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There are several reasons to store your fresh fruits and vegetables properly. In this article, we will discuss the health benefits, sources of contamination, and best containers for storage. You’ll be surprised to learn just how important storing your fresh fruits and vegetables is. Continue reading to learn more! Here are some other reasons to store your fruits and vegetables properly:

Storage of fresh fruits and vegetables

Refrigeration is necessary for a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. Some fruits and vegetables can be stored at room temperature and still maintain quality, while others require refrigeration to keep their freshness. Some fruits are edible right at harvest, while others ripen and lose their taste and flavor over time. Many of these produce items are susceptible to the gas ethylene, which is detrimental to the quality of food. This gas can deteriorate other produce and should not be stored together. For optimal storage conditions, use low temperatures and high relative humidity, which reduce respiration and moisture losses.

Health benefits

Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. According to a Harvard study, people who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day have a 20 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who eat fewer than three servings daily. The studies also suggest that eating fruits and vegetables regularly can improve mental health and help you lose weight. A recent study conducted in the United States showed that people who ate more than three servings of fruit and vegetables per day had a significantly lower risk of developing some types of cancer.

Sources of microbial contamination

One study looked at the associations between microbial indicators and produce and found that the indicators on hand were significantly more common than those found on produce. In particular, produce harvested by E. coli-positive people was nearly nine times more likely to have E. coli or coliphage than produce harvested by coliphage-negative people. Similarly, microbial indicator concentrations on soil and irrigation water were significantly less common than those on produce.

Containers to store them in

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on food storage containers if you want to enjoy them for a longer period of time. You can get one that’s specifically designed for storing your produce, or you can buy a set that’s great for both purposes. These containers are made of sturdy plastic, and will last you for several years. They are also reusable, which is great for picnic parties and storing leftovers in the refrigerator.

Surface treatments with antimicrobial chemicals to reduce microbial contamination

Using surface treatments with antimicrobial chemicals to minimize microbial contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables is a good way to reduce the overall risk of food-borne illness. Often, the chemicals used in surface treatments are water-based, and they are effective only when the produce is subjected to the appropriate conditions. Water that contains antimicrobial chemicals is typically used at levels of 50 to 200 parts per million (ppm), at pH 6.0 to 7.5, and at a contact time of one to two minutes.

Labeling of fresh fruits and vegetables

In Bulgaria, a significant portion of bulk fruit and vegetable sales is unmarked or lacks optional labels. This lack of labeling requires producers to voluntarily add more information, some of which is regulated. The nutrition facts label is a great example of this. However, price look-up codes are not regulated by the government, but are assigned by the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPOS), a body that improves supply chain efficiency in the produce industry.

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