I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make my fruit last longer and wondered if it was OK to keep fruit in a fridge. I’m sure you’re wondering the same.
As a general rule, most fruit can be stored in the fridge.
But, certain fruits go bad or spoil quicker in the fridge.
The following fruit should be kept in the fridge:
- Honeydew melon
- Rock melon / cantaloupe
- Berries – blackberries etc.
All other fruit should be stored on the counter top.
The flesh of bananas, for example, can turn a funny color and develop a soft mushy texture when kept in the fridge.
There are also other considerations for fruit like what container to store them in, or whether you should just leave them loose on the shelves of the fridge.
Below, I will explain everything you need to know about storing fruit in the fridge, as well as how to deal with fruit flies.
How Long Can Fruit Stay in the Fridge?
So certain fruit can be stored in the fridge, but how long can fruit be kept in the fridge?
Based on my experience and the experience of a tonne of the other people who have kept fruit in the fridge, here’s what I found.
On the whole, fruit can be kept in the fridge for around 1 month.
After that time the skin can start to shrivel.
However, the flesh of the fruit remains fresh and delicious.
Certain fruit will spoil faster than others depending on how ripe it is when it is put into the refrigerator.
It’s recommended to put fruit in the fridge once it’s ripe, rather than before it’s ripe.
If you put fruit in the fridge before it is ripe it will tend to go bad before it’s edible.
Certain fruits last longer if you do some additional preparation steps or store them in certain containers.
Here’s a summary:
For long term storage of berries do not store the berries where they are touching each other.
However, this can take up a tonne more room in the fridge.
Therefore, it’s typically easier to store berries touching each other and eat them very quickly.
But, you can also freeze them.
Some people have also recommended storing berries in a ventilated container.
For example in a plastic bag that has holes.
They say that because the air circulates it makes the berries last longer.
Definitely something interesting to try.
A good way to do it is to use some plastic wrap and poke some holes in it using a fork.
That way you can use a bowl or other container you have lying around.
Now, I’ll explain some special cases when storing fruit in the fridge.
Fruit that should be stored in a paper bag
In the fridge but loose or stored however you like
- Honeydew melon
All other types of fruit should ideally be left on the countertop or the pantry.
Which Fruits Should Be Refrigerated?
Certain fruits should not be refrigerated because they spoil faster, or it changes their texture.
Here’s a list of the fruit that should be refrigerated:
- Berries – Blackberries etc.
- Rock melon / cantaloupe
- Honeydew melon
All of these fruits will do ok on the countertop or in the pantry, however, you can extend their life from 1 week to around 4 week.
Beyond that you can experience degraded taste and texture.
List of fruit you should ideally NOT refrigerate:
- Citrus – oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit
The following fruit can be kept in either the fridge or the pantry:
However, it does depend on the climate.
For example, if you live in a tropical region fruit will ripen, and also go bad faster when it’s left out.
Therefore, you may want to consider keeping it somewhere that is very shady and cool.
Such as, in a basement with concrete floor.
Fruit like apples tend to ripen and be ready to pick in late Autumn.
And it is common to store them in a cold basement in an apple crate over the winter and they don’t spoil.
That way they can be eaten all winter long and they never go bad.
However, if you leave them out in direct sunlight they will overripe very quickly.
Will Fruit Flies Die in the Fridge?
I get a lot of fruit flies from time to time in my pantry.
So, I was interested in whether fruit flies die in the fridge.
As a general rule fruit flies will not die because they are in the fridge.
However, you may notice dead fruit flies at the bottom of your fridge.
Fruit flies will lay eggs in the rotting fruit that can hatch in the fridge.
However, if they have no food source they will die.
Fruit flies are generally tolerant of the cold, and can survive in a fridge.
However, they die in the freezer, as their body becomes frozen solid.
As long as there is fruit for them to eat, fruit flies will live for quite some time before attempting to lay eggs, and then dying.
Therefore, if you have fruit flies in your fridge, it’s a good idea to not have any loose fruit lying around.
You can also use a range of methods to get rid of them.
What Is the Fastest Way To Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies can appear to be a bit of a nuisance, however, they can lay eggs and continue to multiply.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to get rid of them.
I looked into the best way to get rid of them and here’s what I found:
The most natural method that works within 24 hours is to remove any food source.
Cover any fruit, and vegetables.
Certain solutions like fly spray and using a fly trap will work.
However, the fruit flies will return provided there is a source of food for them.
If you are storing fruit on the countertop and you don’t cover the fruit you will soon find some fruit flies hanging out and resting on the fruit and the surrounding area.
Over time, it can attract large numbers of fruit flies.
Every time you walk past or grab a piece of fruit they will woosh into the air.
Food tent method
So, a good way to keep fruit flies away is to use a food cover.
It’s a wireframe with fine cloth stretched taught shaped like silver domed food trays that they serve hotel food in.
You know the ones where they lift it up to reveal the plate of food underneath.
You can grab really good ones on Amazon such as this one.
In my opinion it’s best to let fruit flies die or fly away naturally, as they won’t noticeably eat your fruit even in large numbers.
Spraying with fly spray is typically impossible since you’ll have to spray it over the fruit.
Fly spray is very toxic and it’s not a good idea to spray it directly on food.
However, doing that and then rinsing it thoroughly can work.
At the end of the day though, as long as you remove the food source they will go away very quickly.
For example if you have a bowl of fruit on your countertop that has some fruit flies hovering over it.
If you place all the fruit in a container and then place a food cover over it, the fruit flies can not land on it.
As a result, they won’t be able to eat it, and will eventually die or fly away in search of another source of food.
If you already have fruit flies then it’s best to keep any new fruit you buy separately under its own food cover.
Over time, you’ll eat all the fruit that has fruit flies already, or throw it away if it goes bad.
Then your new fruit will be fruit fly free.
Is it better to keep fruit in the fridge or out?
Certain fruit can be kept both in the fridge and on the countertop or in the pantry. But, which is better?
As a general rule, keeping certain fruit in the fridge will increase the life of the fruit.
However, you may prefer to consume your fruit at room temperature rather than chilled.
For example, in the winter months.
Therefore, you may choose to keep some fruit in the fridge and some fruit on the counter.
In summertime though, chilled fruit is incredibly refreshing.
Such as chilled papaya with lime juice or a crisp juicy apple.
As fruit begins to go bad it can develop soft brown areas that fruit flies like to land on and hang around.
The brown part of certain fruits like apples taste very bitter.
However, bananas are typically fine to eat if they have some brown spots.
Many people find that they have a slimy texture when bananas are overripe.
And using them as an ingredient in a cake, banana bread, or muffins is a great way to use them up.
When otherwise, you’d throw them away.
When baked they have a sweet strong flavor that goes especially well with chocolate icing or chunks of chocolate in the cake, muffins, or bread.
But, it also pairs well with cream cheese icing.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.