Take these 8 items out of your fridge

We've all put at least one of these in the fridge at one point...

33w ago

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The purpose of the refrigerator is very clear. The refrigerator lowers the rate of decomposition of food items as a result of the lower-than-average temperature decreasing the rate of growth of bacteria. Think about that next time you pop your milk in the fridge.

We are so used to the idea that if you put something in the fridge, it'll last a lot longer. However, that is a very common misconception because there are some food items that decrease in quality and taste if put in the fridge.

So here are some commonly refrigerated items that don't need to be:

Melon

Most melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew are packed full with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and beta-carotene, which help prevent or slow down damage dealt to your body cells. Berries, green tea, coffee, and dark chocolate are also great sources for antioxidants.

To preserve these antioxidants, store melon—as opposed to sliced—on your kitchen counter. Storing it in the fridge would prevent the antioxidants from doing any good as the cold air in the fridge would break down the antioxidants.

Potatoes

Do you put your potatoes in the fridge? There is a common misconception that putting potatoes in the fridge will make taste better. However, if kept in the fridge for a while, the starch that is present in the potato will turn into sugar - which causes them to lose their distinctive brown colour and taste sweet once cooked.

Some potatoes - such as sweet potatoes - need to be stored in a cool, dark place to prevent as much sprouting as possible.

Most potatoes should last around three weeks when stored at room temperature.

Bread

We've all been there. A few days before the best before date - we stick it in the fridge and it'll be alright for a few days longer. Loaves such as rye and whole wheat will turn rock solid if put in the fridge.

Putting your bread in the freezer is better than the fridge as it dramatically slows down the process that makes bread stale, whereas putting a loaf in the fridge will speed it up.

The cool air in the fridge causes the starch in the bread to crystallise which is what makes the bread hard and stale. The cold air also dries out the bread - making the bread lose its firmness.

Bread is best stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature.

Onions

Ever noticed how onions are stored in those mesh bags? These bags allow air ventilation to keep the onions lasting longer.

If onions are unpeeled then they need a cool dry storage place with lots of air ventilation, not a cold fridge. They need to be kept in the pantry and they should kept away from potatoes as they release ethylene, which can cause your onions to prematurely rot.

Whatever you do - you won't stop crying once you cut them.

Garlic

Like onions, garlic has to be stored in the pantry because air circulation is needed to make it taste better and it'll last about two months at room temperature.

Putting garlic in the fridge or in plastic bags can make it go mouldy. The best way to store garlic is in a dry, dark place with little light to avoid the bulbs sprouting. While sprouted garlic is still edible, it can sometimes be a little bitter tasting.

One thing is for sure, Dracula doesn't have this in his fridge.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes will retain their moisture if they are kept away from the fridge. Putting tomatoes in the fridge will stop them from ripening and ruin their taste.

Refrigerating tomatoes alters their chemical structure and drastically affects their flavour. A tomato's texture and colour changes when faced with cold temperatures. If they are exposed to temperatures below 5°C soft pits can appear on the tomato's surface.

Hot Sauce

Whether you like Tabasco or Habanero sauce it's a fact that hot sauce provides us with the heat and sweat to spice up anything from chicken to grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Hot sauce is the key ingredient to get anything tasting fiery but when most people open a bottle of hot sauce, they stick it in the fridge. This is something you should definitely not do.

A fun little fact about hot sauce: capsaicin is the name of the compound that makes hot sauce able to increase body heat, boost metabolism and even decrease appetite.

Capsaicin keeps bacteria at bay. This, combined with acidic vinegar and a high salt content, provides a triple threat of ingredients that help keep hot sauce safe to keep outside of the fridge.

Although this list is about things you shouldn't refrigerate, if you want to keep freshness and are looking to keep it for over at least six months, putting it in the fridge could be the best option.

Coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee - it doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Whilst it's important to keep your precious coffee beans somewhere cool, the fridge or freezer is a no-go. Moisture is known as coffee's worst enemy and as we've learnt from all the other food items on this list, the cold air from refrigerators love to suck the moisture out of anything they find. It can turn your beans bad really quickly and dull the taste.

In fridges and freezers temperatures are constantly fluctuating and that also creates more moisture as condensation is produced. Whether it's beans or grounds - make sure you store it in an air-tight at room temperature.

Keep the moisture and air away, and you only won't have better coffee - your days will start better too.

Which of these surprised you the most?

Comment other food items that should be kept away from the fridge below!

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Comments (3)

  • The only ones I'm familiar with refrigerating are tomatoes, melon, and hot sauce. It goes for all fruit- they lose nutrients when stored in the fridge. However, I like chilled fruit and everything goes rotten in Australia reasonably quickly.

      7 months ago
    • It’s a completely different story in the UK where it’s cold most of the year. It does get quite warm in the summer though.

        7 months ago
  • I knew about half...found the information interesting..thanks!

      7 months ago
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