How to preserve vegetables correctly post-harvest

The flavour of fruit and vegetables depends fundamentally on four factors: the variety grown, the way they are cultivated (irrigation, fertilisation and climate), the time at which they are harvested, and their post-harvest preservation. Today we are going to talk precisely about the latter. Do you preserve your vegetables correctly at home?

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Proper preservation of fruit and vegetables not only helps to prevent their deterioration, but also to preserve their most authentic flavour. During the supply chain, fruit and vegetable companies control each of the stages through which the fruit passes so that there is no or minimal loss of quality during packaging, transport or storage.

However, in most households there is a lack of knowledge about good preservation practices and the purchase of these fresh products often ends up being stored in the fridge without taking into account their characteristics, which is fatal for some of these fruit and vegetable products.

In this article we tell you how to preserve fruit and vegetables correctly at home to maintain their quality and flavour, and prevent them from spoiling easily.


Although tomatoes are best kept in the fridge, especially if there is a high temperature outside, the truth is that it is a very sensitive fruit to low temperatures due to the cold:

  • It affects its taste by degrading it and making it more tasteless,
  • influences its texture and aroma,
  • breaks down the membranes inside its walls,
  • and makes its flesh more mealy.

According to experts, the ideal temperature for some tomato varieties is between 12 and 16ºC, although the vine tomato, for example, keeps in slightly warmer temperatures.

For this reason, in winter it is recommended to keep tomatoes at room temperature or, if we choose to keep them in the fridge, to follow a series of guidelines that we will detail below.

If tomatoes are kept at room temperature, they should be stored in a basket in a dark, dry and ventilated place (no bags, tuppers or similar), as tomatoes need oxygen to develop their aroma.

Tomatoes are ethylene producing fruits. Therefore, it is also important to keep tomatoes separate from those fruits and vegetables that may be affected by the ethylene they emit, since it is a natural gas that accelerates the ripening process and shortens the life of other fresh products such as courgettes if they are stored together.

One way to take advantage of this ethylene effect is to store ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables (such as tomatoes) with those products that you may have bought "a bit green" to accelerate their ripening.

At Francisco Maleno García S.L. we produce and export tomato branches of the best quality from Almería. A variety of tomato with a very peculiar orange-red colour due to its long shelf life. Did you know that it can be kept for up to 9 months in good condition?

This difference with other tomato varieties is due to its cluster presentation, which allows the tomato to continue ripening outside the plant by obtaining the nutrients it needs from its branch.

In this other article we tell you about the origin and benefits of tomatoes.

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Peppers, aubergines, cucumbers and courgettes withstand the cold better than tomatoes, so they can stay in the fridge longer without reducing their quality and taste.

To ensure correct preservation, it is necessary to separate each type of product in a paper bag, so that it absorbs humidity and delays the decomposition of the vegetable.

On the other hand, if we choose to keep these products fresh at room temperature, we will be able to extend their life if we follow the following advice:

  • Place the vegetables in a bowl, dish or perforated plastic bag to prevent moisture loss.
  • Store in a place where they don't receive direct light.
  • Avoid closing the bags completely to prevent odours and rotting by not favouring the accumulation of carbon dioxide and the reduction of oxygen.
  • Separate fruits and vegetables sensitive to ethylene from those that produce it. Peppers, aubergines or courgettes are very sensitive to ethylene, so if we keep them properly isolated we will avoid their deterioration.

But what if you have no choice but to store vegetables in the fridge? Read on to find out how best to store them in the fridge.


When it comes to fresh produce such as our vegetables from Almeria, it is important to take into account their characteristics and the ideal ambient temperature to decide where to place them in order to preserve them better and avoid wasting food.

Take note of these tips to better preserve your fruit and vegetables in the fridge:

  1. The fridge drawer is the best place to store fruit and vegetables because it is the least cold place. If you have several in your fridge, use them well.
  2. Store your fruit and vegetables in perforated plastic bags to allow them to breathe. If the bag does not have them, you can make the holes yourself with scissors or a knife.
  3. Try, as far as possible, to separate ethylene-producing products from ethylene-sensitive fruit and vegetables here as well, in order to avoid damage.
  4. Although some fruits and vegetables keep well in the refrigerator, long cold storage cycles can lead to changes in taste and smell.
  5. When it comes to eating your fruit and vegetables, take them out a little earlier so that you can enjoy their quality and flavour to the full.


In addition to how we store fruit and vegetables at home, we have already mentioned that the time of harvesting is also an important factor for their better post-harvest preservation.

For this reason, at Francisco Maleno García S.L. we adjust to the optimum ripening times required by each product and variety for harvesting, packaging and shipping with the maximum guarantee of quality to the different international markets.

Get to know our fruit and vegetable products and do not hesitate to contact our sales team for more information.