegetables and fridge should be restricted to recommended capacity of the fridge.
- Proper arrangement of vegetables and fruits in fridge: The vegetables and fruits should be arranged properly. For leafy vegetables the crisper should not allow the humidity to exit from the box.
- Frequent power failure: If there is frequent power failure alternate arrangement should be done which can support fridge too.
- Frequent opening of fridge: The frequent opening of the fridge should be avoided as far as possible.
- Bringing bad quality vegetables from the market: Always buy best quality vegetables and fruits if you intend to store them for long period in fridge.
- Closing fridge quickly: Fridge should be closed as quickly as possible. There should be alarm to door so that you don’t forget to close the door of the fridge.
- Fixing Leaking gasket and faulty door seal: Leaking gasket and faulty door should be fixed as early as possible.
- Cleaning vegetables before storing: Cleaning fruits and green leafy vegetables before storing them in fridge is always a good idea.
- Not using crisper correctly: The crisper should allow escape of ethylene gas from fruit compartment and should not allow escape of humidity from the vegetables compartment. It should be sett properly.