When we go to the grocery store we are always happy to have a nice selection of various kinds of fresh fruit to choose from. One thing most of us never consider is how to store fruit, or how growing and storage can affect freshness. Obviously, consumer demand and growing processes plays a huge role in how long fruit is stored prior to consumption. When purchasing organic fruit consumers can rest assured that no biological interference has been made in the growing process itself, which is the case with some of the commercially grown fruits.
When storing fruit, a clean, temperature controlled facility, is of the utmost importance. Fruit will remain the most fresh stored in temperatures between four and ten degrees Celsius. Some argue that chilling fruit in this manner can affect the sweetness and texture of fruit at the time of consumption. For instance, if demands were high for oranges, storing the fruit at higher temperatures would be feasible considering how demand would lower the total storage time. If high humidity levels are present this may increase the likelihood of fungus or bacteria developing on the fruit. Thus, temperature management and regulation is an absolute necessity in keeping stored fruit fresh.
Most traditional fruits can be stored for up to three months under the most ideal conditions. Some types of apples, and many varieties of pears can be stored for up to six months and still remain fresh. The way that fruit is packaged also takes a role in how fresh the fruit while being stored. The large cardboard packaging trays that most fruits are shipped in allows for ample airflow between the stacked layers. This creates a healthy environment and will help to ensure that all stored fruit remains fresh.
Many of the seasonal fruits, like grapes and apricots can only be stored for up to one month. Any good storage facility periodically spot checks all the fruit, ensuring the temperature, humidity levels and timelines are being closely monitored. If mold or bacteria develops in even just a few oranges, this can ruin an entire box. All fruit that is showing even the smallest amount of decay it should be removed immediately in order to ensure the freshness and quality of the other fruit in that facility. Storing fresh fruit can be a tricky process, but with the right attention, temperature, and constant monitoring you will be have more than enough delicious fresh fruit in your refrigerator.
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