It is known that fresh vegetables and fruits usually don’t have long shelf lives. This article is about tomatoes and their shelf life. Have you ever wondered how long your favorite vegetable/fruit can last? Because of their high nutritional value and a great flavor, tomatoes are one of the most popular foods on the planet. You can purchase tomatoes at a grocery store but you can also pick them from your garden.
In this article we will tell you something more about tomatoes and its storage. We will tell you how to store tomato properly if you want to extend its shelf life. Also, we will tell you how to know if your tomatoes have gone bad. If you also love tomato, read along this article.
More about Tomatoes
Tomato is an edible red fruit that belongs to the nightshade family (Solanaceae). It comes from Mexico, but today it is used all over the world. Botanically tomato is a berry-type fruit of the tomato plant, but in culinary purposes it is used as a vegetable. It can cause some confusion, but regardless of whether it is considered a fruit or a vegetable, tomato is one of the favorite foods of most people.
Tomato can be eaten raw, but it can also be used as an ingredient in many sauces, dishes, salads or even drinks. Tomato is the most important ingredient in ketchup and in tomato soup. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and they can help in preventing many diseases. They contain lycopene that can prevent prostate cancer and protect against harmful UV rays. Tomatoes are also an excellent source of phytonutrients that slow down aging and fight against free radicals.
Also, tomatoes contain vitamins C and A as well as other nutrients. It is known that tomatoes have a lot of health benefits for people and they should be a part of a human diet.
What Is the Shelf Life of Tomatoes?
The shelf life of tomatoes depends on a variety of factors, such as how they are stored and the date when the tomatoes were purchased or picked. It is known that tomatoes usually don’t have a sell by date, a best before date or a use by date.
Also, you should know that there are many types of tomatoes, such as grape tomatoes, plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. It is known that plum tomatoes have a longer shelf life than all the rest types of tomatoes, because plum tomatoes have a firmer flesh. Generally, fresh tomatoes can last for one week on the counter, but if they are refrigerated they can last for up to two weeks.
How To Store Tomatoes Properly?
Proper storage is the most important when we talk about the shelf life of tomatoes. If you will use tomatoes within a few days you can store them out of the fridge. But, it is important to store them in a dry and cool place. They have to be away from any moisture because the moisture can cause tomatoes to spoil more quickly. Although you can store tomatoes out of the fridge, it is best to keep them refrigerated. This way you will extend the shelf life of tomatoes. It is recommended to store them in a vegetable drawer in the fridge. You should use airtight containers in order to protect tomatoes from moisture and other contaminant factors.
How to Tell if Tomatoes Have Gone Bad?
It will not be hard to tell if tomatoes have gone bad. Actually, they will be soft and also a liquid may leak from them.
Also, it is possible that mold appears on tomatoes and in this case you should throw them away immediately. There is one more problem that you have to take in consideration and this is a presence of fruit flies. In this case you should take a bowl of water and add a teaspoon of vinegar in it. Place the bowl next to the fruit basket over the night. In the morning you will see that fruit flies are swimming in the bowl. This is the best way to get rid of fruit flies.
As you have seen, scientifically tomato is a fruit, but in culinary terms it is used as a vegetable. Its shelf life depends mostly on the way of its storage. Proper storage conditions will keep your tomatoes fresh for a longer period of time. If you notice that your tomatoes have changed in texture, flavor or smell, it means that they have gone bad.
Also, if they grow mold they should be discarded immediately. Remember that spoiled foods are usually associated to many health risks. But, now that you know more about tomato and its proper storage, we are sure that you won’t allow your tomatoes to go bad.