Fruits are essential in our diet. But how can you maintain their freshness for a few days longer?
During ripening, some fruits release ethylene (C2H2), which is a gas that accelerates the ripening process – i.e. change in colour and the development of characteristic flavour/taste. Examples of such fruits are avocados, bananas, honeydew melons, kiwis, mangoes, pears and tomatoes. Ethylene is used commercially to ripen the fruits (and vegetables) postharvest. Therefore, if you wish to store your fruits and vegetables longer, you should store them separately. Otherwise, they will spoil prematurely and rapidly.
As you know, fruits are full of nutrients and contain high amount of water. It is a favourable environment for microbes to grow, so you should handle fruits with care because pinching or squeezing may bruise them. This will increase the likelihood of enzymatic browning or invasion of microbes and cause spoilage. In general, fruits with increased softness and unpleasant odour are the signs of enzymatic browning. Although enzymatic browning is not harmful to health, there is a risk of yeast spoilage too. You should probably throw them away when they turn too mushy and have a ‘grayish’ appearance.
As a conclusion, remember to store ethylene-producing fruits separately from other fruits and vegetables. Handle them with extra care and try not to keep them for too long because microbes may ‘eat’ them before you do!
The information provided here is served as a general guideline.
Nutritionist of The Froodly Team
Wan Lih Ching