Refrigerators Packed with Freshness Features

Maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels is the key.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Do you often find food wilting and rotting in the refrigerator? Some new refrigerators claim to help store your fresh foods so they keep longer. Maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels is the key.

This Samsung fridge has two doors. The first gives you easy access to frequently used items. A clear interior door keeps outside air from getting in. And a separate door latch gives you access to everything in the main compartment.

Some refrigerators, like this GE, are designed with dual-evaporative cooling. Instead of using freezer air to chill the refrigerator, the refrigerator is cooled by a separate system. Consumer Reports' tests find that dual-evaporative systems are better at maintaining optimal humidity in the fridge, important for protecting fruits and vegetables.

Kitchenaid says it has another freshness feature, claiming in its ad, "Enjoy crisp lettuce up to four days longer." Some models have a replaceable cartridge in the drawer that claims to absorb ethylene gas. That's the gas that some produce, like apples and bananas, give off, which causes nearby produce to spoil more quickly.

With any fridge, it's important to have separate humidity-controlled bins for fruits and vegetables. Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports explains, "Vegetables that wilt easily generally need high humidity. Fruits that ripen quickly tend to need low humidity."

If you're not in the market for a new refrigerator, here are some tips to keep food fresh in the fridge you have:

Store fruits and veggies separately to minimize exposure to ethylene. Keep your asparagus longer by rolling stems in damp paper towels inside a plastic bag. And don't wash fruit until you're about to eat it. Some food should not be kept in the refrigerator. That includes potatoes and onions, which should be put in a cool, dry place. Tomatoes should be kept at room temperature. And fresh basil also keeps better out of the fridge. Put it in a cup of water on the counter.
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