Washing Fruit and Berries in Vinegar to Extend their Storage Life

I recently ran across a simple method of preventing berries and fruit from molding.  How often do you buy berries and they are moldy the next day.  There is a simple way of slowing down the growth of mold.  Wash the fruit or berries in either apple cider or white vinegar.

Mix one part vinegar to 3  parts water and wash the fruit and berries in this mixture.  This kills the mold spore on the surface of the product.  If you are afraid of a vinegary taste, rinse the fruit in fresh water.

The editors of Cook’s Illustrated, a serious foodie magazine ran a test on the use of vinegar for washing fruit.  The  magazine did some comparative testing, by cleaning apples and pears in four different ways.  Here is the result of their tests.

“They washed one batch with an antibacterial soap.  They washed other pieces of fruit with a solution of diluted vinegar (one part vinegar to three parts water), rinsing afterward with pure water.  They scrubbed the third group with a brush, and simply rinsed the fourth group with clean water.

To measure how well each technique worked, they sampled the outside of the fruit with sterile cotton swabs, then rubbed the little bits of grime onto Petri dishes.

Jack Bishop says they next let the Petri dishes sit at 80 degrees for several days to see what bacteria grew.  Then they counted how many bacterial colonies were present.

It turns out the scrub brush removed 85 percent of the bacteria — a little more than the water alone.

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But the cleaning method that worked the best was the dilute vinegar rinse.  It removed 98 percent of the bacteria.”

This is another good reason to store vinegar.


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1 thought on “Washing Fruit and Berries in Vinegar to Extend their Storage Life”

  1. Practical Parsimony

    I bought FIT vegetable wash and filled the empty bottle with vinegar and water….about ten or more years ago. Vinegar really does work! I use two gallons of vinegar each month for various jobs around the house.

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