The fresh fruits and vegetables we buy at the grocery store may look clean, but there's always a chance of contamination - doesn’t matter if they are organically grown or conventionally grown. Dirt, bug's part, residue of pesticides or other external factors might contain bacteria which could cause illness or discomfort to us. Therefore, all fruit and vegetable needs to be washed before consumption and cooking.
Berries (soft-skinned fruit) – These includes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes or others. Berries are naturally fragile and highly sensitive to environment as they are prone to the growing of mold if improperly stored. Berries have natural coatings that keep the moisture inside and washing may make them spoil sooner. Therefore, it is best to wash them just right before eating your next grapes or strawberries.
We can also use vinegar-water bath which can be easily concocted with 1 cup of white vinegar and 8 cups of water. Let your berries sit in the bath for 30 seconds, gently moving them to help dislodge any dirt, grime and letting the vinegar kill spores and bacteria. This helps keep them from getting spoiled too fast in the refrigerator too.
Apple, Orange, Pears (hard-skinned fruit) – Gently rub or scrub with a brush while rinsing with clean water is the easiest way to wash them. Never use any soap, detergents or other cleaning chemical as they will leave chemical residue which are not meant to be consumed.
Beside this, salt water solution (soak for at least 2 minutes) is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to remove certain pesticides. In a study published in Food Control, researchers discovered that a 10% salt water solution was the most effective, and far more so than washing with plain water.
If time is not your concerned, washing hard-skinned fruit (especially apple) in soda-water solution (1 teaspoon of baking soda per 2 cups of water, soak for 15 minutes) is the most effective way to remove pesticide residue, according to a Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2017.
Once they're washed, let your fruits drain in a colander or pat with paper towel to remove water before transferring them to clean bowls or cookware. It is also important to keep your kitchen countertops, refrigerator, cookware, and cutlery clean, and, of course, always wash your hands before handling fruits and vegetables.
Finally, remember to keep your clean, ready-to-serve fruits and vegetables away from raw eggs, meats, poultry, or seafood because they may be contaminated with bacteria.
Confirmfresh.com, Wei Loon