Wrong life style could be the only reason for all the diseases that we suffer from. And there must only be one treatment and that is through proper and disciplined food habits. Not paying right attention to what we really eat is the basis for many diseases. We intend to keep many items that we procure from a departmental store in the refrigerators with an objective of prolonged use. But now being aware of what items could be stored in the refrigerator and how long an item should be kept in it we tend to spoil the integrity of the item and eventually spoiling our own health. Here is the list of fruits, vegetables and food items that should not be kept under refrigeration.
Banana should not be refrigerated at all. The cold temperature and darkness inside the fridge will spoil the nutrients in the fruit and will also lead to decaying. It should be kept in open and dry places.
Citrus fruits like orange and lemon too are not suitable to be refrigerated. They will ripen at the ordinary room temperature. Cold environment will affect the citric acid in the fruits thereby affecting the taste. Further, the skin of the fruits will get dried up and make them lose their sheen.
Plum, peach, apricot, nectarine and cherries are called stone fruits, which are not suitable to be refrigerated. These fruits when bought unripe will become fully ripe at room temperature. They won’t ripe in refrigerated temperature and that will also affect their taste.
Herbs and spinach should not be refrigerated rendering them useless. Refrigeration will reduce their nutritive content. At ordinary room temperature, if they are kept in a container filled with water in such a way that their roots are immersed in water they will retain their freshness and will not get dried up.
They are delicious even if they are kept at room temperature. They will lose their shape and taste if they are kept in the refrigerator.
Naturally honey will not get spoiled and therefore should not be refrigerated. It can be stored in a tightly capped container and at room temperature so that it will be able to retain its nutritive features without loss. But when it is refrigerated in a cold condition it changes its original feature and becomes crystallized with an unwanted change in its taste. It will be rendered almost unusable.
Onion should never be stored in fridge. In a cold condition it will get spoiled and also make the fridge foul smelling. Further onions will impart their unpleasant smell in all other items stored in the fridge. Dry condition is conducive to onions. It is enough to keep onions in a paper bag. A moderate temperature with considerable darkness is good for onions. At the same time it is not advised to keep them near potatoes. The volatile gas emanating from potatoes and the moisture will make the onions decay faster.
Bread and other bakery products are also not good to be refrigerated. Breads can retain their softness and taste at ordinary room temperature but will become hard and frozen if refrigerated. They will also lose their taste and fragrance. Therefore they can be stored in a box and kept in a room with moderate temperature and darkness.
Any variety of chilies - green, yellow, red – should never be kept in a refrigerator. The low temperature in the fridge will make them decayed. They can be kept at room temperature, wrapped with a sheet of paper.
Vegetables that cool our body
Pumpkins and bottle gourds that provide cooling effect to the body should not be kept refrigerated. They will lose their taste due to the change in their water quality and content under refrigeration.
Avacado should also not be kept in the fridge. The unripe fruit bought from the shop if kept inside the fridge will never ripen. The taste also will change due to refrigeration.
Refrigeration is not advisable for oils of any kind. At lower temperature they will be frozen and will become hard and turbid, leading to loss of taste and nutritive content. Room temperature is conducive to oils. For example, flaxseed oil if refrigerated will be frozen and get spoilt easily.
Vegetables with high water content
Melon varieties and other vegetables having high water content should not be kept under refrigeration. If they are refrigerated they will become hard and break due to low temperature and get too softened. But if they are cut into smaller pieces they can be retained for four to five days under refrigeration.
Unspiced and dry pickles should not be kept under refrigeration. Pickles can be kept at room temperature which is dry and ventilated and they will not be spoilt and not lose their taste.
It is said that the more it dries up tastier the garlic is. Therefore it is better to keep it at room temperature. If it is kept under refrigeration it will lose its taste and also long term health benefits will be lost.
Taste hastening products like vinegar and chili sauce can be stored in bottles at room temperature in the kitchen. At ordinary temperature itself they will stay longer in their quality or taste. Therefore there is no need for them to be refrigerated. In order to protect them from bacteria and germs their bottles can be cleaned often. Refrigerated sauce will lose its taste and spiciness sooner.
Chili, pepper, cumin powders need not be kept under refrigeration.
Coffee powder or coffee bean need not be refrigerated. It is adequate for them to be kept in air tight bottles. The moisture content inside the fridge will affect the coffee powder and render them spoilt.
Creams on salad
Creams that help garnish the salads made of vegetables and fruits and enhance their taste need not be refrigerated. Yoghurts and creams will become watery if refrigerated.
Dry nuts like cashew, almond, pistachio, and walnut need no refrigeration. Cold environment and moisture will affect their oil content and therefore spoil them. They will lose their fragrance due to the smell of other products stored in the fridge. It is enough to keep them in air tight containers so that they are not spoiled. In case it is needed to be refrigerated due to excess quantity, then it is better to fry them before they are being used.
Dry grapes, fig, dates and other dry fruits need no refrigeration as they are preferred only for their dryness and related taste and flavor. The cold temperature of refrigeration will spoilt their quality.
Grains need to be kept at room temperature. Wet condition of the fridge will spoilt them.
There is no need for refrigeration of fruit based jams. The ingredients of the jam become frozen and therefore lose taste due to refrigeration.
They reach us after having grown under the soil and dried after harvesting and therefore it is better to retain their dryness rather than refrigerating them. It is better to keep them at room temperature wrapped up with a sheet of paper. They should not be kept in polythene bags as they get spoilt due to their moisture content.
Ketchup is most preferred at households nowadays. They are available in different tastes – sweet, hot, sour – and they need not be refrigerated. They can be kept at ordinary condition even for a month but they will be hardened if kept under refrigeration.
Low temperature under refrigeration will spoil their taste and sheen. They can be kept under normal condition for a few days without getting spoilt. They will not ripen under refrigerated condition. Hence, in order to retain their taste it is better not to refrigerate them.
Peanut butter has been used as taste enhancer nowadays, extensively. This is a product that need not require refrigeration.
Do not keep raw or packed fish products on the common shelves of refrigerator. Their unpleasant smell will spoil the quality of other products stored in the fridge. They can be stored in a specified place allotted inside the fridge.
(This article originally written in Tamil M H Kamaraj has been reproduced in English by Amalan Stanley)