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Q: Keeping Berries from Molding After I Buy Them ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Keeping Berries from Molding After I Buy Them
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: dphuz-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 30 Oct 2002 14:44 PST
Expires: 29 Nov 2002 14:44 PST
Question ID: 93613
I find that the strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries that I buy
at the supermarket grow mold on them within a day or two of purchase. 
Is there something I can do to delay this a few days? Is there a
special way to store them (I just put them in the refrigerator in
their original packaging) or some product I can apply to them?
Subject: Re: Keeping Berries from Molding After I Buy Them
Answered By: bizguy-ga on 30 Oct 2002 14:59 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I found one consistent answer: air.
Refrigerate your berries in containers that allow air circulation
(maybe you have something better than the store packaging for this.)
Use loose fitting tops on any container the berries are in.  Rinse
them, but only when you're ready to use them  (I'm not sure how much
this last tidbit prevents mold, but it keeps the berries from getting
mushy. Avoiding the introduction of outside moisture can't hurt,


GNC (the vitamin people):

"Fall Raspberries: One Last Taste of Summer", Massachussetts Dept. of
Food and Agriculture

Relevant search terms:

Good luck!

Request for Answer Clarification by dphuz-ga on 30 Oct 2002 15:06 PST
so, if airflow is the primary concern, can i safely assume that taking
my berries out of any sort of container and spreading them out on a
plate in the fridge would be the best bet?

Clarification of Answer by bizguy-ga on 30 Oct 2002 15:24 PST
Hello again!  Thanks for the rating!
Yes, that should work for keeping mold to a minimum--any way of
maximizing air circulation and the temperature down.  Mold will grow
fastest in closed, warm spaces.
However, you may not want to spread them out on a plate because of the
risk of drying them out.  The ag extension office at Penn State
recommends putting the berries in shallow containers (for air) but
keeping them in the hydrator section of your refrigerator to preserve
their moisture.  They also say that blackberries and raspberries only
keep for a day or two.  Blueberries last longer--2 or 3 days.  So
you're dealing with a very quick-spoiling (but delicious) fruit.

I did not find any sites that recommended any kind of anti-mold agent.
 In commercial applications, I know that sulfur dioxide is used on
grapes to prevent mold--but I don't think you would want to do that at
home, because of the taste and rotten-egg smell.
Does that help?
dphuz-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
very quick and informative response. the only thing more i wouldve
liked would be a definite "no" to the last part of my question (is
there any sort of product i can apply to berries to keep them from

Subject: Re: Keeping Berries from Molding After I Buy Them
From: journalist-ga on 30 Oct 2002 15:34 PST
Great answer from bizguy-ga.  I located an article for you regarding
freezing berries.  You may want to consider freezing them if you don't
plan on using them within the refrigerator time-frame:
Subject: Re: Keeping Berries from Molding After I Buy Them
From: pinguina-ga on 30 Oct 2002 15:43 PST
There is a type of plastic bag available at some supermarkets that
helps keep fruit and vegetables fresh longer.  It's green in color and
comes in several sizes.  It functions by letting the gases that rot
the food pass through the special plastic, I think... It's been a
while since I read about how it works but they do seem to work. 
Crucial is keeping the items dry, as mentioned in your answer.

Another point:  make sure the fruit you are buying doesn't have any
already molding berries in it.  Sometimes even in the store it's
already turning.  And make a point of letting the produce manager or
store manager know, if it is turning too quickly or there is already
mold.  Good luck!
Subject: Re: Keeping Berries from Molding After I Buy Them
From: dphuz-ga on 30 Oct 2002 15:51 PST
Thank you very much for the information. this should all be very
helpful. i use the berries to make my breakfast shake every morning,
which consists of berries, milk, and low fat, sugar free ice cream. 
its halfway healthy and i can drink it on the drive to work.

i think the first think i'll do is try to find smaller quantities, so
i use them before they mold. of course this means going to the store
more often for new berries. or i guess i could buy them in large
quantities and freeze them and just take a few out to thaw at night.

Thanks again!
Subject: Re: Keeping Berries from Molding After I Buy Them
From: respree-ga on 30 Oct 2002 16:23 PST
It just occured to my that you might want to also ask "the produce
guy" at your supermarket how long berries typically last before going
bad.  He/she is dealing with these issues everyday, obviously trying
to make them last as long as possible.  I notice, however, that
berries are not kept in the refrigerated section at the supermarket. 
There must be a reason...

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