Growers from as far away as Argentina and Thailand successfully harvest produce, transport it for great distances over land and in ocean freighters using refrigerated containers, and then it is warehoused and transported in the U.S.to your local store produce department in excellent condition. This amazing feat can only be accomplished using the three essential elements to successful produce storage – and all three are vital!
Temperature. You will want the temperature to remain about 38-48 degrees at all times. Keep produce in the refrigerator crispers unless you are planning on deliberately ripening the produce items or if you want to use them immediately. With some produce items like avocados, you may want to keep them on the counter until they are ripe, but then return them to cold storage in order to keep them from continuing to ripen to spoilage.
Ethylene gas control. Nearly all shipping containers use Bluapple technology to absorb ethylene gas during shipment, and you should use this same technology at home too! Bluapple® is designed to protect your entire storage space from ethylene gas.
Humidity. Ideal humidity can neither be too dry or too wet. Most plastic bags do not breathe and end up keeping produce too wet from condensation. Micro-pore bags are available but not necessary. We recommend poking a few dozen holes in your standard plastic bags with a fork in order to keep produce humid, but not dripping. Sometimes with items like broccoli, a damp paper towel in the plastic bag can act as a humidity buffer, adding moisture if necessary and absorbing it if there is too much.
Remember, neglecting even one the essential elements can ruin successful produce storage. For example, if your produce is kept cool, and ethylene gas is controlled with Bluapple®, but condensation forms inside your plastic storage bags . . . well, we all have had the experience of opening up a bag of soggy onions or cauliflower. Similarly, poor temperature control or absent ethylene gas control will also sabotage successful produce storage efforts.