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Fruits & Vegetables

August 16, 2007

A listener asks: Do fruits and vegetables lose their nutrients if stored too long?


How does produce lose its punch? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Listener Lori Schneider of Quincy, Massachusetts, wrote to ask whether fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional value if they’re stored too long. We turned to dietician Susan Moores of the American Dietetic Association. She says heat, light, air and humidity all sap the nutrients out of produce.

SUSAN MOORES (American Dietetic Association):
Vitamin C and vitamin B are water-soluble nutrients, and that makes them much more vulnerable and when in contact with excess moisture, they essentially evaporate from food.

She says other vitamins such as A, D and E hold up longer. She suggests keeping your fridge at or below 40 degrees and eating fruits and veggies within six days. If you have a science question, call us at 1-800-why-isit. If we use it, you’ll win a Science Update mug. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.