How we store our food can make a big difference to its taste and freshness. Whilst some foods need to be refrigerated to protect our health, others will last longer in the fridge and others may not do so well. Check out some common foods below and the best way to store them.
Bread – Out of fridge. When bread is kept in the refrigerator, the water that was absorbed during baking starts to evaporate (known as starch retrogradation), and the bread becomes dry or stale. It's best to leave fresh bread out if you are going to use it within a day or two, or put it in the freezer to prevent wastage. Freeze and toast – If you toast bread directly from frozen it increases resistant starch which acts as fuel for the beneficial microbes in the gut and also helps to lower the GI which helps to prevent rapid fluctuations in blood sugar.
Tomato sauce – Either - Tomato sauce tends to be microbially stable once opened, due to its low pH, so unless stated on the pack, refrigeration is not required. Choosing to keep sauces in the fridge however will slow chemical and colour changes that over extended periods of time may alter sensory appeal.
Bananas – Out of fridge.Bananas turn black when kept in the fridge. The skin of a banana contains a gaseous plant hormone called ethylene which diffuses into the fruit and hastens the process of ripening. When the banana is kept in the refrigerator, the enzymatic reactions are stopped by the cold but the production of ethylene hormone continues. This turns its skin black. Keep bananas out of the fridge away from other fruit. Placing bananas near other fruits can ripen fruit quicker due to the ethylene gas produced.
Onions – Out of fridge. Onions should be stored at room temperature, away from bright light, and in a well ventilated area. All onions should be stored away from potatoes, as they will absorb their moisture and ethylene gas, causing potatoes to spoil more easily. Storing onions in the fridge may inhibit flavour but they are less likely to make you cry. To reduce tearing when cutting an onion, it is recommended that you first chill the onions for 30 minutes. After chilling,
cut off the top and peel the outer layers leaving the root end intact.
It's the root end that has the highest concentration of the sulphuric compounds that cause your eyes to tear.