Updated: Apr 21
One may think that storing or dumping everything in the fridge will keep the product safe or least extend its shelf life. One must understand that storing in the refrigerator is not the ultimate way to preserve or extend the shelf life. Individual items have their properties and need not store in the fridge. Storing in the refrigerator might hamper the ripening process by accelerating too quickly than usual and hence deteriorate the condition to spoilage.
But before I get to the list of the items,
I would like to point at the common factors and the reason as to why these items should not be stored in the refrigerator. The common factor for most of them is the exterior skin, for instance, Watermelon, Carrots, Potatoes, Yams, Colocasia, Apples, Lime, Sweet lime, Pomegranate, Onions, Garlic, Ginger, etc., have an exterior skin layer which protects and not necessarily need to store in the fridge. But, once the skin peeled, it’s suggested that the product has to be consumed immediately or to store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Fruits like Mangoes and Bananas are never to store in the fridge.
Please find the below list for detailed reasoning.
Bananas store nutrients better when kept outside the refrigerator. The cold temperature inside a refrigerator tends to slow down the ripening process of bananas. The skin might blacken when kept in the fridge, but the fruit will be beautiful.
Mangoes, when kept in the fridge, are very sensitive to Ethylene oxide gas which helps in accelerated ripening process. Hence, you notice that the mangoes stored in the refrigerator quickly blacken within 24 hours of storage in the fridge and spoil earlier than the one stored outside.
3. Unpeeled Potatoes and 4. Sweet Potatoes 5. Colocasia — When you keep potatoes in the fridge, the starch in them quickly turns into sugar, giving them a gritty, sweet taste. Store potatoes unwashed and out of their packaging in a well ventilated, fresh — not cold — place, outside the fridge.
6. Onions and 7. Garlic — Storing in the fridge deprives them of circulating air, and this can cause them to develop moulds and rot quicker. Onions and Garlic need to be kept in the dark, cool place with air circulation for maximum life. The cold air and moisture in the fridge can shorten the life of onions very quickly. However, keep cut onions in an airtight box in the refrigerator.
8. Tomatoes — Keeping tomatoes in the fridge can slow down the ripening process and even break down the membranes inside. As you notice, storing them for a long time in the refrigerator can blacken the skin and shrink. Store them in a cool, dry place outside the fridge and consume quickly. Buy as per your use and need.
9. Pumpkin and 10. Watermelon 11. Pineapple
Unless the skin peeled off, the fruits last longer when stored outside in dry condition. When peeled, it immediately needs to be consumed.
12. Passion Fruit and 13. Kiwi Fruit
Similar reasons as above. They tend to absorb more moisture to shrink and spoil too quickly than expected.
14. Lemons, 15. Melons and 16. Sweet lime
Melon’s family usually does best outside the fridge. Once refrigerated, they tend to break down and become powdery and grainy to lose the freshness. So to keep the flavour intact, melons need to be stored at room temperature. However, after cutting, you should save the foods in the fridge for three to four days.
Condition of the lime stored in the fridge. Image courtesy from my very own fridge.
Read my next story where I discussed in detail the Daily staples that should not be frozen or refrigerated.