Fresh Fruit Storage and Ripening Tips

Here are some basic storage guidelines for fresh fruit. Humidity can speed up the ripening process. Most fruits are best kept in a cool, dry place, such as on a countertop away from sunlight and heat. For tips on preparing a specific produce item, search by name in The FruitGuys Magazine

Remember to always wash your hands, and rinse fruit in cold water before eating, even if it's organic.

Apples
Apples should be kept in a cool space away from sunlight and heat. Depending on variety, they will keep in a cool space for up to two weeks. When refrigerated, most apples will keep for 3–4 weeks.

Apricots
Apricots continue to ripen after picking. They should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. Once ripe, refrigerate apricots as necessary to prevent spoiling, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

Apriums
Apriums are an apricot-plum fruit hybrid. They continue to ripen after picking and should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. After ripe, refrigerate apriums as necessary to prevent spoiling, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

Avocados
Store avocados at room temperature until they are ripe. They’ll give slightly to pressure when they’re ready to eat. To ripen avocados faster, put them in a paper bag for a couple of days. After ripening, they may be refrigerated for several days, and half-avocados should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge with the pit still in place (to limit browning).

Bananas
Store bananas at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat. Bananas become yellow, soft, and sweet as they ripen. If you want to speed the ripening process, put bananas in a paper bag with an apple overnight. The natural ethylene gas released by the apple will help ripen your bananas. Bananas are very delicate and can be easily damaged by extreme temperatures, hot or cold. Refrigerating bananas will turn their skins black. Black skinned bananas were most likely exposed to extreme cold temperatures. The flesh inside will continue to ripen, even refrigerated, and can still be eaten, or if too ripe, used for baking.

Berries
Berries are picked ripe and should be enjoyed as soon as possible. Berries should be kept refrigerated until eaten. Do not wash berries until you are ready to eat (or freeze) them.

Bing CherriesCherries
Refrigerate cherries unwashed in a plastic bag for up to a week or 10 days. Before eating, rinse the cherries and let them warm to room temperature for best flavor. If you think you might not eat them before they spoil, try pitting and freezing the cherries for a refreshing treat in the hot summer months!

Figs
Figs are picked ripe. If they are hard, let them sit a room temperature until soft. Once ripe, refrigerate figs until ready to eat. You can enjoy them cold or at room temperature.

Grapefruit
Grapefruit can be stored at room temperature for a week or so. Keep out of direct sunlight. You can also refrigerate grapefruit for up to several weeks.

Grapes
Grapes continue to ripen after being picked—refrigerate grapes to slow down the ripening process. You can determine freshness by examining the stems: Fresh grapes will have green and pliable stems, while grapes that have been stored for a while will have twiggy and woody ones.

Kiwi
Keep kiwifruit at room temperature until ripe, when it gives slightly to the touch. Once ripe, refrigerated kiwi will keep for a few days. Very firm unripe kiwi can keep refrigerated for up to two months.

Lemons
Lemons can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks. Keep out of direct sunlight. Refrigerated lemons can keep up to several weeks.

Limes
Limes can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks, out of direct sunlight. Refrigerated lines can keep for up to several weeks.

Mangoes
Mangoes can be stored at room temperature and will continue to ripen. When they give slightly to touch, they are ready to eat. Refrigerate mangoes to slow down the ripening process.

Melons
Store melons at room temperature until ripe. The best indicator of melon ripeness is aroma. If a melon’s sweet fragrance is noticeable, it’s probably ready to cut and eat. The outside of the melon should feel firm but give slightly to pressure, particularly on the end where the stem was. If it feels rock-hard, give it a little more time. Once cut, cover and refrigerate.

Nectarines
Nectarines are climacteric, which means they ripen after picking. Nectarines should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to touch and have a sweet aroma.  The FruitGuys strives to deliver them to you on the firm side so they won't be damaged in shipping. To speed nectarine ripening, place them in a paper bag on the counter. When they've reached the desired ripeness, eat or refrigerate nectarines for up to several days.

Oranges
Oranges can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerated for up to several weeks. Keep out of direct sunlight.

Passion Fruit
Passion fruit is a fragrant fruit and is best eaten ripe, cut in half and scooped out. You can tell when a passion fruit is ripe when it begins to look shriveled. For the best tasting passion fruit, we recommend you store passion fruit on the counter out of direct sunlight and give it a few days to "wrinkle-up."

Peaches
Peaches are climacteric, which means they ripen after picking. Peaches should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. The FruitGuys delivers them to you on the firm side so they won't be damaged during shipping. Peach ripening can be hastened by placing them in a paper bag on the counter. When they've reached the desired ripeness, you can refrigerate peaches, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

Pears
Pears are picked hard and continue to ripen. Pears should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and sunlight. Pears ripen from the inside out, so if it gives to the touch, particularly near the stem, it is ready to eat. You can slow ripening by refrigerating pears. Once ripe, the pear can be refrigerated for up to five days.

Plums
Plums continue to ripen after picking. Plums should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. Once ripe, refrigerate plums as necessary to prevent spoiling, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

Pluots
Pluots are a plum-apricot cross. They continue to ripen after picking and should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. Once ripe, refrigerate pluots as necessary to prevent spoiling, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

Pomelos
Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit. Pomelos can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerated for up to several weeks. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.

Satsuma Mandarins
Satsumas can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerate Satsumas for up to several weeks. Satsuma mandarin skin is soft, pliable, and has an “airy” and puffy look and feel. Don’t let the looks of the peel fool you—this is a deliciously sweet-tart mandarin, one of our favorites.

Tangerines
Tangerines can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerate tangerines for up to several weeks. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.

Contact us with any questions: info@fruitguys.com, 1-877-FRUIT-ME (877-378-4863).

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The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.