Fruits and Vegetables - Optimal Storage Conditions

Optimal temperature and humidity conditions for some common fruits and vegetables

Proper storage conditions - temperature and humidity - are required to maximize storage life and maintain quality of harvested fruits and vegetables.

Fresh fruit need low temperature and high relative humidity to reduce the respiration and slow down the metabolic processes. The table below indicates optimal temperatures and moisture conditions for some common fruits and vegetables.

Product Optimal Storage Temperature Chill Point Freezing Point

Optimal

Humidity

Top Ice Accepted
1)
Water Sprinkle Accepted
2)
Ethylene Production Sensitive to Ethylene 3) Approximate Storage Life Comments
(oF) (oC) (oF) (oC) (oF) %
Apples 30-40 -1-4     29.3 90-95 No No High Yes 1-12 months Chill sensitive stored at 35-40 F (2-4 C)
Apricots 31-32 -1-0     30.1 90-95 No No High Yes 1-3 weeks  
Artichokes 32-35 0-2       90-95 Yes Yes No No    
Artichokes, Jerusalem 31-32 0-2     28.0 90-95 No No No No 4-5 months  
Asparagus 32-35       30.9 95-100 No Yes No Yes 2-3 weeks  
Avocados, ripe 38-45 3-7 36 2   85-95 No No High Yes    
Avocados, unripe 45-50 7-10 45 7   85-95 No No Low Yes, Very   Keep away from ethylene producing fruits
Bananas, green 62-70 17-21 56 13   85-95 No No Low Yes    
Bananas, ripe 56-60 13-16 54 12   85-95 No No Medium No    
Basil 52-59 11-15 50 10   90-95 No Yes No Yes    
Beans, dry 40-50         40-50         6-10 months  
Beans, green or snap 40-45       30.7 95         7-10 days  
Beans, sprouts 32 0       95-100         7-9 days  
Beans. Lima 37-41 0     31.0 95         5-7 days  
Beets 32-35 0-2       90-95 Yes Yes No Yes    
Beets, bunched 32 0     31.3 98-100         10-14 days  
Beets, topped 32 0     30.3 98-100         4-6 months  
Blackberries 32-33 0-1     30.5 90-95 No No Very Low No 2-3 days  
Blueberries 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No Very Low No    
Bok Choy 32-35 0-2       90-95 No Yes No Yes    
Broccoli 32 0     30.9 95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 10-14 days  
Brussels Sprouts 32 0     30.5 90-95 Yes Yes No Yes 3-5 weeks  
Bunched Greens 32 0       90-95 Yes Yes No Yes   Beets, Chard, Green Onions, Mustard, Parsley, Radish, Spinach, Turnip
Cabbage, Chinese 32 0       95-100 No No No Yes 2-3 months  
Cabbage, early 32 0     30.4 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 3-6 weeks  
Cabbage, late 32 0     30.4 98-100         5-6 months  
Cantaloupe 36-38 2-3 34 1   90-95 No No Medium Yes    
Carrots, bunched 32 0       95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 2 weeks Ethylene may cause a bitter flavor
Carrots, immature 32 0     29.5 98-100         4-6 weeks  
Carrots, mature 32 0     29.5 98-100         7-9 months  
Cauliflower 32 0     30.6 95-98         3-4 weeks  
Cauliflower 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No No Yes    
Celery 32 0     31.1 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 2-3 months  
Celeriac 32 0     30.3 97-99         6-8 months  
Chard 32 0       95-100         10-14 days  
Cherries 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No Very Low No    
Cherries, sour 32 0     29.0 90-95         3-7 days  
Cherries, sweet 30-31       28.8 90-95         2-3 weeks  
Chicory 32-35 0-2       90-95 Yes Yes No No    
Chicory, witloof 32 0       95-100         2-4 weeks  
Chinese Pea Pods 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No No No    
Coconuts 55-60 13-16       80-85 No No No No   Extended storage 32-35 F (0-2 C)
Collards 32 0     30.6 95-100         10-14 days  
Corn, sweet 32 0     30.9 95-98 Yes Yes No No 5-8 days  
Cranberries 38-42 3-6 36 2   90-95 Yes No No No    
Cucumbers 50-55   40 4 31.1 95 No No Very Low Yes 10-14 days  
Currants 31-32       30.2 90-95         1-4 weeks  
Eggplant 46-54   45 7 30.6 90-95 No No No Yes 1 week  
Elderberries 31-32         90-95         1-2 weeks  
Endive 32 0     31.9 95-100 Yes Yes No No 2-3 weeks  
Escarole 32-35 0-2       90-95 Yes Yes No No    
Escarole 32 0     31.9 95-100         2-3 weeks  
Figs 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No Low No    
Garlic 32 0     30.5 65-70 No No No No 6-7 months May be stored at 55-70 F (13-21 C) for shorter periods
Ginger Root 60-65 16-18 55 13   65-70 No No No No    
Gooseberries 31-32       30.0 90-95         3-4 weeks  
Grapefruit 55-60 13-16 50 10   90-95 No No Very Low No    
Grapes 31-32       29.7 85 No No Very Low Yes 2-8 weeks  
Green Beans 40-45 4-7 38 3   90-95 No No No Yes    
Green Peas 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No No Yes    
Greens, leafy 32 0       95-100         10-14 days  
Guavas 45-50 7-10 40 4   90-95 No No Medium Yes    
Herbs 32-35 0-2       90-95 No Yes No Yes    
Horseradish 30-32       28.7 98-100         10-12 months  
Jicama 55-65         65-70         1-2 months  
Kale 32       31.1 95-100         2-3 weeks  
Kiwi, ripe 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No High Yes    
Kiwi, unripe 32-35 0-2       90-95 Ne No Low Yes, Very    
Kohlrabi 32 0     30.2 98-100 Yes Yes No No 2-3 months  
Leeks 32 0     30.7 95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 2-3 months  
Lemons 52-55 11-13 50 10   90-95 No No Very Low No    
Lettuce 32 0     31.7 98-100 No Yes No Yes 2-3 weeks  
Limes 48-55 9-13 45 7   90-95 No No Very Low No    
Lychees 40-45 4-7 36 2   90-95 No No Very Low No    
Mangos 50-55 10-13 50 10   85-95 No No Medium Yes    
Melons, Casaba/Persian 50-55 10-13 45 7   85-95 No No Very Low Yes   Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)
Melons, Crenshaw 50-55 10-13 45 7   85-95 No No Low Yes   Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)
Melons, Honey Dew 50-55 10-13 41 5   85-95 No No Medium Yes   Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)
Mushrooms 32 0     30.4 95 No Yes No Yes 3-4 days  
Napa 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No No Yes    
Nectarines 31-32       30.4 90-95 No No High No 2-4 weeks  
Okra 45-50   45 7 28.7 90-95 No No Very Low Yes 7-10 days  
Onions 32-35 0-2       65-75 No No No No   May be stored at 55-70 F (13-21 C) for shorter period
Oranges 40-45 4-7 38 3   90-95 No No Very Low No    
Papayas 50-55 10-13 45 7   85-95 No No Medium Yes    
Parsley 32 0     30.0 95-100         2-3 months  
Parsnips 32 0     30.4 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 4-6 months  
Peaches 31-32       30.3 90-95 No No High Yes 2-4 weeks  
Pears 29-31       29.2 90-95 No No High Yes 2-7 months  
Peas, green 32 0     30.9 95-98         1-2 weeks  
Peas, southern 40-41         95         6-8 days  
Peppers, hot chili 32-50         60-70 No No No Yes 6 months  
Peppers, sweet 45-55 7-10 42 6 30.7 90-95 No No No No 2-3 weeks  
Persimmons 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No No Yes, Very    
Pineapples 50-55 10-13 45 7   85-95 No No Very Low No   Odor may influence avacados
Plums 31-32       30.5 90-95 No No High Yes 2-5 weeks  
Pomegranates 41-50 5-10 41 5   90-95 No No No No    
Potatoes 45-50 7-10 38 3   90-95 No No No Yes    
Precut Fruit 32-36 0-2       90-95 No No Low No    
Precut Vegetables 32-36 0-2       90-95 No No No Yes    
Prunes 31-32       30.5 90-95 No No High Yes 2-5 weeks  
Pumpkins 50-55   50 10 30.5 65-70 No No No Yes 2-3 months  
Quinces 31-32       28.4 90         2-3 months  
Quinces 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No High Yes    
Radishes, spring 32 0     30.7 95-100 Yes Yes No Yes 3-4 weeks  
Radishes, winter 32         95-100         2-4 months  
Raspberries 31-32       30.0 90-95 No No Very Low No 2-3 days  
Rhubarb 32 0     30.3 95-100 No Yes No No 2-4 weeks  
Rutabagas 32 0     30.0 98-100 Yes Yes No Yes 4-6 months  
Salad Mixes 32-35 0-2       90-95 No Yes No Yes    
Salsify 32       30.0 95-98         2-4 months  
Spinach 32       31.5 95-100         10-14 days  
Sprouts 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No No Yes    
Squashes, summer 41-50   40 4 31.1 95 No No No Yes 1-2 weeks  
Squashes, winter 50       30.5 50-70 No No No Yes 1-6 months  
Strawberries 32 0     30.6 90-95 No No Very Low No 3-7 days  
Sweet Potatoes 55-60   54 12 29.7 85-90 No No No Yes 4-7 months  
Tangerines 32-35 0-2       90-95 No No Very Low No    
Tangerines 40-45 4-7 38 3   90-95 No No Very Low No    
Tomatoes, mature green 55-70       31.0 90-95 No No Low Yes 1-3 weeks Riping can be delayed by storing at 55-60 F (13-16 C)
Tomatoes, ripe 55-70       31.1 90-95 No No Medium No 4-7 days  
Turnip greens 32       31.7 95-100         10-14 days  
Turnips 32 0     30.1 95 Yes Yes No Yes 4-5 months  
Watercress 32       31.4 95-100         2-3 weeks  
Watermelon 55-70 13-21 50 10   85-95 No No No Yes, Very   Keep away from ethylene producing fruits

1) Top icing the products may be very effective keeping the temperature low and the product surface close to 100%humidity.

2) Spraying with water may be effective by keeping the temperature low (evaporative cooling) and the surface 100%humid.

3) Products sensitive to ethylene should not be stored together with products producing ethylene. Exposure to ethylene may soften the flesh, adding bitter taste to the product or/and accelerate ripening.