Despite being encased in a thick skin known as the peel, the soft fruit of bananas can change rapidly in a matter of days.
Not only is it prone to bruising and turning mushy but also becomes overripe on the outside in the form of brown spots.
While there’s lots of conflicting advice on exactly where bananas should be kept to keep them fresh for as long as possible, one experiment has proven a method to extend the shelf life for five days.
As shared in an online cooking forum known as Cooking Stack Exchange, a user who goes by the name @derobert claimed that refrigerating the fruit really does work.
They said: “The skins turn black in the fridge, but the fruit itself is fine. Cooks Illustrated tested if refrigerating bananas keeps them good longer, and they found it does—five days longer.”
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The experiment determined that people should ditch the countertop in their kitchen for the cool environment of the fridge to “slow ripening”.
A team at Cooks Illustrated tested the theory by leaving five kilograms worth of bananas at room temperature for three days until they were perfectly ripe, which they claimed was signified “by a firm but yielding texture”.
After this point, half of the bananas were then moved to the fridge and the rest remained at room temperature.
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According to the team that tested the method, the outside of the bananas were nearly indistinguishable for the three days after being separated.
However, after four days, the room-temperature fruit became “soft and mushy”, while the refrigerated fruit remained firm, albeit with blackened skins.
The Cooks Illustrated team said: “We continued to taste the refrigerated bananas after the room-temperature samples had been discarded and were delighted to discover that they lasted an additional five days (so, almost two weeks after purchase) before the flesh became overripe.”
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While this extended the life of the fruit for a significant time, other forum users revealed that there are several other ways to keep the bananas at their best.
One person who goes by the name Scott K wrote: “I always buy two bunches of bananas. One bunch that is perfectly ripe and ready to eat within a few days. The second bunch is as green as I can find.
“I then keep these two bunches separated in my kitchen. This allows me to have bananas for a period of about seven to nine days without problems. Additionally, when I get them home, the first thing I do is submerge the stems in a bowl of water with soap to eliminate any fruit fly eggs. This works very well!”
Others shared how they use clingfilm to wrap the stems of separated bananas from a bunch, while some opt for tin foil instead.
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