How you store your cupboard staples can be quite controversial, with some storage hacks extending the shelf life of certain products. During an instalment on This Morning, consumer expert Alice Beer revealed which fruit, vegetables and other popular shopping basket items should be kept in or out of the fridge.
Alice asked presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about bread and where they store a loaf of bread in their own homes, and both answered in a bread bin.
“Which? did a survey and said the traditional metal bread bin is the worst place to keep your bread, for keeping it fresh,” Alice revealed.
As for whether storing bread in the fridge is the better option, she explained: “So bread, if you put it in the fridge it will crystalise the starch molecules, so you want it fridge out.
“The best place to keep it is in a cloth bag [outside the fridge and not in a bread bin], better than a plastic bag, that will keep it fresher for longer.”
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Holding up a bowl of lemons and limes, she said: “I moved this out of my kitchen like this, this morning. I keep my citrus fruits in a fruit bowl near the table. I use a lot of citrus fruits and I like the way they look.
“Fruit bowl is the worst place you could keep citrus fruits because they like a cold temperature and they’re going to last much longer if they are in the fridge.
“In fact, they’ll last a lot longer if they are in a bag in the fridge because if you leave them out, they’ll last less than a week, if you leave them in the fridge, they’ll last a couple of weeks, so they’re best in a plastic bag, or a breathable bag is even better.
“Don’t wash them because the moisture will encourage mould but keep them in the fridge – it’ll slow down the ripening process basically.
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“Where do you keep your cucumbers?” She asked. “In the fridge? Me too.
“That’s where I’ve been keeping them but no, the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences has said that they should be kept at room temperature.
“If you leave a cucumber less than 10 degrees Celcius for more than three days, it will get cold injury and we don’t want that. You’ll get wateriness, and pitting, and it will start to decay.
“But also, cucumbers are ethylene sensitive – you’ve heard about bananas ripening other fruit, you want to keep cucumbers away from other fruits that give off lots of ethylene like melons, bananas and tomatoes.
“Eggs, in the supermarket are kept on the shelves, but I’m afraid, the most important thing for eggs, is that they have consistency and stability of temperature because it’s the fluctuation of temperature that put them at risk of salmonella,” Alice commented.
“The fridge manufacturers put those little plastic egg holders in the doors.
“You’re right to put eggs in the fridge, but you’re not going to put them in the door of the fridge, you’re going to put them in the middle shelf of the fridge.
“If you’re going to eat them within a few days, and your kitchen is below 20 degrees Celcius, then you can keep them in a basket on the kitchen countertop.”