Produce Spoils Too Quickly – How to Increase Their Lifespan

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

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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
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines (High amount)(Click link to find out how to select the tastiest ones)
  • Pear (High amount)
  • Plum
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes

What Produce Should You Keep Away From Ethylene Gas Sources?

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cucumbers
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Bell Peppers (Click link to learn how to select the best tasting ones)
  • Spinach


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!

16 thoughts on “Produce Spoils Too Quickly – How to Increase Their Lifespan”

  1. I think most of us somehow knew what this process was but we just didn’t quite put all the pieces together to connect the name with the process. As you said, this is a normal process and I think if we get worried it would be due to the fruits and vegetables not going through an early rotten process. Some of these products contain high amounts of GMO and that is not healthy for our bodies. Thank you for bringing awareness and clearing things up when it comes to the way we handle our fresh foods.

  2. This is a cool way to extend the lifespan of our bananas and all our produce. I had heard Blueapple Ball mentioned before but it has been here on your post that I have discovered what it’s for. I incline towards the refillable packets of Blueapple Ball. And it’s convenient that we can buy them at Amazon.

    • Hi there, Paolo! I am glad to hear that my post was able to help explain things further for you. Definitely pretty convenient that these tools can be purchased all on Amazon.

  3. I have been using bags called Green bags, and they work amazingly!! But I will have to look into what you have written about in this article. 

    I think trying to keep our food fresh is very important to me and my family, and I will come back to this article for reference. Thanks for this!

    • Hi there, Rebekah! I haven’t used green bags before but will look more into it. Keeping food fresh is definitely important for a healthy style.

  4. I didn’t realise that ethylene Gas helps to ripen fruits and vegetables and truly is a necessity to allow them to taste and make it mire appealable. I buy fruit and veg regularly and there are definitely some fruit or veg that produce this type of gas more than others… The bluapple ball is ideal for me! Very discreet and versatile as you don’t only have to place it in your fridge, I have checked out your link… Many thanks for the awareness:)

  5. I had no idea why my food spoiled so freaking fast in and out of my fridge, now I know. I gotta get this, despite my best effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, I hardly finish them all and most of the time I throw them in the compost pile due to them ripening too fast. Love the avocados trick suggested gonna try this too.

    • Hello there, Dan! I was like you too where my fruits and veggies spoil so much faster than the rate that I was able to eat. Fortunately that wasn’t too much of a problem anymore with the bluapple ball.

  6. Hello Mike, I learn a lot of new things from your article. I knew that apples help other fruits to ripe faster, but I didn’t know that it is Ethylene Gas doing this. Most of the fruit and vegetables that produce high Ethylene Gas levels, I didn’t put in the refrigerator, but Summer is coming and your recommendation using Bluapple Ball seems to be a great solution. 

    I’m going to buy this product. It lasts for three months, helping us to have fresh and well ripen fruit and vegetables, so it is worth the money. 

    Thank you for sharing


    • Hello there, Alketa! That’s really smart that you don’t put the fruits and veggies with high ethylene gas in the fridge with your other more sensitive produce. I forget that summer is just around the corner so the bluapple ball will definitely come in handy.

  7. Hello, Mike, thank you so much for this great article. I have to admit, I don’t like to put my fruits in the fridge. After buying the fruits and veggies, I wash them with organic soap, rinse them with clear water and dry them. Then I have placed them in my kitchen in different fruit baskets. I found out the kids are eating more fruits when they saw the fruits. But I like the bleu Balls anyway. After reading your article, I understand that the Bluapple Ball works to absorb ethylene gas. Which is higher when the temperature rises, right? That convinced me to try those Balls.
    I have one question, how long work those Balls? Do I have to replace them after a while?
    Thank you again for this article.
    I have learned a lot, Monique

    • Hello there, Monique! That’s okay if you do not like to put fruits in your fridge. The bluapple ball is a casing that holds little packets that absorb the ethylene gas. The little packets are replaceable. They should work for about 3 months.

  8. Hey Mike! This is an interesting read! I had no idea that certain produce emit gases that helps it ripen. The way you explained it make so much sense! Going to have to separate certain ones now due to some of their high productions in that gas! I now know which produce to keep outside vs inside the fridge. Thanks so much for this!


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