With these tips & tricks food will keep fresh longer

22.06.2020

Every day, households throw away food that is supposedly no longer fresh or no longer meets their own expectations of freshness. A certain image of what fresh food should look like has settled in the mind, after all, the eye eats, as is well known. It is therefore not surprising that every German throws away more than 80 kilos of food per year.

In a household with 4 people, more than a quarter of a ton of waste is produced, with fruit and vegetables being the most important, accounting for well over 40%. And the ongoing discussions about the meaningfulness of the best-before date also show that there is public awareness of the need to handle fresh food more carefully. In this respect, the following tips and tricks are worthwhile in order to extend the shelf life of food. The wallet is saved in the long term and, through proper storage, fresh food is always ready to hand.

Tips to keep food fresh for longer
What can be done to keep food fresh for longer - photo: @ Kurhan adobestock

It all starts with filling the fridge correctly

In most well-filled refrigerators, chaos reigns with regard to the desired freshness, even if there is supposedly order behind the concept. In general, the different levels and boxes should be used specifically to separate certain fresh foods and provide them with perfect conditions for long-term storage.

As a basic rule of hygiene, fresh meat (including sausages) and fruit and vegetables should always be stored separately from each other so that any germs that may be present cannot spread. From a purely physical point of view, the temperatures in the lower compartments of the refrigerator are lower, while in the compartments of the door they are higher and subject to greater fluctuations when opened. Perishable food should, therefore, be avoided in the door compartments.

The temperature in the fresh food drawers at the bottom is usually 2 to 3 degrees lower than in the rest of the fridge. This is where foods that like it particularly cool feel at home. Opened food should be stored in a closed container that is as transparent as possible so that the freshness can be seen at a glance. Regular cleaning of the refrigerator can also contribute to its freshness, as a low germ load does not allow food to spoil as quickly.

Do you keep fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator to ensure freshness?

As a rule of thumb for fruit: Local varieties may be kept in the refrigerator, more exotic ones prefer to be kept warm, sometimes also for post-ripening. Vegetables may generally be kept in the refrigerator, although tomatoes, potatoes and peppers are better stored somewhere else in a cool, dry place. Sliced vegetables may generally be stored in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. The following rule of thumb applies to the compartments in the refrigerator as well as to the fruit or vegetable basket: what is rotten should be sorted out quickly. This is the only way to prevent other fruit and vegetables from being affected. It is advisable to take a regular look at the fresh supplies.

Storage container for freshness: That's what counts

It sounds logical to want to preserve fresh food that has been started or cut in various storage containers. Both oxygen and water evaporation accelerate the spoilage of fresh food. It should, therefore, be ensured that storage containers are leak-proof and can be cleaned hygienically. Glass and stainless steel containers can also be considered as an alternative to plastic.

Cling film is also a possibility to protect fresh food with regard to the problem mentioned above. Anyone who wants to keep food fresh in a sustainable and resource-oriented manner can buy plastic-free cling film. Entirely in keeping with the idea of sustainability that has been raised, it is advisable to store a daily basic foodstuff such as bread in an earthenware pot or bread box.

The bread stays fresh for longer because the moisture remains in the container and is not removed by the air in the room. Bread, rolls and pastries can easily be kept fresh for several days in a clay pot. Fresh asparagus from the field is best wrapped in a damp cloth and stored in the refrigerator. Here it stays crisp and fresh for several days!

Store fresh staple foods correctly

Here, apart from the bread mentioned above, onions and potatoes are the main focus. Both like it cool and dry and especially dark. Potatoes should be protected from direct sunlight during storage, as otherwise they develop solanine, a toxic bitter substance. This can be recognized by green spots on the skin. Visible sprouts on potatoes are also not really a sign of freshness which whets the appetite for more. By the way: if you store potatoes and apples together, you can significantly reduce sprouting. Apples and bananas expressly do not belong together, as bananas ripen faster and turn brown. Onions can be stored wonderfully in a nylon stocking. A knot separates one onion from the other and each one is stored airy and dry.

Fresh strawberries are particularly perishable

Everyone who looks forward to the fresh red fruits in the warm season will have already had this experience. In general, strawberries should be kept in the refrigerator to preserve them longer. A bath of water and vinegar (ratio 10:1) ensures that bacteria on the surface of the strawberries are killed. A short bath followed by drying makes it possible to keep strawberries fresh for longer.

Conclusion: Enjoy more freshness and throw away less in just a few steps

This article has shown that a few simple steps, a clear arrangement in the refrigerator and simple tips for storage are sufficient to keep many foods or basic foodstuffs fresh for longer. Especially fresh food has a natural expiry date. Therefore, correct storage is important from the very beginning. If you follow some of the above tips, you will soon be able to enjoy the pleasure of fresh food. And by the way, the household budget is spared, as less has to be thrown away. Anyone who is interested in this topic can also get an idea of what to expect in specialist or food retail stores. Since a long shelf life is essential for reasons of economy, the odd tip for freshness is implemented in the storage and product presentation.