Fruits that produce larger quantities of ethylene gas ripen faster. Yet other fruits are not as highly affected by ethylene gas. These can be stored with fruit that produce higher amounts of the gas like apples. Yet the issue is far more complex than simply sorting your fruits. Exposure to ripe or overripe fruits can cause vegetables to rapidly decay.
Most fruits can be safely stored together, but if one piece of overripe fruit is in the mix, the rest will go bad more quickly. You can slow the ripening process down by refrigerating certain high-ethylene fruits. Some of these fruits include apples, apricots, cantaloupe, figs, and honeydew melons.
The best way to store them in a refrigerator is to contain them in perforated plastic bags or breathable storage containers to keep them from exchanging aromas and flavors. You can safely store these fruits with cherries, blueberries, and citrus, but be sure to keep them away from watermelons.
Certain high-ethylene gas fruits are sensitive to cold. If these are refrigerated before they are fully ripe, their moisture levels and flavor will be majorly affected. Once ripe, you can refrigerate them, just be sure not to do so before.
Fruits that should no be refrigerated until ripe include avocados, unripe bananas, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes. But be sure not to store ripe bananas in the fridge.
Keep lettuce, fresh greens, and most other veggies away from fruit because fruit generally produces more ethylene gas. Turning this into a habit will make it easier to keep your produce fresh for longer. Keep lettuce, leafy greens, and other salad vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and peppers separate. This includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. Also keep eggplant, parsley, peas, potatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes separate from fruit.
You can take advantage of what you know about ethylene gas and naturally speed up the ripening process of certain fruits. Place unripe fruits together in a closed paper bag to quickly ripen fruits like peaches or pears. You can also “speed ripen” a solitary peach by placing it in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple. Keep in mind that quick ripening is a form of accelerated again. If you do not monitor these paper bags, your fruit could rot.
is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. She is an avid nature enthusiast, gardener, photographer, writer, hiker, dreamer, and lover of all things sustainable, wild, and free. Ariana strives to bring people closer to their true source, Mother Nature. She graduated The Evergreen State College