Maintaining the freshness of locally grown, organic produce from Oahu requires the right storage methods. To ensure that your fruits and vegetables stay safe and fresh for longer periods of time, it is important to use plastic bags or containers and keep them clean. Additionally, the refrigerator temperature should be set to 40°F or lower. Depending on the product, temperatures above its freezing point but below the critical point of 41 to 59°F can cause damage. Using containers that retain moisture is a great way to prevent produce from dehydrating and protect them from ethylene gas.
This guide will discuss the preservation of fresh products, starting with healthy cultivation and maintaining best practices during harvest, slowing down the aging process of the products, cooling and storing them, and finally post-harvest handling. As products lose carbohydrates in the air as CO2, consumers lose flavor and shelf life, and the products appear wrinkled. Keeping dirt off products reduces labor needed to clean them and reduces the chance of contamination with human and plant pathogens. Immersing products in cold water or letting them run over them is an effective way to remove heat from the field and can also serve as a means of cleaning.