Don’t put these foods in the fridge – the science!

  1. Bread – it dries and goes stale faster than in a bread bin. Use a bread bag and store in bread bin.

This is why the bread in chilled sandwiches sold in supermarkets is often dry and feels stale.

The science – Moisture is lost during storage which dries out the bread. But there is retrogradation and recrystallisation of starch which makes the bread harden. The bread in the fridge is stored in a cold environment and recrystallisation happens much faster than in the warm.

Experiment – take some slices of bread and share into 4 portions. Pack one portion in a paper bag, pack one in foil, pack one in plastic bag and store in fridge, pack one in plastic bag and store in freezer.  Hope you find the best way is to wrap, store in freezer, then reheat when you need it!

2. Tomatoes – they lose their taste when stored in the fridge so keep at room temperature.

The science – the flavour of tomatoes comes from sugars, acids and volatile compounds. If a tomato is stored at room temperature it keeps its volatiles but in the fridge the volatiles break down, the tomato changes texture and breaks down quicker.

3. Garlic Keep at room temperature in the dry as the fridge does not help it keep longer.

4. Avocados Keep in a brown bag but to speed up ripening, keep next to a ripe banana.

The science – avocados will not ripen in cold conditions and the cold fridge can break the fruit cells and the enzymes will react and turn the fruit black. If the avocado is cut, the flesh must be tossed in lemon juice to stop the enzymes from working and changing the colour from green to brown.

5. Onions – keep in dark to avoid sprouting – in the fridge their aroma can spread to other foods.

6. Honey It never goes off so store in food cupboard.

The science – honey is so high in sugar that it is not affected by bacteria, yeasts or enzymes so does not change.

7. Cake – like bread, cakes go stale quickly in the fridge. Fresh cream cakes need to go in the fridge though.

The science -the mixture dries out and the starch in the cake retrogrades and the starch crystallises and makes the cake mixture drier.

8. Melons – uncut melons are stored at room temperature, but once cut put in the fridge.

9. Coffee – best kept in an airtight container, not in the fridge as it absorbs smells of other foods.

The science – the cold causes condensation of water in the coffee grains and this changes the flavour.

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