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

What Fruits Should Not Be Stored Together?

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 kept together. Kiwis, mangoes and bananas and other ethylene-producing fruit can result in early spoilage and cause food waste.

If you have received a fruit basket from us and you are about to store the fruit into 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 as well as honeydew melons shouldn't be kept in the same place as avocados grapes, lemons onions and other fruit and vegetables tolerant to this chemical. Additionally, it is not recommended to keep ethylene-producing fruits in the same place.

Ethylene Gas and Fruit Ripening

There's a reason it is important to keep apple or bananas distinct from other fruits. Both of them -- as well as other fruits -- create large amounts of ethylene gas. It's known as the "fruit ripening hormone." When they reach maturity their ethylene levels rise as per researchers at the University of Maine Extension.

McIntosh apple varieties, for instance are among the biggest producers of ethylene and mature faster than other fruits. Similar is the case with Early Golden plums, but not so for Shiro plums which generally develop at a slower pace.

Consumers aren't equipped with the equipment or tools required to determine the level of ethylene. The best thing they could do is 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 grow faster due to the fact that they release large amounts of ethylene. According to a December 2015 study included in the journal Plant Physiology Plant Physiology, plant hormones might play a role as well. Abscisic acid (ABA) is one example 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

After you've learned about the role played by the ethylene gas that is present in fruits that are maturing, 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. In addition certain plants are spraying with ethylene gas prior to harvesting to speed up ripening as per in the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

Apples are pears, bananas mangoesand plums, nectarines, mangoes Honeydew melons, mangoes, plums, and other fruits are all known to release large levels of ethylene, according to the research noted in the Produce for Better Health Foundation. This is why it's important to keep them in separate containers. For instance, you could place apples in a medium-sized bowl and bananas in a separate bowl, and then freeze the fruit in a separate bowl.

As a general rule that ethylene-producing fruit like those that are 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

Certain fruits, including bananas, apples as well as kiwis and other important producers of ethylene, are extremely sensitive to this chemical. This is why it's not recommended to keep the banana and apple in the same container, for example. Be aware that storing fruits that produce ethylene in sealed bags or containers will hold the gas in and speed up the process of ripening according to the UC San Diego Center for Community Health.

Certain fruits and veggies are affected by ethylene however. For example, pineapples, cherries blueberries and grapefruit are safe to store alongside those which produce the gas. Similar is the case for white potatoes, however not sweet potatoes.

Another crucial aspect is the temperature of the fridge. Bananas, for example, are best kept in the refrigerator at 58 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep fresh for longer. Keep blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries at 31 F and the cranberries are best stored at 36 F. Tropical avocados keep their freshness when kept in a temperature of fifty F. When you've bought a sack of apples, keep them refrigerated in a temperature of 30 F.

To get an idea of where to put these items to keep them at the ideal temperature It is important to know the common temperature fluctuations in an typical refrigerator. The lowest shelf of your fridge is the coldest as the top shelf has the best temperature. The door usually is the warmest because it is frequently opened and close to the air outside.

Fruits that are overripe are not to be thrown away in the event of an emollient texture or indications of mold. Grapefruit, lemons, oranges as well as other fruits from citrus, like grapefruit have a skin that is firm. If you find moldy spots or bumps on their skins and peel, simply take off the skin and eat the fruits, according to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Make sure that their flesh is still intact.