A new wave of “produce keepers” is cramming supermarket shelves, promising to extend the life of fresh produce. We tested five such products: two bags, two plastic containers, and one device designed to neutralize ethylene, a gas that accelerates ripening and spoilage. We filled the bags and containers with a pint of strawberries or 15 ounces of baby spinach, then placed them in the refrigerator (middle shelf for the berries, bottom shelf for the spinach) along with the same items left in their original packaging. We put the ethylene neutralizer in a drawer in a separate refrigerator with more strawberries and spinach in their original packaging. We checked the produce every other day for two weeks and recorded any signs of decay.
All the “protected” produce, it turned out, spoiled at relatively the same rate as that in the original packing (4 to 10 days)—and in some cases even faster. Why?
Fruits and vegetables are composed mostly of water and need a humid atmosphere to avoid drying out. But this presents a storage problem: While airtight containers keep that vital moisture in and limit oxygen exposure, thus slowing the plant’s metabolism and prolonging its life, they also create ideal conditions for mold and bacterial growth. (Moisture tends to condense on the surface of the produce, trapping ethylene gas, which causes the produce to deteriorate.) The products we tested either kept in moisture but also trapped ethylene (but didn’t “neutralize” its adverse effects), or let moisture escape along with the ethylene. Overall, the original packaging did a comparable (and occasionally better) job controlling the degree of moisture and oxygen exposure.
You’re better off controlling refrigerator temperature than buying any of these products. Green leafy vegetables should be stored in the lowest shelves of the fridge, where it’s the coldest, while berries should be kept in the middle shelves, where the temperature is slightly higher.
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasn’t sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|Recommended with Reservations|
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.
For complete access to the results,
start a 14-Day Free Trial.
Start Your 14-Day Free Trial Membership
Every Recipe. Every Rating. Every Video from
Every Magazine & Every Episode!
- 8 years of Cook’s Country Foolproof Recipes
- Complete Cook’s Country TV Video Library
- 2,900+ Equipment Ratings and Ingredient Taste Tests
- Step-by-Step Technique Photos
- Save Favorites, Create Menus, Print Shopping Lists