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How to keep berries and fruits in season, how to store berries and fruits for a long time – Lifestyle – Saint-Petersburg News

As always at the beginning of summer, there is a berry and fruit boom in St. Petersburg. Streets, markets, shops are filled with seasonal strawberries, cherries, and cherries. And very soon the locals will ripen – from our and neighboring regions: the same strawberries, currants, gooseberries. Blueberries, cloudberries, raspberries will grow in the forests.

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Berries and stone fruits are rich in fructose, vitamin C and many other valuable ingredients. However, it is very difficult to save them: over time, products lose their value, even during transportation. Is it possible to keep them at home – at least for another six months after the season? And in what commercial form do we get some fruits from the regions? Readers of Fontanka will be told about this food and nutrition expert Victoria Zaval.

Fruits and berries from the inside

Stone fruits – these include plums, peaches, apricots, cherry plums, medlar, dogwood, cherries, sweet cherries and others – do not ripen well during storage, so they are removed almost ripe. The “peel” does not protect them enough from damage and evaporation, so they are very fragile, sensitive to touch. They need to be transported carefully, and nectarines and peaches are completely separate, not in bulk. After a physical impact – crushed, knocked, dropped – under the top layer, the pulp cells are destroyed and the processes of cell death begin, which causes damage, decay. Therefore, we often buy cherries whole on the outside, but spoiled on the inside. On varieties with a dark skin, it is difficult to see this before purchasing.

Berries are different in structure: some of them do not have a protective thick peel – these are strawberries, raspberries, strawberries. Delicate berries are stored in their mature form for up to a week and are very wrinkled during transportation. Therefore, their freshness is visible to the naked eye. But currants, gooseberries, cranberries, lingonberries can be stored longer. When buying, you can determine their freshness by smell: it should not be sour, musty or with hints of dampness and mold.

How long can berries and fruits be stored – and under what conditions

The shelf life of even one species may be different due to the different composition of the shell. If it is very thin, the shelf life does not exceed one day. That is why we do not see some berries for sale.

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Kostochkovs need to organize storage at a temperature of 0-1 ° C and a relative humidity of 85-95% with moderate air exchange. The bottom shelf in the refrigerator (not the freezer!) handles this. You can find out what the temperature is in this place and whether there are all the conditions there, from the seller, from the instructions or using a special thermometer.

If the shelf is suitable for storage, currants can be stored in their original form – up to a week, gooseberries – up to two weeks, raspberries and strawberries – up to three days, some stone fruits – up to 1 month.

And one more thing: water interacts with the skin of fruits and berries, so direct contact reduces the shelf life, destroying the integrity of the shells. If you don’t plan to eat the berries right away, store them unwashed in the refrigerator. And not in bulk in bags, but, for example, in covered glasses just below the height of the box. This is necessary to avoid contact of berries as much as possible.

How to keep berries and fruits longer

If the goal is to enjoy berries and fruits not only during the season, then we must resort to canning. This is not only jam and compotes, but also any way to preserve products for a period longer than its expiration date, and it doesn’t matter with or without sugar. There are ways to preserve berries and fruits without additives and preserve almost 90% of all useful substances: drying and freezing.

For drying, an oven or a special apparatus for drying is suitable. And it is best to freeze in a shock freezer. If it is not at hand, a regular freezer will also work, although it is less effective.

How to freeze properly

Freeze fruits and berries during the high season immediately after picking or buying. So you get the maximum set of nutrients in their natural form.

To freeze the berries and fruits must be washed. It is difficult to wash raspberries, blueberries, strawberries. It is best to use a special shower head in such cases: the jet does not hit in it, but is gently distributed over the surfaces of the berries.

The maximum preservation of nutrients is affected by the speed of freezing; in the absence of a special apparatus, a freezer with storage from -18 ° C and below is suitable. For freezing, it is best to use a container with a volume that suits you for defrosting “once”.

And how to defrost

If you plan to cook compote or add fruits and berries to tea, then you do not need to defrost them.

If you want to eat them, then defrost them without interacting with the environment, moving them to the bottom shelf of the refrigerator without opening the container in which they were frozen. So there will be no contact with destructive microorganisms, and the loss of nutrients will be minimal.

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