One of our most favorite places to visit at home is our refrigerator. After an activity of high concentration whether it is mental or physical, we will most likely feel drained and hungry. As a result, we will crave some type of snack (or full meal) and what better place than to look than in the fridge, right?! As we look around in that “box”, everything just seems so tasty especially when you are hungry. While searching for that snack of the moment, you might start to notice that some fruits or vegetables have spoiled! Why does this happen? Isn’t the purpose of our fridge to preserve the life of produce?
What Causes Produce to Spoil So Quickly?
What caused the fruit or vegetable to spoil so quickly is something called ethylene gas. There is nothing wrong with your refrigerator. No spy has hacked it to poison you. You also did nothing wrong. Ethylene gas is actually naturally produced by certain fruits and vegetables. And of course, some release more ethylene gas in higher doses than others.
Purpose of Ethylene Gas
The purpose of the ethylene gas emitted by various produce is for the sake of helping it to ripen. This helps the fruit attain that state of full sweetness, juiciness, the right taste, and texture that one expects. For example with bananas. We want to consume the ripe, yellow, sweet with a slight tangy taste to it as opposed to the green, hard, non sweet, non-tangy state of it. Bananas are able to reach that desired stage BECAUSE of the ethylene gas.
Tool To Help Preserve Your Produce Longer
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
You can purchase something like the Bluapple Ball. What this product does is it contains little packets that absorb the ethylene gas generated by produce. With less ethylene gas floating around your produce, this just means your produce would age SLOWER and have a much LONGER lifespan.
How It Works
The Bluapple Ball has little packets that contain sodium permanganate. This is the active component of that product that works to absorb the ethylene gas. Sodium permanganate can potentially leave a purple stain so it would be good to avoid opening those packets. You can purchase refillable packets (1 year supply) for the Bluapple Ball if you find that the effect of ethylene gas absorption has diminished. Each packet should last, give or take, up to 3 months.
What Produce Releases a High Amount of Ethylene Gas
- Apples (High amount)
- Bananas (High amount)(Click link to find out what to do if too ripe!)
- Green Onion
- Nectarines (High amount)(Click link to find out how to select the tastiest ones)
- Pear (High amount)
What Produce Should You Keep Away From Ethylene Gas Sources?
- Brussels Sprouts
- Bell Peppers (Click link to learn how to select the best tasting ones)
You now know which produce emit a significant amount of ethylene gas and which are extra sensitive to it. Make sure you keep them separate to preserve the sensitive produce longer. For example, keep the apples in its own compartment.
Often times, things just become forgotten within our refrigerators. That means if food was already spoiling, one would not even realize it until a rotten odor has developed which calls for an intense cleaning and scrubbing session. Therefore, it would be good to check on the items in the fridge perhaps once a week. This way you can catch whatever is spoiling and throw it out before the ethylene gas starts to ripen other produce more quickly.
You do not have to use the Bluapple Ball in your fridge only. You can also place it in your fruit basket because that is another source of ethylene gas and it is much higher than in your fridge. The cold temperature of the fridge helps stabilize the gas from spreading too far. On the contrary, if the temperatures are higher, fruits can produce even more ethylene gas.
Keep your produce in good shape. They may end up releasing more ethylene gas if bruised or damaged.
Hack for Ethylene Gas
Just before you think there is no advantage to ethylene gas, you might want to think otherwise! Let’s just say you bought some fruits and they happen to not be ripe. But at the same time, you crave it and want it soon. What you can do is place that unripe fruit near other produce that releases a high dosage of ethylene gas.
For example, you can place your unripe avocados near your source of apples. Even better, keep it all in a contained area like a Tupperware or bag that traps all the ethylene gas. Place that entire package in a warm location. That avocado should be ripe much faster than it normally would be. The time frame will vary depending on how unripe the avocado is, how ripe the apples are, number of apples, temperature, etc., basically many factors to consider. It might speed it up by like a day or so.
There are times when we leave certain foods in our refrigerators and forget about them. By the time we want to eat it, it may have spoiled unfortunately. But there are tools like the Bluapple ball that can assist with reducing that ripening process. As a result, produce can last much longer than it normally would. Now you won’t have to feel too stressed in worrying about which produce to eat first due to its spoiling rate!
Did you enjoy reading about this product to help slow down the ripening process of your produce? Please leave a comment below!