How should fruits be wrapped before refrigeration?

Unlike vegetables, fruits can be tightly wrapped because they are too acidic for the bacteria that cause botulism to grow on them.  However, for other reasons, some fruits should be only loosely wrapped. Fruits that “transpire” (give off) a lot of moisture (berries especially) are commonly store-wrapped in a manner that allows the moisture to escape. If fruits transpire moisture into an airtight atmosphere, bacteria (ones that don’t cause disease) will grow and make the fruit slimy. Also, some fruits produce large amounts of ethylene gas, which stimulates ripening. Allowing this gas to escape from the package slows the ripening process. If berries are not in perforated plastic, puncture some holes in the package. 


Packaging fruits in environments that don’t contain oxygen has this advantage: mold requires oxygen to grow, so air-tight packaging prevents that. Sometimes fruits are packaged in modified atmosphere packaging in which the air has been replaced with carbon dioxide and/or nitrogen, thereby eliminating the oxygen.


Fresh-cut fruits should either have the cut surface covered in an airtight manner (with plastic film) or be placed cut surface down in a plastic container or on a plate. This prevents dehydration (melons), discoloration (apples and peaches), mold growth (most fruits), and vitamin loss. 


Susan Brewer, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition


Virginia Cooperative Extension “Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers”


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?

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?

Do coated plastic bags really help produce last longer?


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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