Here’s why you shouldn’t keep tomatoes in the fridge

Yeah, you might want to rethink putting your tomatoes in the fridge [Photo: stock.tookapic.com via Pexels]

Quick question? Where do you store your tomatoes? If you’re anything like us, it’ll likely be in the fridge. We mean, where else is there to keep them? Sure they’re technically a fruit, but it somehow feels a bit weird to keep them in the fruit bowl, just tossed in amongst the bananas and tangerines. Just us?

But according to science if, like us, your tomatoes are currently residing in the veg drawer of your fridge, you might want to rethink your whole storage technique.

A new study by University of Florida, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed that tommies lose some of their flavour when they’re kept in the chiller.

Researchers studied the genes of tomatoes and discovered that when the fruits were stored in temperatures below 12°C, some of the enzymes become less effective. And those enzymes play a major role in the popular fruit’s flavour. And once the trademark tomato flavour’s gone, you can’t get it back. Yikes!

Tomatoes are tastiest when they’re not stored in the fridge [Photo: unsplash.com via Pexels]

To get the results scientists stored tomatoes in a chilly environment for about a week and then let them recover in room temperature for a few days. Researchers found that seven days of cold exposure reduced the tomatoes’ levels of volatile compounds, which help impart the fruit’s flavour, by up to 65%. And according to the study the brief recovery periods after chilling failed to restore the fruits’ volatiles to normal levels.

A panel of 76 consumers also ranked their liking of the chilled and unchilled tomatoes in terms of flavour. The taste-testers judged fruits that were chilled for seven days, then stored at 20°C, as having much less flavour than fruits that were picked a day earlier.

Scientists are currently looking into developing a method to breed tomatoes that don’t lose their flavour in the fridge. But until then, experts recommend leaving them out on the counter or in a shady spot.

Maybe that fruit bowl isn’t such a bad prospect after all.

Where do you store your tomatoes? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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