Is storing bananas in the fridge a good idea? This article will tackle and give light on this storage question, particularly why you shouldn’t do it.
Putting bananas in the fridge can both be good and bad. The reason why you wouldn’t want to is that it can change the ripening process of the bananas, as well as their quality and appearance. Bananas can also absorb the odors in the fridge.
What are other reasons not to put bananas in the fridge? Find out what they are below!
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Refrigerate Bananas
There are pros to refrigerating bananas. But, there are also disadvantages to doing so. Here are some of them:
Refrigerating can change the dynamic of bananas
Bananas are tropical type fruit. They thrive in warm or hot, and humid climates. The best way to store them will always be at room temperature because this is how they naturally ripen.
The cold temperature inside the fridge will not only lead to physical changes to the bananas but also damage the bananas, making them not fit to be used or consumed (source: UC Davis Postharvest Technology).
Refrigerating can delay the ripening process
The temperature can delay the ripening of the bananas. This is particularly true for ripe bananas. If this is your goal, then it should be fine.
Refrigerate them ripe so they store for longer. If you need them to ripen faster, don’t refrigerate them (source: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health).
When it comes to storing bananas, there is often confusion about whether they last longer or stop ripening in the fridge. In our comprehensive guide, you will learn whether bananas last longer or stop ripening in the fridge.
They will change in texture and appearance
When you store bananas in the fridge, the skin will start turning brown while the inside stays in its light color (source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension).
However, the longer you store them in the fridge, the higher the chances of them having brown spots, which will translate to the flesh as bruise-like tender spots. This is also not a good quality if you plan on displaying them on the table.
Storing green and unripe bananas in the fridge will also change the overall quality of the bananas. The peel will turn black while the meat or flesh will not completely ripen (source: Foods Guy).
Bananas absorb the odor around them
Like apples, bananas can absorb strong odors quite fast (source: USDA). Bananas themselves have a pungent odor wherein this odor can be absorbed by other odor-absorbing fruits or vegetables in the fridge.
If you need to refrigerate your bananas (remember they have to be ripe to be able to be stored in the fridge), place them in a container with a cover. This will prevent them from absorbing odors inside the refrigerator.
This is important if you use them for desserts like cakes or pastries. You wouldn’t want them smelling like ham when you use or eat them.
Don’t refrigerate bananas if you want other fruits to ripen faster
If you have other fruits that you want to ripen faster, don’t refrigerate your bananas, and instead store them close to these fruits such as apples, pears, avocados, melons, kiwis, (cantaloupes), mangoes, and stone fruits.
These fruits are climacteric, which means they react to the presence of ethylene gas as well as make it themselves. Ethylene gas is present in bananas. What ethylene does is it accelerates the ripening of fruits or vegetables (source: Washington Post).
When organizing your kitchen, a common question is whether to store bananas with or away from other fruits and vegetables. To learn more about the best practices for storing bananas with or away from other fruit and vegetables, I recommend checking out our article on this topic.
Do Bananas Become Poisonous in the Fridge?
Bananas won’t become poisonous when stored in the fridge or anywhere else. The reason why bananas have been questioned regarding their potential health risk is because of their high levels of potassium.
Potassium is a naturally-derived radionuclide. Having too much foods that contain radionuclides which are radioactive can pose health risks. However, only a small fraction of the potassium in bananas is radioactive (sources: EPA, WHO).
With this said, there is no reason to worry. If bananas were unsafe to consume, they wouldn’t be sold or consumed anywhere in the world today, and health agencies and organizations wouldn’t recommend them.
In fact, bananas are valued for their abundant source of essential phytonutrients such as vitamins B3, B6, B12, C, and E, and phenolic compounds, as well as bioactive compounds like carotenoids and flavonoids. Bananas are also rich in amine compounds and dietary fiber.
Can I Keep Sliced, Opened or Peeled Bananas in the Fridge?
Storing peeled bananas in the fridge is okay. But note that peeled bananas will brown inside the fridge as they would outside, the same way apple browns when cut open.
To prevent this, you can add lemon juice or any citrus juice to help prevent browning (source: Tasting Table).
However, we don’t recommend this if you are planning to turn your bananas into a dessert like cakes, pies, and muffins, as lemon juice can alter the taste of the bananas and change the acidity of the recipe.
Another way to store peeled bananas for a longer period is to freeze them. Frozen bananas are great for sorbets, homemade ice creams, smoothies, popsicles, and more!
Refrigerating bananas can either be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your goals. But following the guidelines above will help you achieve good quality bananas that you can bake or eat.
Go and try these storage ideas and find out!