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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Be careful not to store these fruits and vegetables close to each other

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It’s common to store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator drawer or in a bowl on the counter, a habit that can lead to food spoilage.

What many people may not know is that there are actually foods that should not be stored close to each other due to ethylene gas, which can destroy other foods around them.

Ethylene is a gaseous hormone that certain fruits and vegetables release when they are ripe.

According to the International Society for Plant Growth Materials, ethylene is produced in all higher plants and typically varies depending on the type of tissue the product contains.

Although ethylene is a completely natural gas that helps ripen fruits or vegetables, it is necessary to store ethylene-producing crops away from ethylene-sensitive foods.

The best way to do this is to store ethylene-producing fruits or vegetables at the table and ethylene-sensitive foods in the refrigerator.

In the following report, we review a list of the most common ethylene-producing foods, according to the American website “Eat This, Not That”.


Apples are probably one of the most common producers of ethylene, so they should be kept away from other fruits.

However, what is interesting about apples is how ethylene affects them based on how long the apples have been picked.

If apples are picked before they are at peak harvest, the ethylene can burn them and turn the skin brown.

Apples will last 3 weeks at the grocery store, 4-6 weeks in the refrigerator, or 8 months in the freezer.

Therefore, it is best to keep it in a bowl in the middle of the dining room table but alone.


Avocados do not ripen on the tree, ethylene production occurs after the fruit is picked and increases as it continues to ripen.

Avocados are ripe when they feel soft and dark in color, and they usually only last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.


Although the ethylene production of mango is lower compared to other fruits, it still ripens with gas.

Mangoes can be stored 3-5 days, or up to a week in the refrigerator. It can be kept in the freezer for 6 to 8 months.


Like mangoes, pears ripen faster when exposed to warmer temperatures, but at a much faster rate.

If you want pears to ripen longer, placing them in a cooler environment will reduce ethylene production.

Pears can last 1-2 days once ripe in storage, 3-5 days in the refrigerator, or 2 months in the freezer.

peach and plum

The ethylene production of these two fruits is very similar, when a peach or a plum is immature, the ethylene production is very low, however, as the fruits mature, its production increases.

Peaches and plums have the same shelf life as pears, one to two days once ripe in the store, 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, or two months in the freezer.

So if you’re looking to ripen a peach for a sweet peach recipe, letting it sit for a day or two may be the fastest way to ripen it, but don’t store it near anywhere else.

the strawberry

Strawberries are usually picked when they are fully ripe. Storing them outside the refrigerator would not be the best solution, so put them in the refrigerator where ethylene production is stifled and should be kept away from ethylene sensitive materials.

Strawberries will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator and 8-12 months in the freezer.


Since tomato ethylene production occurs at a moderate rate, tomatoes can be stored for up to 7 days once ripe.

However, since exposure to ethylene can negatively affect many vegetables, it is strongly recommended that tomatoes, like other ethylene-producing fruits, be stored alone in a basket.

To the surprise of many, the USDA does not recommend storing tomatoes in the refrigerator because it can affect the flavor.

And if you want them to last, tomatoes can stay in the freezer for up to two months.


By exposing broccoli to ethylene producers, shelf life is reduced by 50%.

When stored separately, broccoli only lasts 3-5 days in the refrigerator, so if you’re near an ethylene producer, the shelf life of this vegetable is very short.

However, broccoli will last 10-12 months in the freezer, so freezing it may be the best way to keep it fresh.


When exposed to ethylene, carrots will begin to develop a bitter taste, while carrots will keep for up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. When exposed to ethylene, a bitter taste will appear after 2 weeks.

And if you prefer to freeze them, carrots will keep 10 to 12 months in the freezer.


Most pumpkin vegetables tend to be sensitive to ethylene, including cucumbers.

Cucumbers experience rapid yellowing and decay when exposed to ethylene, especially when stored next to bananas, melons, or tomatoes.

Cucumbers will last 4-6 days in the refrigerator, but the USDA does not recommend freezing them, so they are best eaten quickly.

leafy vegetables

Although some types of green leafy vegetables may last longer than others, most are very sensitive to ethylene.

In certain areas, lettuce and spinach will change color and be exposed in some spots.

Therefore, if you plan to make a salad of green leafy vegetables mixed with an ethylene product (such as an apple or tomato), it may be best to make the salad fresh and consume it daily for best quality.

In terms of proper storage, spinach can last 3-7 days in the refrigerator and leafy greens 3-5 days after opening.


Onions have a long shelf life like potatoes, which is why people store them together.

However, since potatoes already produce a small amount of ethylene, onions will begin to sprout and even develop spoilage-causing fungi.

When stored separately, onions will keep for one month in the pantry, two months in the refrigerator, and 10 to 12 months in the freezer.

Since these vegetables have a longer shelf life in the refrigerator than potatoes, it may be better to store onions in them.

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