The Best Way To Store Berries To Prevent Mold

When you pick up a handful of fresh berries at the farmer’s market, only to discover a thick layer of fuzzy mold covered them before you could eat them, there are few things more disappointing. Although you could pick around the contaminated bunch, the memory of the hairy, green mold that has so obviously infiltrated the area is like a heavy burden to bear. Because of their insufficient shelf life, you are eventually forced to throw the berries away.

Fruits with a high water content, such as blackberries and raspberries, typically have a short shelf life, while berries with high water content, such as blueberries and strawberries, are more likely to last for up to seven days. Our tips and tricks will help you avoid having to throw away moldy berries again. They can also keep them fresh for longer, so you won’t have to throw them away. Find out how to pick berries that are sweet, ripe, and mold-free, as well as the science of why berries get moldy so fast.

Are berries so susceptible to spoilage?

Mold spores on the surface of berries cause them to spoil quickly. According to the United States A mold spore is a microscopic fungus that lives on plant and animal matter, according to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Despite not knowing the exact number of mold species, the USDA notes there are probably more than 300,000 of them. It is difficult to control or avoid these microscopic organisms when they blow across the air, spreading from plant to plant.

Strawberry varieties (which are approximately 92 percent water) can lose moisture rapidly once picked, which further increases their mold potential. As berries wilt as a result of water loss, the moisture that appears in the atmosphere causes mold growth and spoilage to occur faster.

The USDA says that although mold is most commonly found in warmer environments, it can also grow at refrigerator temperatures. Keeping the humidity level of your refrigerator below 40 percent and cleaning the inside with baking soda often are the best ways to prevent mold growth at home.

You can prevent mold from growing on berries in 4 different ways

1. Put paper towels inside the container.

Tanaka Farms is a 30-acre fruit and vegetable farm tucked away in the heart of Irvine, California. According to Kenny Tanaka, a farmer at Tanaka Farms, the best way to keep your berries fresh is to line their containers with paper towels. The berries should then be placed inside the container, followed by a layer of paper towels before the lid is closed.

In addition, Tanaka strongly recommends that the berries be left unwashed until just before eating. The method is effective because the paper towel will absorb some of the moisture, preventing the berries from spoiling. Paper towels absorb excess humidity as the berries release moisture naturally, reducing the risk of mold growth and rot as the condensation forms inside the container.

2. Mold and bacteria can be removed from berries by soaking them in vinegar.

A vinegar-based soak might be a good option if you’re looking to get your meal prep done at once and waiting to wash your berries doesn’t work for you. Put one cup of vinegar and four cups of water in a large bowl. Put the berries in water for a few seconds, drain in a colander, and wash them under cold running water. With a salad spinner, gently remove excess liquid and wick away excess moisture. Place them in a container lined with paper towels with a loose lid after they have been blotted dry completely with paper towels.

Several studies have suggested that vinegar, which is both naturally antifungal and antibacterial, can help prevent mold, fungi, and other microorganisms from growing, extending berry shelf life by up to two weeks. It will be worth the effort when your berries taste fresh-picked for far longer than you normally can without this method.

3. Give your berries a quick bath in hot water.

If you don’t have any more vinegar in the pantry, know that keeping berries fresh and mold-free can also be accomplished with hot water. Heat a large pot of water, and just before it begins to simmer, check the temperature using a thermometer until it reads between 125°F and 140°F. (Note: we aren’t attempting to make jam at this temperature.) Do not allow them to sit for longer than 30 seconds. Dry them thoroughly, and then store them in a container lined with paper towels after removing them from the water.

Despite the fact that it is not as effective as vinegar-based solutions, this trick may delay berry mold growth and prolong their freshness for a few days. Whenever storing berries, make sure they’re well dried before storing it.

4. At the market, select the freshest berries and discard any bad ones right away.

This may seem obvious, but choosing berries with the best quality can help ensure a long shelf life. When choosing berries, look for wilting, bruising, or decaying signs. If any are rotting, throw them away once you’re home. Next, store the healthy berries carefully in a towel-lined container, making sure not to overcrowd them.

You can freeze berries that appear to be about to turn before you’ve enjoyed them. No matter what you do with them, smoothies, baked goods, or oatmeal will still taste good – fresh, nutrient-packed, and (most importantly) mold-free.

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