- Consistent temperature and humidity play an important role in keeping food fresher for longer.
- Inverter Compressor Refrigerators with Dual Evaporators are ideal for preserving food.
When buying a new refrigerator, you see brands claiming to have numerous features to keep food fresher for longer. They range from anti-bacterial coating, Vitamin C Filters to ethylene absorbents. But what really works? How can you really preserve food for longer?
According to experts, the most important aspect that helps maintain food freshness is consistent temperature and humidity. Let us look at these aspects in detail.
In our tests, we find that refrigerators with inverter compressors have minimal temperature variance. This is because the compressor keeps running at varying speed to ensure an optimal and steady temperature is maintained all the time. Let us see how it works.
The temperature inside the refrigerator increases when room-temperature food is introduced or if the door is kept open for a long time. At this point, the compressor runs at its maximum speed to quickly lower the internal temperature. After reaching the desired temperature, the compressor runs at a minimal speed that is sufficient to maintain the cooling.
In a conventional reciprocatory compressor, the compressor switches itself off when the desired cooling is reached. And when the system detects a rise in temperature, it switches itself on and runs at a constant speed to bring down the temperature. In such a system, temperature variance is higher. Hence, it may not be as efficient at preserving food.
So, ideally, opt for a refrigerator with inverter compressors to keep food fresher for longer. Additionally, they are more durable and energy-efficient too.
Fruits that emit ethylene and leafy vegetables last longer in a humid environment, while vegetables retain freshness in low humidity. So, look out to buy a refrigerator with a vegetable crisper that has humidity controller.
A humidity controller is simply a vent which can let out the excess humidity or lock in the moisture as required.
Crispers in LG refrigerators have a vent and in addition, they have a lattice lid on which excess moisture gets collected. When the humidity is low, this collected moisture is introduced back into the crisper. Thus, an optimally moist environment is maintained at all the time.
In certain refrigerators with larger capacity, there are 2 crisper boxes- one which is a high humid drawer and the other is a low humid drawer. If you have such a refrigerator, it is easier to sort and store your fresh produces. Otherwise, you may have to store fruits and vegetables that thrive in low humidity in paper bags so that the paper can absorb the excess moisture.
As per research by Consumer Reports, refrigerators with dual evaporators are found to be excellent at creating an optimal condition for retaining the freshness of vegetables and fruits.
Typically, in a refrigerator, there is a single evaporator (cooling coil) and a circulating fan.
The evaporator has to run at a cold temperature in order to preserve the frozen food in the freezer. This same cold, dry air is circulated to the fridge and it may negatively affect the freshness and life of the fresh produces. It also leads to odour mixing, which is especially noted when you store meat or fish in open containers in the freezer.
In a refrigerator with dual evaporator coils, the air circulated in freezer and fridge is distinct. Colder air with lesser humidity is circulated in the freezer and air with higher humidity is circulated in the fridge. This helps store food in freezer and fridge at optimal condition.
Ethylene gas emitted by fruits like banana, avocado, apple etc has a ripening effect on other fresh produces. So, it is important to remove the excess ethylene from vegetable crispers in order to retain the freshness of all produces.
Certain brands like Samsung have inbuilt activated carbon filter that absorbs ethylene gas and excess moisture. But if yours don’t then, as Jessica Radhawa, head chef of The Forked Spoon advises, using a pouch of activated charcoal can be immensely helpful. Especially so, if you have a single crisper box to keep all your fresh produces.