According to science, the relationship of some fruits has to be absolutely distant to avoid accelerating their ripening process.
The responsible for this is ethylene, a gas that all fruits and vegetables give off naturally when they are ripe. Those fruits that produce a constant amount of this gas cannot be mixed with those that increase their production as they ripen.
- Apples: they produce so much that they have to be left completely apart from any other fruit. If they were harvested before the optimum degree of ripeness, ethylene affects them in such a way that their skin becomes dark.
- Potatoes: they release relatively little when they are in perfect condition, but if any cuts appear, or they start to wrinkle, the emission increases. They can be at room temperature for up to two months and should not be refrigerated.
- Strawberries: unlike other ethylene producers, they have to be harvested when they are ripe because once they are off the plant, they do not follow the process. They should be in the refrigerator, where gas production decreases.
- Avocado: they are never harvested ripe, and it is complicated to determine when they are at their best. The increase in ethylene production starts when they are picked. If they are too green, they can be softened by putting them in a paper bag with apples or wrapping them in sheets of newspaper.
- Tomatoes: once ripe, they can last up to seven days at room temperature, but they must be kept separate from all other producers. It is recommended not to put them in the refrigerator because they lose flavor.
Sensitive to ethylene
- Pumpkin: although the rind is hard and fresh in appearance, the ethylene, which usually affects its interior, makes it soft.
- Onion: as their durability is similar to that of potatoes, there is a certain tendency to store them together. However, this is not convenient because the amount of ethylene produced by the potatoes are enough to make the onions start rotting.
- Carrots: they become bitter in a couple of weeks if they are not kept together with a vegetable that produces gas.
- Cauliflower: this is one of the most sensitive vegetables and should not be mixed with apples, or tomatoes. It lasts between 3 and 5 weeks if separated.
- Lettuce and other green leafy vegetables: although not all of them have the same sensitivity to gas, most are affected. When mixed in salads with vegetables that emit gas, it is advisable to prepare them just before serving.