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Why shouldn’t you put tomatoes in the fridge? © Getty Images

Why shouldn’t you put tomatoes in the fridge?

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Keep those tasty, red fruits out of the fridge if you want a more complex taste.

Asked by: Abby Smith, Birmingham 

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Tomatoes from the fridge rarely fail to disappoint. Refrigeration does extend their shelf life by slowing the ripening process, but it also dramatically reduces levels of flavour and fragrance chemicals known as ‘volatiles’.  

A 2016 US study found that chilling tomatoes for a week reduced the activity of genes that code for enzymes needed to synthesise these volatiles, which are responsible for giving tomatoes a sweeter, more complex taste. 

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Authors

Dr Emma Davies is a science writer and editor with a PhD in food chemistry from the University of Leeds. She writes about all aspects of chemistry, from food and the environment to toxicology and regulatory science.

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