I’ve started eating more fruit in my diet, and now buy a lot of fruit in bulk so that I don’t have to go to the fruit and veg store as often.
But, I was curious about the best way to store it, and whether fruit can be kept in the cupboard.
I did some research and here’s what I found.
Generally, it’s perfectly fine to store fruit in the cupboard.
However, fruit overall lasts longer in the fridge.
People have found that certain types of fruit can last longer when left in the cupboard such as bananas or in a bowl on a countertop.
Refrigerated fruit is also cold, which can be undesirable in cold weather.
But, in hot weather, it is particularly refreshing.
Fruit that typically should be kept in the fridge where possible are:
- Berries – blackberries etc.
- Honeydew melon
- Rock melon / cantaloupe
But, all other fruit like bananas, citrus, pears, and nectarines should ideally be stored in the cupboard or on the countertop.
Whether you’re interested in if the fruit will last longer in mason jars if the fruit will go bad if you leave it in your car on a hot day, how long fruit will last in your car, and how to get rid of fruit flies in your car.
This article will explain everything you need to know about storing fruit.
Will Fruit Last Longer in Mason Jars?
Another option for storing fruits, vegetables, jams, and sauces is to store them in mason jars.
But, I was curious whether storing fruit in a mason jar will make it last longer than leaving it out, or in the fridge.
Here’s what I found.
Fruit in a mason jar will tend to stay riper for longer, however, it won’t make a significant difference to how long the fruit lasts.
It is possible for the fruit to last virtually forever if you store it in a mason jar using a preserving procedure.
As you may know, canned food like fruit and tuna have an expiration date.
However, it has been known to be fresh as the day it was canned 50 to 100 years later.
There are also many anecdotal stories of jams, fruit preserves, and other types of food stored in mason jars lasting for longer than 10 years.
A major advantage of using a mason jar over a can is that it is see-through and can easily be resealed.
To get it to last as long as possible there are some tried and true methods for preserving it in a mason jar.
Because of that, you can see what’s in it, how much is left, and whether it’s still fresh without needing to open it.
Each type of fruit or vegetable requires a very specific method to preserve it well.
For example with mushrooms, you need to use a paper towel as the seal and poke some holes in it to allow airflow.
But, overall the general procedure to preserve fruit so that it lasts a very long time is to lightly bowl the fruit, then cool it down in cold water.
After that, you place it in mason jars, with some preservative liquid and leave it in a canner to develop an airtight seal.
Here’s a very detailed video that shows how to do it step by step for peaches:
Because each fruit requires a unique method to preserve it in a mason jar, it’s best to research the specific fruit you want to preserve and experiment with a few different methods to see how it works out, and which one you like the best.
It becomes really useful for fruit like peaches that will ripen in the space of 1 to 2 weeks.
After that, all the peaches will fall to the ground and begin to rot.
Therefore, you only have a small window to eat them.
And preserving them is a great way to ensure none of them get wasted.
And you can enjoy them all year long.
I recently wrote an article about storing fruit in the fridge, that covers what fruit should be kept in the fridge and how to store them so that they last as long as possible.
Read it here [link: can fruit be kept in the fridge].
Will Fruit Go Bad in a Hot Car?
Sometimes you might be running errands, and need to leave some fruit in the car while you go to an appointment, and/or supervise your children while they do sports or an extracurricular activity.
But, does leaving fruit in a hot car cause it to spoil?
As a general rule, fruit will ripen faster in the car.
Fruit won’t go bad straight away.
But, where the temperature gets very high it can slightly cook the fruit making it softer and mushier.
The higher temperature means chemical reactions occur at a faster rate.
And therefore, the fruit will over-ripen faster.
The hotter the day is the faster the fruit will ripen.
You may have noticed that food kept in trays at buffet-style restaurants stays fresh for almost the whole day.
The reason is that the food is kept at a constant temperature above 140°F (60°C).
Above this temperature, it is very difficult for bacteria to survive.
And for that reason, the food stays fresher for longer.
However, fruit left in a hot car, typically won’t get above that temperature, and therefore will be at a temperature that makes it easy for bacteria to grow.
This can contribute to fruit spoiling fast.
Especially when the skin of the fruit has a small split or the skin is broken in any way.
When that happens bacteria can get onto the sugar-filled flesh of the fruit and begin to multiply and grow rapidly.
Also, fruit that is cut or peeled will tend to go bad faster.
For example, if you prepare a container with some slices of apple.
The reason is there is more surface area for the bacteria to grow on.
The exposed flesh of the fruit also typically has more sugars than the resistant skin.
And bacteria will have more food to grow and multiply faster.
How Long Can Fruit Last in Car?
Sometimes, you might not have the option to take fruit out of your car before running errands.
Or, you may want to keep some fruit in your car to eat while you commute to work.
So, then how long can fruit last in a car?
On the whole, fruit will last under 1 to 2 weeks in a car.
Fruit, in general, will last 1 to 2 weeks when left at room temperature.
However, fruit kept in the fridge can last a month or more and still be edible.
But, if the car gets hotter because it’s left in the sun then the fruit will ripen and spoil faster.
If you live in a cool climate, or if it’s winter, fruit can last up to a month in the car.
As the temperature in your car will be similar to that in a fridge.
But, once you get in the car and heat it up to a comfortable level it will return the temperature to about room temperature.
And as a result, the fruit will begin to ripen, and then over-ripen at the same rate, it does when it’s left on the countertop or in the pantry.
Also, in rare cases where you might leave a bowl of stewed apples and custard in your car – not that anyone ever has – because the fruit is cooked will also go bad faster than fruit that has NOT been peeled, cut, or cooked.
And it will go bad in under 1 to 2 weeks to a month depending on how hot your car gets.
How Do I Get Rid of Fruit Flies in My Car?
If you leave a piece of fruit somewhere under the seat or have a bag of fruit in the back seat, it can begin to attract fruit flies after a few days.
So, what’s the best method to get rid of them and keep them away?
As a general rule, if the fruit flies can’t land on the fruit they will die within 1 to 2 days.
Therefore, if you cover the fruit by putting it in a container, all of the fruit flies will die or find another food source.
But, if you want to kill them very quickly then use a household fly spray.
The main concern with using fly spray is that to spray the fruit flies you generally need to spray it directly onto the fruit.
But, fly spray is typically toxic and shouldn’t be eaten.
Therefore, you should try as best you can to not spray any on the fruit, and wash the fruit thoroughly afterward.
Fruit flies lay eggs in the fruit which eventually turn into larvae.
The larvae then hatch into fruit flies.
I once left some fruit at the back of the pantry and never got around to throwing it out.
Over time, a large colony of I would say 50 fruit flies were around the fruit and I could see the texture of the rotten fruit almost turned to a mushy powder, and looked like something had chewed it up.
Once I threw the rotten fruit out, the next day or two all the fruit flies had vanished.
Well, there you have everything you need to know about storing fruit in the cupboard.
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.