Refrigeration Reformation

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Certain fruits and vegetables produce a gas called ethylene as they start to ripen; others are sensitive to it, and the gas will damage them or make them spoil faster. This is particularly noticeable if you are putting them in closed storage bins together, says Lisa Middleton, a refrigeration products training manager at GE. Carrots will turn bitter if they are stored in a bin with apples, which are big ethylene producers. Apples are such a culprit that Middleton recommends storing them separately from all other produce.

A simplified way to look at it is to keep vegetables separate from fruits in the bins, and to isolate your apples.

Keep these ethylene producers:
  • Nectarines
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Figs
Away from these ethylene-sensitive foods:
  • Kiwis
  • Leafy greens and lettuces
  • Peas
  • Summer squash
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Fresh herbs
  • Green beans
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