Do coated plastic bags really help produce last longer?

Coated bags (such as the Debbie Meyer Green Bags) can work, depending upon the produce being put into it, explains food scientist Dr. Karin Allen.  “These bags have a clay-like material deposited on them which causes them to absorb ethylene gas. “Whether the bag will work or not depends upon two factors: 1) how much ethylene the produce gives off; and 2) whether the product is responsive to ethylene or not.   If one or both of these conditions is true, then putting it in one of these bags should extend the shelf life (for example, of apples, bananas, and tomatoes). These bags are a little help for cabbage because, although it gives off very little ethylene, it is sensitive to it.  For strawberries, the bags provide no benefit.”  Allen says that her experience with bananas has been that if each one is wrapped separately, the coated bags work better.  She points out that, since apples are cheap and last a long time, the expense of the bag may not be worth it. 




Karin E. Allen, Ph.D., Utah State University, Dept. of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


General Guidelines for Wrapping Foods


What’s better for wrapping food—plastic or aluminum foil?

What produce needs to be wrapped before refrigerating?

Should I wrap raw vegetables loosely or tightly before refrigerating?

How should fruits be wrapped before refrigeration?

Can I refrigerate meat and poultry in its store wrapping?

How should food be handled and wrapped for freezing?


Using Plastic Wraps, Bags, and Containers


Are some plastic wraps more effective than others?

Can chemicals leach unto food from plastic wrap or containers?

Are any plastic wraps or containers really “microwave safe”?

Can I use plastic freezer bags to store produce in the fridge?


Using Aluminum Foil Properly


What are some advantages and disadvantages of aluminum foil?

Does exposure to aluminum cause Alzheimer’s disease?

Does aluminum foil give foods a metallic taste?

Why does foil sometimes darken, discolor, and leave black specks on food?

Will a foil cover help keep foods on the table hot or cold?

Is it safe to use aluminum foil in a microwave oven?



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