Biochemists from Rice University (Texas, USA) urge not to buy food in advance in order to store it in the refrigerator. The experts say that fresh fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional value because of such storage.
The scientists have long known that the post-harvest level of useful trace elements in vegetables and fruits decreases as they are stored. The head of the study, Professor Janet Bram, emphasizes that the loss of vitamins occurs faster if the products are stored in a refrigerator or on the shelves of supermarkets.
Experiments have shown that fruits, vegetables, berries and herbs are sensitive to natural light cycles. However, storing them in a refrigerator or in a supermarket, in the conditions of constant darkness or light, breaks these cycles. As a result, the quality of products and their nutritional value is reduced.
These studies suggest that fresh fruits and vegetables can be a source of vitamins for a few weeks after being picked. During this period, they react to the changing time of day. The maximum amount of vitamins and other substances in stored foods is registered at noon – but only if fruit and vegetables are stored under natural light.
According to the biologist, if the products are stored for a long time in a refrigerator or on a well-lit shelf in a supermarket, they have a constant low level of nutrients. In order to increase the amount of vitamins in fruits and vegetables, the experts advise to keep them in natural conditions for several hours before use. However, be aware that this advice is only effective if the products are not stored too long.