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 Almanac.

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

Angelcots
Angelcots are a white-fleshed variety of apricot. 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, you can refrigerate fruit as necessary to prevent spoiling, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

Apples
Apples should be kept in a cool (below 60/70 °F) space away from sunlight and heat, where they will keep for two weeks. Refrigerated apples can last as long as six 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 fruit as necessary to prevent spoiling, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.


Apriums

Apriums are an apricot-plum 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. After ripe, refrigerate 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. Speed up the ripening process by putting 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.

Bananas
Store bananas at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat. Refrigerating bananas will turn the skin black.  Bananas become yellow, soft, and sweet as they ripen. If you want to speed the ripening process, put bananas in a paper bag along 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. If bananas turn black then most likely the fruit was exposed to extreme cold temperatures.

Berries
Berries are picked ripe and should be enjoyed as soon as possible. For overnight storage, they should be refrigerated. But don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat (or freeze) them.

Bing CherriesCherries
If your cherries last uneaten for more than a day, store unwashed  in a plastic bag in the fridge for a week or so. When ready to use, rinse  and let warm to room temperature for best flavor. (Although they’re also  great pitted and frozen for a refreshing treat in the hot summer months!)

Figs
Figs are picked ripe and should be stored in the refrigerator 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, or refrigerated for up to several weeks. Keep out of direct sunlight.

Grapes
Grapes continue to ripen after being picked—refrigerate them to slow down the ripening process. You can tell 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. Once ripe, kiwi will keep in the fridge for a few days. Very firm unripe kiwi will keep refrigerated for up to two months.

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

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

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

Melons
Store at room temperature until ripe. The best indicator of 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.

Nectarines
Nectarines are climacteric, which means they ripen after picking. They should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to touch and have a sweet aroma.  We strive to deliver them to you on the firm side so they won't be damaged in the shipping. Ripening can be hastened by placing them in a paper bag on the counter. When they've reached the desired ripeness, eat or refrigerate 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 when cut open and scooped out. You can tell a passion fruit is ripe when it begins to look shriveled. We recommend you store passion fruit on the counter out of direct sunlight and give it a few days to "wrinkle-up" for best taste.

Peaches
Peaches are climacteric, which means they 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. We strive to deliver them to you on the firm side so they won't be damaged in the shipping. 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 to avoid bruising and should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and sunlight. They ripen from the inside out, so if it gives to the touch, particularly near the stem, it is ready to eat.

Plums
Plums 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 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 fruit as necessary to prevent spoiling, but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

Pomelos
Pomelos are a the largest citrus fruit. They 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 Tangerines
Satsumas can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerated for up to several weeks. The skin is supposed to be soft, pliable, “airy,” and look puffy. 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 refrigerated for up to several weeks. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.

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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.