Summer salad days
Published: 18 May 2020
As we move to warmer days and the alfresco season many of you will have a riot of colourful fresh and seasonal produce in your fridge. How long they stay looking as good as the day you bought them home will depend on how well you store them.
Limp lettuce and squashy avocado happen all too quickly in many households and this is likely to be caused by an invisible gas called ethylene which all fruit and vegetables give off naturally as they ripen. Some produce, such as asparagus, lettuce, celery, and spinach are particularly sensitive to the gas and are in trouble right away if sitting beside tomatoes, avocados, melon, and mangoes, for instance; produce which generate high levels of ethylene.
All fruit and vegetables, once harvested, are keen to breakdown and many produce seeds. Ethylene is the natural plant hormone which helps them to do so. Ethylene gas is not harmful to humans and does not smell, you will only know it has been working in the environment when your bananas turn brown quickly or your lettuce goes limp.
The storage life of sensitive produce can be extended by keeping them separate from those that emit excessive Ethylene. However, as our salad bowl make up has moved on from just a bit of lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes to many more exciting and exotic additions, storage of produce has become more challenging too.
Controlling ethylene and other harmful invisible bacteria and spores in and around fresh produce takes a bit of time and effort when transporting from the shop and then to placing in storage in the fridge or fruit bowl. However, a bit of time and effort will reward you with fresher and tastier fresh produce for longer. The chart above shows how keeping the worst gas guzzling offender away from those that ruin the party.
Another option and much simpler way is to neutralise the ethylene in your storage area. Fresh Pod for instance, uses a natural process to remove ethylene as well as other harmful bacteria and spores and will extend the life of fresh fruit and vegetables (works on flowers too) by up to four times. Therefore, ensuring you enjoy your salad fresh, crispy and tasty and whilst it retains essential nutrients. Fresh Pod works on organics too.
With most households likely to create more fresh produce waste during the warmer weather, careful storage of fruit and vegetables will go a long way to saving money associated with food waste as well as reduce the amount of fresh produce unnecessarily thrown away.
For further information, please visit https://www.freshpod.co.uk/shop/