How to store prunes: terms and conditions
Prunes are endowed with many vitamins and minerals, are rich in nutrients and have fewer calories. It is very difficult to eat a large amount of dry fruits at one time, so the remaining ones must be stored without losing their properties. In this blog, we will discuss how to store prunes for a long time. Prunes do not need to create special storage conditions, but still a number of rules must be followed.
How to choose prunes
The shelf life of prunes depends on the correct choice of the product:
- It is good to buy dried fruits in transparent packages, through which you can see the fruits externally.
- If a delicacy is sold by weight, then after purchase it requires more serious processing. You will need to soak the dried plum in water and add baking soda to it, which successfully copes with pathogens on the surface of the dried fruit. Approximate proportions – 1 tbsp. l. soda per 1 liter of water. It is recommended to rinse the products in such a solution for 1-2 minutes, and then rinse under running water.
- Prunes always keep their shape. If you lightly press on it with your finger, there should be no dents.
- On a quality product, there are no traces of fermentation or mold, the presence of larvae or insect pests.
- The fruits should not be sticky, although slight clumps are allowed, which are easily removed by mechanical action. At the same time, the divided prunes retain their integrity.
- Dried fruit should not be very dry. It is slightly soft and slightly bouncy.
- The presence of various chemicals is not allowed. If the surface of the dried plum is beautifully shiny and glows, it may have been chemically treated. This is done for better turnover. But this is easy to verify. It is enough to run the prunes in the palm of your hand. If traces remain, then such a product should not be taken.
At home, you can also check dried fruit for the presence of chemicals. You need to take a bowl of water and soak it in it for 30 minutes. The color change indicates the naturalness of the prune. If nothing happened, chances are there are chemical additives in it.
Store prunes separately from other dried fruits, since each type requires a certain level of temperature and humidity.
Terms and conditions of storage for prunes
Before sending prunes for storage, it must be sorted out, leaving high-quality and dry fruits. It is better to dry the wet ones, because mold can form on them, and then the entire supply of vitamins will disappear.
General technical conditions ”shelf life of premium prunes (dried plums) without loss of nutritional properties and qualities are:
- at room temperature – 6 months;
- at temperatures from 0 to +5 degrees – 12 months.
In this case, the level of relative humidity should be no more than 75%.
What to store
For home use, prunes are stored in:
- glass or ceramic containers;
- paper bags;
- tightly tied small pouches made of cotton or linen. Before use, the tissue bag must first be held in a salt solution, and then dried well.
Storage in tight bags with a zip-lock or food containers with sealed lids is allowed.
- A cloth bag or paper bag should only be used in an area free from various insects.
- Filled “breathing” containers should not be placed next to hot spices, smoked meats, any strongly smelling products.
- It is recommended to store a large amount of supplies in specially designated wooden boxes.
- Dried and dried prunes, like raisins, dried apricots and other dried fruits, cannot be left in ordinary plastic bags, since they have absolutely nothing to breathe there. They will stuck and become sticky.
Store prunes in dry, dark, cool and well-ventilated places. The best space is a pantry or kitchen cabinet away from heating appliances.
Prunes at room temperature
At room temperature, prunes can be stored:
- in a container where the lid does not fit tightly;
- in a paper bag;
- in a canvas bag.
Outside the refrigerator, dried fruit is stored in a dark, cool place with good ventilation for no more than 6 months. At the same time, it should be in glass or ceramic dishes, if it is impossible to guarantee the absence of moisture changes in the room. The dishes must also be dry and sterile.
To avoid loss of inventory, they must be periodically checked and ventilated. Once or twice a week is enough. The fruit that has been exposed to mold must be thrown away, the rest of the dried fruits must be carefully sorted out and well packed for further storage.
If placed in the refrigerator
If there are frequent changes in temperature or humidity in the room, then the dried plum is stored in the refrigerator. For this you need:
- Sort out all the fruits: discard the spoiling ones, and dry the wet ones.
- Divide prunes into plastic containers or tight zip-lock bags.
- Place packages in the refrigerator. The best place is the door.
For better storage, it is advisable to regularly ventilate closed containers, since there should not be excess moisture in them. If this is not done, mold may develop.
The shelf life of prunes in the refrigerator is 1 year. Despite the fact that this is 2 times more than in warmth, the method has a number of disadvantages:
- Sudden temperature jumps when opening the refrigerator door can negatively affect the quality of dried fruit. Condensation may form in packages (which is why frequent airing of the product is necessary).
- If you close the package poorly, the dried plum will quickly become saturated with foreign odors and lose its properties.
Can I freeze Prunes
Prunes do not require storage in the freezer, they are already capable of not losing their taste and quality for a long time, even without freezing. Sub-zero temperatures negatively affect the dried plum and deprive it of its useful qualities.
If a white coating has formed
The appearance of white bloom on prunes indicates improper storage. It usually appears on moist fruits that have been harvested for a long time. Another possible reason for its occurrence is that the product was not aired at all. Such dried fruits are no longer suitable for consumption.
It is best not to stock up on prunes for future use, but buy the right amount as needed. The fresher the dried fruit is, the healthier it is.