Here’s the nutrient scorecard of cut fruits that are most resistant to vitamin loss after spending six days in the fridge, according to a University of California study: Mangoes, strawberries and watermelon lost 5 per cent of vitamin C; pineapple and kiwifruit lost 10 per cent; and rockmelon lost 20 per cent. There was no change in the levels of cartenoid (an antioxidant) in kiwifruit and watermelon, while rockmelon, mango and strawberry registered a 10 to 25 per cent drop.
The best way to store fruits is unwashed, with their skin, rind and peel intact, because their flesh isn’t exposed and oxidisation is minimised. But if you’re in the habit of cutting fruits up and putting them in the fridge, always place them in air-tight containers. Leaving fruits exposed in your fridge allows bacteria to fester on their flesh, or the chemicals in your chiller to react with the enzymes in the fruits, turning them toxic, says nutritionist Aliza Green.
It’s always best to eat fruits uncut. The skins of most are high in roughage and vitamins. But if you leave cut-up fruits in the fridge, do consume them within three days, says Green. Discard them at once if they have shrivelled up or turn deep brown.