storing fruit and vegetables
is the non-climacteric produce that does not increase ethylene production when they ripen. The way to tell the
difference between those that produce ethylene and those that don't is that ethylene producing produce will continue
to ripen after harvest. They ripen by softening significantly, changing color and becoming sweeter. An example of this is
a banana. Non-ethylene producing fruit will soften, change color and develop rot spots as they age. An example of this
is a strawberry. When storing fruits and vegetables it's important to keep the ethylene producing produce together
and separate from the non-ethylene producing.  It will give the non-ethylene produce a longer shelf life.  For instance,
grapes are non-ethylene producing. They will keep longer when stored separately from fruits like apples that produce
ethylene. However, if you would like to speed up the ripening process, then place an ethylene fruit such as an apple,
near the unripe fruit and it will ripen faster. Ethylene sensitive produce can be put into paper bags and rolled shut.
When storing in the crisper section of the refrigerator, keep them away from ethylene producing produce. Some
produce is both ethylene producing and ethylene sensitive. These are marked with an Asterisk.*
Ethylene Producing
*Asparagus
*Apples
*Apricots
*Avocados
*Bananas (ripening)
Cantaloupe

*Cherimoyas
Figs
Guavas
Honeydew melons
Kiwifruit (ripe)
Mangos

*Nectarine
*Papayas
*Passion fruit
*Peaches
*Pears
Persimmons

Plantains
Plums
Prunes
Quince
Rock melons
*Tomatoes
Ethylene Sensitive
*Asparagus
*Apples
*Apricots
*Avocados
*Bananas (unripe)
Belgian Endive
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflowers

Celery
Chard
*Cherimoyas
Cherries
Cucumbers
Collards
Green Beans
Eggplants
Grapes
Kale
Kiwifruit (unripe)

Leafy greens
Lettuce
Locquats
Lychees
*Nectarines
Okra
*Papayas
Parsley
Parsnips
*Passion Fruit
*Peaches

*Pears
Peas
Peppers
Spinach
Squash
Strawberries
Sweet Potatoes
*Tomatoes
Watercress
Watermelons
Storing Fruits
As some fruits and vegetables ripen they throw off a colorless gas called
ethylene. This is a naturally produced hormone that causes the fruit to ripen
after it has been picked.  In terms of ethylene production, there are climacteric
products, mainly fruit that produce a burst of ethylene as they ripen, and there
* Indicates Ethylene Producing Fruit

* Apples

Should be firm, bright skinned and well-colored. Avoid those with bruises, soft spots and shriveled skin.
Store in the crisper or a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Do not wash until ready to eat. Some varieties can be stored for up to 6 weeks. Because they are an ethylene producer, avoid storage next to ethylene sensitive produce. Cooked apples may be frozen for up to 8 months.



* Apricots

Select apricots that are plump with good color. Avoid those that are soft and mushy, shriveled, dull in color or too green. Avoid rock hard fruit. Apricots will ripen after harvest.
To ripen, store in a paper bag or warm area until soft on the ridge. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator. Because they are an ethylene producer, avoid storage next to ethylene sensitive produce. May be frozen for up to 6 months.



* Avocado

For a ripe avocado choose one that will give to gentle pressure in your palm. Avoid any that are hard or glistening in appearance. Avoid dark spots, sunken and soft spots, or cracked skin.
To ripen within 2-5 days, place in a paper bag or dark place like a kitchen drawer. To hasten ripening you can place next to an apple which is ethylene producing. When ripe, refrigerate for up to 3 days.



* Bananas

Look for plump well filled fruit with a bright color and fresh stem area. Avoid cuts, splits, bruises or mushy fruit. Fruit that has a dull gray or smoky color may not ripen properly because of improper storage in transport.
Bananas ripen after harvest. Once home bananas ripen in 2 to 3 days. To hasten ripening, place in a bag with an ethylene producing apple. Once a banana is ripe, it produces ethylene as well. Whole bananas may be frozen whole and peeled for up to 6 months.



Blueberries

Should be firm and of good color. Avoid shriveled or decayed berries and containers of berries that are wet with juice.
Store in the refrigerator in original container and do not wash them until you are ready to eat. Good for up to 1 week. May be frozen up to 6 months.



Blackberries

Avoid those that are starting to soften, look shriveled and those in wet containers.
Refrigerate in original container, do not wash until you are ready to eat. Good for 1 to 2 days. May be frozen up to 6 months.



Boysenberries

Look for plump, firm berries that are uniform in color.
Blot with paper towels and store in a single layer covered with paper towels. Refrigerate and use within 2 days. May be frozen up to 6 months.



Caramboia/Star Fruit

Should be bright and have a shiny yellow skin with good elliptical or oval shape and five ridges. Brown edges are normal.
Ripen at room temperature, and refrigerate. Do not cut until ready to use. Good for up to 2 weeks.



Cherimoyas

Choose plump, uniformly green fruit that is slightly soft. Avoid brown bruised, or mushy fruit.Ripen at room temperature.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not wash until ready to use. Good for 5 to 7 days.



Cherries

Cherries do not ripen after harvest so select those with good color and avoid cherries that are bruised, soft, shriveled or mushy.
Do not wash until ready to use. Store in loosely wrapped plastic. Cherries may pick up odors from other foods if stored for long periods. Best eaten in 1 to 3 days. May be frozen up to 6 months.



Coconuts

Shake the coconut and choose one in which you can hear juice sloshing around. The coconuts "eyes" should not be damp or have any signs of mold.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Whole coconut will keep for several weeks. Chunks or shredded for 2 weeks.



Cranberries

Choose those that are bright, plump, firm and dry. Avoid shriveled, crushed, soft or bruised fruit.
Refrigerated cranberries can be stored for 1 month. Freeze for up to 1 year.



Dates

Choose dates that are plump, soft, golden brown with smooth skin, and a glossy appearance.
Refrigerate in a sealed container to prevent them from absorbing odors. Good for up to 2 weeks.



Figs

Avoid figs that are too hard, or seem wet with juice seeping from them.
Keep at room temperature to soften or refrigerate covered and eat within 1 to 3 days.



Ginger Root

Choose roots with smooth skin, a slight sheen and fresh smell. Avoid shriveled roots and those with rot or mold. Also avoid numerous knobs and a musty odor.
Keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Peeled ginger may also be placed in a jar of sherry and refrigerated for 3 months.



Grapes

Look for well colored fruit with pliable stems. Avoid shriveled stems, soft, squashed berries, and stems with many loose berries.
Do not rinse until ready to use. Grapes can absorb odors, so store in separate plastic bag away other produce. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Freeze whole grapes up to 1 month.



Grapefruit

Should be heavy for its size with firm skin. Avoid puffy, soft, lightweight or browning fruit.
Can be stored at room temperature for 6 days or refrigerated for several weeks. Avoid storage below 40 degrees F.



Guava

Choose a slightly soft fruit for eating, and a firmer fruit for cooking.
Ripen at room temperature. Refrigerate for 1 day.



* Kiwi

Choose a kiwi that gives to gentle palm pressure. Avoid rock hard or mushy fruit and bruised, shriveled fruit.
Ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. Then refrigerate up to 1 week in the coldest part of the refrigerator until ready to eat.



Kumquats

Should be firm, fresh looking with bright shiny color.
Refrigerate loosely wrapped and use within 2 to 4 days.



Lemons

Choose textured thin skinned fruit that is heavy for it's size with good, deep color. Avoid shriveled, hard skinned or soft and spongy fruit.
Lemons will absorb odors. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 weeks.



Limes

Choose plump, glossy-looking limes that are heavy for their size with good, deep color.
Refrigerate for 5 to 7 days.



Mangoes

Choose smooth skinned mangoes. Small dark speckles are OK, and color changes as the fruit ripens.
Ripen mangoes at room temperature until they give to gentle pressure. To hasten ripening, place in a bag. Refrigerate ripe mangoes in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.



Cantaloupe

Choose a cantaloupe that is completely covered with light colored, course netting. Look for a slight give and sweet smell at the blossom end.
Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



Honeydew Melons

A good melon is symmetrical and the blossom end gives with slight pressure. A perfectly ripe honeydew will have a very light wrinkling on the skin's surface that can be felt.
Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



Nectarines

Choose firm, plum, well-formed fruit, with smooth skin. A ripe nectarine gives slightly along the seam and will have a pleasant peachy fragrance.
Nectarines ripen in a warm place or paper bag. Once ripened, store in the refrigerator and consume within 3 to 5 days.



Oranges

Choose oranges that are firm and heavy for their size.
Oranges may be stored in the refrigerator for a week or more. Some citrus will produce odors that will be absorbed by meat, eggs and dairy products. Do not store next to these items for a long period of time. California oranges store best between 45-55 degrees, Florida oranges prefer colder temperatures 33-40 degrees.



Papaya

Choose smooth skinned papaya with some yellow and green color.
Papaya will ripen after harvest. Leave at room temperature until it gives to gentle pressure and has a pleasant aroma. Refrigerate and use as soon as possible.



Pears

Pears ripen after harvest. Look for skin that is not bruised.
Store unripe pears at room temperature until they give to gentle pressure. Pears may absorb odors, so refrigerate ripe Bartlett or Bosc Pears in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.Comice Pears for 2 days.



Pineapple

Choose fruit that is fresh looking with green leaves. The pineapple should be plump and have smooth, flat "eyes" and fruit should be heavy for its size. Pineapples can absorb odors, so store away from other produce.
Pineapples bruise easily. Store in the warmer part of the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Once cut, tightly seal and refrigerate for an additional 3 days. May be frozen in pieces up to 12 months.



Plums and Fresh Prunes

Choose fruit that is plump and fairly firm to slightly soft. Plums will ripen after harvest.
Store unripe plums in a paper bag. Once ripe, place in plastic and store in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Use within 3 to 5 days.



Pomegranates

Choose fruit that is large and heavy for its size with good color and free of cracks or splits.
Store whole fruit in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.



Prickly Pear

Select a pear with bright red skin. Fruit should be firm but not rock hard.
Store ripe fruit in refrigerator for up to 1 week.



Quince

Select large, firm and pale yellow skinned fruit that is smooth with a woolly texture. Avoid fruit with bruises or cuts.
Store in a cool place or refrigerate. Wrap in plastic and do not allow fruit to touch each other. Good for up to 1 week.



Raspberries

Raspberries should be dry and free from bruises or mold. Avoid those that are starting to soften, or look shriveled. Also don't purchase if the container is wet or stained.
Store in the refrigerator and use within 1 or 2 days. Don't wash until ready to eat.



Rhubarb

Select firm rhubarb with medium thick, straight stalks and bright, glossy stems that are crisp and pinkish-red in color.
Store in the refrigerator, in plastic for up to 1 week. Wash just before using.



Strawberries

Look for bright red, plump, well shaped berries. Avoid berries with brown spots or bruises. Avoid immature berries that are green or berries with too much white color. Avoid cartons of berries that are stained or moist.
Remove strawberries from their container and store in the coldest part of the refrigerator loosely covered with plastic wrap. Do not wash until ready to eat. Use within 1 to 3 days. Eating berries at room temperature improves their flavor.



Watermelon

Choose a melon with smooth skin and a velvety bloom on its end. Avoid melons with a white streak running the length of the melon. Tap watermelon and listen for a "hollow" sound. Watermelon does not ripen after harvest.
Store at room temperature for best flavor. Once cut, refrigerate and consume within a week.
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