Fruits and Vegetables - Optimal Storage Conditions

Optimal temperature and humidity conditions for some common fruits and vegetables

Proper storage conditions - temperature and humidity - are needed to lengthen storage life and maintain quality of harvested fruits and vegetables.

Fresh fruits need low temperature and high relative humidity to reduce the respiration and slow down the metabolic process. The table below indicates optimal temperature and moisture condition for some common fruits and vegetables.

Product Optimal Storage Temperature Chill Point Freezing Point Optimal Humidity Top Ice Accepted
1)
Water Sprinkle Accepted
2)
Ethylene Production Sensitive to Ethylene 3) Approximate Storage Life Comments
(oF) (oC) (oF) (oC) (oF) %
Apples 30-40 -1-4 29.3 90-95 No No High Yes 1-12 months Chill sensitive stored at 35-40 F (2-4 C)
Apricots 31-32 -1-0 30.1 90-95 No No High Yes 1-3 weeks
Artichokes 32-35 0-2 90-95 Yes Yes No No
Artichokes, Jerusalem 31-32 0-2 28.0 90-95 No No No No 4-5 months
Asparagus 32-35 30.9 95-100 No Yes No Yes 2-3 weeks
Avocados, ripe 38-45 3-7 36 2 85-95 No No High Yes
Avocados, unripe 45-50 7-10 45 7 85-95 No No Low Yes, Very Keep away from ethylene producing fruits
Bananas, green 62-70 17-21 56 13 85-95 No No Low Yes
Bananas, ripe 56-60 13-16 54 12 85-95 No No Medium No
Basil 52-59 11-15 50 10 90-95 No Yes No Yes
Beans, dry 40-50 40-50 6-10 months
Beans, green or snap 40-45 30.7 95 7-10 days
Beans, sprouts 32 0 95-100 7-9 days
Beans. Lima 37-41 0 31.0 95 5-7 days
Beets 32-35 0-2 90-95 Yes Yes No Yes
Beets, bunched 32 0 31.3 98-100 10-14 days
Beets, topped 32 0 30.3 98-100 4-6 months
Blackberries 32-33 0-1 30.5 90-95 No No Very Low No 2-3 days
Blueberries 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No Very Low No
Bok Choy 32-35 0-2 90-95 No Yes No Yes
Broccoli 32 0 30.9 95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 10-14 days
Brussels Sprouts 32 0 30.5 90-95 Yes Yes No Yes 3-5 weeks
Bunched Greens 32 0 90-95 Yes Yes No Yes Beets, Chard, Green Onions, Mustard, Parsley, Radish, Spinach, Turnip
Cabbage, Chinese 32 0 95-100 No No No Yes 2-3 months
Cabbage, early 32 0 30.4 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 3-6 weeks
Cabbage, late 32 0 30.4 98-100 5-6 months
Cantaloupe 36-38 2-3 34 1 90-95 No No Medium Yes
Carrots, bunched 32 0 95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 2 weeks Ethylene may cause a bitter flavor
Carrots, immature 32 0 29.5 98-100 4-6 weeks
Carrots, mature 32 0 29.5 98-100 7-9 months
Cauliflower 32 0 30.6 95-98 3-4 weeks
Cauliflower 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No No Yes
Celery 32 0 31.1 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 2-3 months
Celeriac 32 0 30.3 97-99 6-8 months
Chard 32 0 95-100 10-14 days
Cherries 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No Very Low No
Cherries, sour 32 0 29.0 90-95 3-7 days
Cherries, sweet 30-31 28.8 90-95 2-3 weeks
Chicory 32-35 0-2 90-95 Yes Yes No No
Chicory, witloof 32 0 95-100 2-4 weeks
Chinese Pea Pods 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No No No
Coconuts 55-60 13-16 80-85 No No No No Extended storage 32-35 F (0-2 C)
Collards 32 0 30.6 95-100 10-14 days
Corn, sweet 32 0 30.9 95-98 Yes Yes No No 5-8 days
Cranberries 38-42 3-6 36 2 90-95 Yes No No No
Cucumbers 50-55 40 4 31.1 95 No No Very Low Yes 10-14 days
Currants 31-32 30.2 90-95 1-4 weeks
Eggplant 46-54 45 7 30.6 90-95 No No No Yes 1 week
Elderberries 31-32 90-95 1-2 weeks
Endive 32 0 31.9 95-100 Yes Yes No No 2-3 weeks
Escarole 32-35 0-2 90-95 Yes Yes No No
Escarole 32 0 31.9 95-100 2-3 weeks
Figs 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No Low No
Garlic 32 0 30.5 65-70 No No No No 6-7 months May be stored at 55-70 F (13-21 C) for shorter periods
Ginger Root 60-65 16-18 55 13 65-70 No No No No
Gooseberries 31-32 30.0 90-95 3-4 weeks
Grapefruit 55-60 13-16 50 10 90-95 No No Very Low No
Grapes 31-32 29.7 85 No No Very Low Yes 2-8 weeks
Green Beans 40-45 4-7 38 3 90-95 No No No Yes
Green Peas 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No No Yes
Greens, leafy 32 0 95-100 10-14 days
Guavas 45-50 7-10 40 4 90-95 No No Medium Yes
Herbs 32-35 0-2 90-95 No Yes No Yes
Horseradish 30-32 28.7 98-100 10-12 months
Jicama 55-65 65-70 1-2 months
Kale 32 31.1 95-100 2-3 weeks
Kiwi, ripe 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No High Yes
Kiwi, unripe 32-35 0-2 90-95 Ne No Low Yes, Very
Kohlrabi 32 0 30.2 98-100 Yes Yes No No 2-3 months
Leeks 32 0 30.7 95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 2-3 months
Lemons 52-55 11-13 50 10 90-95 No No Very Low No
Lettuce 32 0 31.7 98-100 No Yes No Yes 2-3 weeks
Limes 48-55 9-13 45 7 90-95 No No Very Low No
Lychees 40-45 4-7 36 2 90-95 No No Very Low No
Mangos 50-55 10-13 50 10 85-95 No No Medium Yes
Melons, Casaba/Persian 50-55 10-13 45 7 85-95 No No Very Low Yes Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)
Melons, Crenshaw 50-55 10-13 45 7 85-95 No No Low Yes Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)
Melons, Honey Dew 50-55 10-13 41 5 85-95 No No Medium Yes Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)
Mushrooms 32 0 30.4 95 No Yes No Yes 3-4 days
Napa 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No No Yes
Nectarines 31-32 30.4 90-95 No No High No 2-4 weeks
Okra 45-50 45 7 28.7 90-95 No No Very Low Yes 7-10 days
Onions 32-35 0-2 65-75 No No No No May be stored at 55-70 F (13-21 C) for shorter period
Oranges 40-45 4-7 38 3 90-95 No No Very Low No
Oranges 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No Very Low Yes
Papayas 50-55 10-13 45 7 85-95 No No Medium Yes
Parsley 32 0 30.0 95-100 2-3 months
Parsnips 32 0 30.4 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 4-6 months
Peaches 31-32 30.3 90-95 No No High Yes 2-4 weeks
Pears 29-31 29.2 90-95 No No High Yes 2-7 months
Peas, green 32 0 30.9 95-98 1-2 weeks
Peas, southern 40-41 95 6-8 days
Peppers, hot chili 32-50 60-70 No No No Yes 6 months
Peppers, sweet 45-55 7-10 42 6 30.7 90-95 No No No No 2-3 weeks
Persimmons 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No No Yes, Very
Pineapples 50-55 10-13 45 7 85-95 No No Very Low No Odor may influence avacados
Plums 31-32 30.5 90-95 No No High Yes 2-5 weeks
Pomegranates 41-50 5-10 41 5 90-95 No No No No
Potatoes 45-50 7-10 38 3 90-95 No No No Yes
Precut Fruit 32-36 0-2 90-95 No No Low No
Precut Vegetables 32-36 0-2 90-95 No No No Yes
Prunes 31-32 30.5 90-95 No No High Yes 2-5 weeks
Pumpkins 50-55 50 10 30.5 65-70 No No No Yes 2-3 months
Quinces 31-32 28.4 90 2-3 months
Quinces 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No High Yes
Radishes, spring 32 0 30.7 95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 3-4 weeks
Radishes, winter 32 95-100 2-4 months
Raspberries 31-32 30.0 90-95 No No Very Low No 2-3 days
Rhubarb 32 0 30.3 95-100 No Yes No No 2-4 weeks
Rutabagas 32 0 30.0 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 4-6 months
Salad Mixes 32-35 0-2 90-95 No Yes No Yes
Salsify 32 30.0 95-98 2-4 months
Spinach 32 31.5 95-100 10-14 days
Sprouts 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No No Yes
Squashes, summer 41-50 40 4 31.1 95 No No No Yes 1-2 weeks
Squashes, winter 50 30.5 50-70 No No No Yes 1-6 months
Strawberries 32 0 30.6 90-95 No No Very Low No 3-7 days
Sweet Potatoes 55-60 54 12 29.7 85-90 No No No Yes 4-7 months
Tangerines 32-35 0-2 90-95 No No Very Low No
Tangerines 40-45 4-7 38 3 90-95 No No Very Low No
Tomatoes, mature green 55-70 31.0 90-95 No No Low Yes 1-3 weeks Riping can be delayed by storing at 55-60 F (13-16 C)
Tomatoes, ripe 55-70 31.1 90-95 No No Medium No 4-7 days
Turnip greens 32 31.7 95-100 10-14 days
Turnips 32 0 30.1 95 Yes Yes No Yes 4-5 months
Watercress 32 31.4 95-100 2-3 weeks
Watermelon 55-70 13-21 50 10 85-95 No No No Yes, Very Keep away from ethylene producing fruits

1) Top icing the products may be very effective keeping the temperature low and the product surface close to 100% humidity.

2) Spraying with water may be effective by keeping the temperature low (evaporative cooling) and the surface 100% humid.

3) Products sensitive to ethylene should not be stored together with products producing ethylene. Exposure to ethylene may soften the flesh, adding bitter taste to the product or/and accelerate ripening.

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