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What Fruits Should Not Be Stored Together?

Norah Clark
What Fruits Should Not Be Stored Together? Picture of mixed fruits.

Do you remember the old saying "one bad apple spoils the bunch?" It turns out it's true that apples help other fruits ripen more quickly and this is the reason they shouldn't be stored together. Kiwis, mangoes, bananas and other ethylene-producing fruit can result in early spoilage and lead to food waste.

If you have received a Boyd Hampers fruit hamper and you are about to store the fruit in your fridge, pantry or cupboard - this article is perfect for explaining which fruits should hang out together and most importantly, which fruits shouldn't be too close to each other.

A great tip for storing fruit. The fruits that produce ethylene, including peaches, bananas, apples, and honeydew melons shouldn't be kept in the same place as avocados, grapes, lemons, onions and other fruit and vegetables intolerant to this chemical.

Ethylene Gas and Fruit Ripening

Ethylene gas is known as the "fruit ripening hormone." When fruits reach maturity their ethylene levels rise according to researchers at the University of Maine Extension.

McIntosh apple varieties and Early Golden Plums, for instance are among the biggest producers of ethylene and mature faster than other fruits. 

Consumers can only look over the fruit for any indications of spoilage like bad odors, moldy spots, mushy spots, or any changes in appearance or color.

Be aware that ethylene-producing fruits can trigger premature ripening in vegetables as well. It is recommended by the Fruits to Better Health Foundation  to keep them away from vegetables that are sensitive to ethylene and legumes, such as:

  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Chili peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet peas

Every fruit releases an ethylene gas in various quantities. Apples help other fruits ripen faster due to the ethylene. According to a December 2015 study included in the journal Plant Physiology, plant hormones might play a role as well. Abscisic acid (ABA) is believed to speed up the process of ripening, while auxin is another hormone found in plants that promotes the growth of fruit and development in the early stages.

Don't Store These Fruits Together

Now you know about the role played by the ethylene gas, it's time to arrange your fridge. Our other guide explains how long fruit lasts in the fridge. The goal is to not just to reduce the amount of food wasted but will also ensure that the fruits you buy are safe to consume.

As we've mentioned before, the riper a piece of fruit is, the greater the levels of ethylene. The compound is able to easily transfer to other vegetables and fruits which causes them to ripen quicker and, eventually, begin to rot. Did you know that certain plants are sprayed with ethylene gas prior to harvesting to speed up ripening as per in the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)?

Keep ethylene fruits in separate containers. For instance, you could place apples in a medium-sized bowl and bananas in a separate bowl.

As a general rule, ethylene-producing fruit like those listed above should not be kept in close proximity to the ethylene-sensitive fruits, like:

  • Avocados
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Limes and lemons
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Cucumbers

However, certain fruits and veggies are positively affected by ethylene. For example, pineapples, cherries, blueberries and grapefruit are safe to store alongside those which produce the gas. White potatoes,but not sweet potatoes can be added to the list.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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