How to Preserve Fruits

How to preserve fruits can vary greatly depending on the type of fruit, its ripeness, and how it is stored. Some fruits can last longer while others should be consumed within a few days of purchase. Proper storage is crucial to extending the shelf life of fruits and preventing spoilage. Spoilage is what we are avoiding at all costs as it can lead to flavour and texture loss.

Improper fruit storage and handling can cause bruising and damage, hastening the spoiling process and contributing to food waste. By storing fruits properly and handling them with care, we can reduce food waste and enjoy fruits at their best while minimising negative environmental impacts.

How to Preserve Fruits – 10 Tips

Keeping fruits fresh for a longer time and savouring them beyond their usual lifespan can be achieved through preservation. Here are ten (10) tips to preserve fruits:

1. Separate fruit types

Avoid storing fruits near ripening vegetables or fruits to preserve them. Ethylene gas is released by ripening fruits or vegetables, which can cause nearby fruits to spoil prematurely. Fruits like bananas and apples can cause avocados and tomatoes to ripen too quickly and spoil.

To prevent this, follow the instructions on how to preserve fruits by storing the fruits and vegetables separately. Keep them from touching each other and keep your fruit bowl away from the vegetables. For long-term storage, keep fruits in the refrigerator, but separate them from vegetables.

2. Freeze fruits

Freezing fruits is a great way to store fresh produce for a long time, and it’s both convenient and cost-effective. A study done by Canopy Health shows that freezing fruits is a healthy practice. To achieve the best results, it’s important to start with high-quality, ripe fruits that are washed and dried.

After cutting the fruits into small pieces or slices, store them in airtight containers or freezer bags. You can label them with the fruit type and date, and freeze them for several months. You can use frozen fruits in a variety of ways, including smoothies, baked goods, or as a healthy snack, and with proper preparation and storage, you can enjoy your favourite seasonal fruits all year round.

3. How to Preserve Fruits – Dried fruits

Dried fruits are a concentrated form of fruit, with the moisture removed through sun drying, air drying, or dehydrating. They are nutrient-dense and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This makes them a healthy snack that may help regulate digestion and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Dried fruits are versatile and can be added to a variety of dishes, such as oatmeal, salads, and baked goods. They can also be used as a natural sweetener in desserts and smoothies.

However, it’s important to consume them in moderation, as they can be high in sugar and calories. Choosing unsweetened varieties is also important to avoid added sugars that may be present in some commercially available options. Overall, dried fruits are a delicious and nutritious addition to any diet.

4. Use a fruit preservative

A fruit preservative is a substance that can be added to fruits to help prevent spoilage and extend their shelf life. There are several types of fruit preservatives available, including natural options like lemon juice or citric acid as well as chemical preservatives like potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate.

These preservatives work by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mould, which are the main culprits in fruit spoilage. When using a fruit preservative, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that the correct amount is added and that the fruit remains safe for consumption. 

5. Store fruits in the dark

On how to preserve fruits, ensuring their freshness means storing them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place. Sunlight exposure can lead to spoilage by causing chlorophyll breakdown and discolouration. Proper ventilation is also necessary to prevent moisture buildup, which can result in spoilage.

6. Keep fruits with similar ripening times together

Keeping fruits with similar ripening times together can help prevent uneven ripening. When fruits are stored together, they release a natural gas called ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process. If fruits with different ripening times are stored together, the ones that ripen faster can over-ripen, while the ones that ripen slower may not ripen at all.

By storing fruits with similar ripening times together, you can ensure that they all ripen at the same pace and are ready to eat at the same time. This is how to preserve fruits without having to do anything extra. 

How to Preserve Fruits

7. Use airtight containers

Using airtight containers or plastic bags with small holes is essential for storing food and other perishable items. Airtight containers prevent air and moisture from entering, which can cause spoilage and bacteria growth. However, small holes in the plastic bags allow for adequate air circulation, preventing the growth of mould and mildew. Proper storage is crucial to extending the shelf life of food and keeping it fresh for longer periods.

8. Use lemon juice – How to Preserve Fruits

Lemon juice can be used as a natural and effective way to prevent fruits from browning. The citric acid in lemon juice is an antioxidant, preventing the fruits’ exposure to oxygen and slowing down the enzymatic browning process.

How to preserve fruits using lemon juice is to simply coat the exposed surfaces of the fruit with it, or mix it with water and dip the fruit in the solution. This method works particularly well with apples, pears, bananas, and avocados.

9. How to Preserve Fruits – Remove any spoiled fruit

Removing spoiled or damaged fruit is crucial to preventing the spread of mould. Mould can quickly grow on and spread from one piece of fruit to another, causing spoilage and contamination of the entire batch. By removing any affected fruit, you not only prevent the spread of mould but also help to preserve the quality and freshness of the remaining fruit.

It’s always a good practice to inspect your fruits regularly and remove any damaged ones promptly to avoid the growth of harmful organisms.

10. Wash fruits thoroughly before storing them.

It is important to wash fruits thoroughly before storing them to remove any dirt, bacteria, or pesticides that may be present on their surface. Not doing so can lead to the growth of harmful microorganisms, spoilage, and shorter shelf life. By washing fruits before storing them, you can ensure that they remain fresh and safe to eat for a longer time.

Conclusion on How to Preserve Fruits

Another way to preserve your fruits is to convert the raw fruits into juice and to do this you need a juicer. We curated a list of the best juicers under N40,000 here. Check them out and make your choice now.

Preserving fruits has been a common practice for centuries, as it allows us to enjoy fruits beyond their natural season. You can preserve fruits by canning, freezing, washing, separating, or dehydrating them. Preserving fruits helps prevent food waste, as excess or overripe fruits that might otherwise go bad can be preserved. It also enables us to save money, as fruits are usually cheaper when in season.

Additionally, preservation can help maintain their nutrients, making them a healthier choice than processed or packaged foods. You can get dried fruits and any other fruits from Fruit Garden by sending us a direct message on Instagram and picking out your favourites from our list. We offer door-to-door delivery nationwide as well.

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