Should you store tomatoes in the fridge? A new study has the answer
A research team from Germany studied the difference in taste between tomatoes stored in the fridge or at room temperature
Tomato lovers could be divided into two camps: those who store their beloved red fruit in the fridge, or those who leave them in room-temperature conditions.
While a previous study found chilled tomatoes lost their flavour, new research from a team at the University of Gottingen in Germany has found there isn't actually much difference when it comes to where or how you store them in the short-term.
It is the variety of tomato in particular that has an important influence on the flavour
Larissa Kanski, researcher
The new study, the results of which were published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science earlier this month, brought together a panel of experienced tomato tasters (it's a thing), who assessed several breeds of the fruit. These had been tracked throughout the entire post-harvest process, and had been picked ripe, spent one day at the distributor and then a further two days in the supermarket before they ended up in the lab.
Each was stored for four days at both room temperature or in the fridge at 7°C.
The panel of experts scored their slices using a variety of criteria, including colour, sweetness, sourness, aftertaste and juiciness.
They discerned no perceptible difference in flavour between the tomatoes that had been kept in the fridge and those that hadn't.
“It is the variety of tomato in particular that has an important influence on the flavour," Larissa Kanski, lead author of the study, said, according to Sci Tech Daily. "Therefore, the development of new varieties with an appealing flavour can be a step towards improving the flavour quality of tomatoes."
It was also noted that the shorter the storage period, the better the flavour.
In the long term, the jury is out on how it's best to store tomatoes. The study's authors agree more research needs to be done.
"The next step is to look on the entire transportation route from the producer to the consumer, finding a way to preserve the flavour of the tomato fruits."
In the meantime, we can all agree it's better to enjoy eating them sooner rather than later.
Updated: May 26, 2020 12:01 PM