What is food?  
  What happens to the food we eat?  
Our nutrient needs  
  Energy balance  
  Nutritional status  
  Laws & labels  
  Additives & colours  
  Toxicity in food  
  Processing food  
  Stability of food nutrients  
  Storage life of foods
  Food- associated health problems  

- Storage Life of Foods -

Home storage of food

Fruit and vegetables

The storage lives of fruit and vegetables vary enormously, being influenced by the maturity and quality of the produce at purchase and also the particular variety. Generally, the lower the storage temperature (but not below OC), the longer the produce can be stored. However, some fruits and vegetables, particularly bananas and most other tropical fruits, are damaged when kept in a refrigerator. Many fruits and vegetables can dry out in a refrigerator and it is a good idea, once they are chi lied, to place them in the crisper or in a plastic bag with a few holes in it. If a refrigerator is not available, find a cool dry place for storage.

The storage times given in Figure 35 and Figure 36 apply to sound, mature, ripe produce. Changes in nutritional quality and palatability are gradual and there is often no sharp cut-off point at which the food is no longer acceptable. Consequently. storage lives vary consider ably, and those listed in the tables are for guidance only.

Fruits and vegetables not fully ripe when purchased will have a longer storage life. Fruits ripen best at about 20C and the unripe fruit can be removed from the refrigerator and ripened as needed. For example, unripe avocados will keep in a refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, whereas the ripe fruit will keep for a few days only. Pears bought hard and green can be kept in a refrigerator for fairly long periods. those that are bought ripe will only last a few days. Potatoes keep quite well in a cool dark place. You should discard any potatoes with large areas of green skin as they contain a poisonous substance called solanine (see Figure 29). Potatoes with a small area of green are safe if they are deeply peeled and the peel discarded.

Other foods

The expected storage lives of foods other than fruit and vegetables are only approximate and depend very much on how the food was treated after purchase. If, for example, butter was left in a hot car for a short time, then the storage life until a deterioration in quality was noticed would be dramatically reduced. Similarly, if the packaging of breakfast cereals, for example, was damaged or opened, the storage life could not be expected to be the same as for an unopened package.

Food Facts
- Storage life of foods
- Frozen foods
- Canned foods
Home storage of food
33: Expected storage life for some frozen foods
34: Expected storage life for some canned foods
35: Home storage life for some ripe fruits
36: Home storage life for some ripe vegetables
37: Home storage life for some other foods

Also on this page:

-  Fruit and vegetables

-   Other foods