Tomatoes are one of the most versatile fruits out there but also among the more delicate varieties due to their soft flesh.
This means that it’s even more important to store them correctly in order to maximise freshness and extend the shelf life for as long as possible.
While many people store the juicy red fruits in their fridge without a second thought, a food waste expert has warned that it’s not the most reliable method.
Instead, he recommended following a “simple step” to determine the best place for tomatoes based on their texture.
The foolproof tip takes into account exactly how ripe the fruits are at the point of purchase, and means they can last way beyond their usual three to four-day shelf life.
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Phillip Quantrell, brand ambassador and food waste expert at InSinkErator said: “A contributing factor to the huge amount of tomato waste that the UK faces is that we’re probably throwing them away too soon, thinking they’re over-ripe.”
To avoid this, he urged people to check the ripeness of their tomatoes, adding: “If your tomatoes are ripe they should have a bit of give in them when touched.
“Ripe tomatoes usually let off a light fragrance too, so if you’re unsure after touching the tomato, this should give you a definitive answer.
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“For ripe tomatoes, you can either consume these now or preserve the freshness in the fridge. Keeping them in the fridge will help them to last for around two weeks.”
He continued: “If you bring home tomatoes that aren’t quite there yet, it’s better to leave them on the side to ripen, as the fridge will interrupt the process, leaving you with tasteless tomatoes.
“Tomatoes can actually survive for up to seven days out of the fridge, as long as they are kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.”
It’s important to keep tomatoes in an isolated spot away from other heavy foods that could bruise the flesh, so the top of the crisper drawer or a separate wire fruit bowl is best.
Another important rule for storing tomatoes is to always keep them stem-side down.
According to food experts, doing so prevents moisture loss through the small gap where the stem sits and works both at room temperature and when chilled in the fridge.
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