New technology could help apples stay fresh longer

New Technology Could Help Apples Stay Fresh Longer

Fruits and vegetables provide important dietary nutrients, but they tend to be highly perishable which leads to food waste.

In response, scientists from China have figured out a new way to extend the life of produce—by adopting a method similar to one used on patients in hospitals.

The tool involves plasma which, the Daily Mail reports, is "an ionised gas consisting of positive ions and free electrons."

In a medical setting, it has been used for applications including disinfection and wound healing; its potential has also been recognized by the food industry.

So the team decided to try using the technology to eliminate biofilm, a layer of bacteria and other microorganisms on a food's surface which causes it to deteriorate.

They focused their initial tests on apples and found that, by using plasma, they could extend the shelf-life from a few days "up to several weeks."

Scroll through below to learn about making certain foods last longer:

Foods you didn't know you could freeze
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Foods you didn't know you could freeze


The only thing better than eating buttermilk pancakes in your pajamas is eating buttermilk pancakes in your pajamas without making a last-minute grocery store run. Freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag. The cubes will last for 3 months.

Egg Whites

Homemade pudding and ice cream call for lots of yolks -- good thing you can freeze the orphaned whites for up to 12 months. Turn them into coconut macaroons, angel food cake or even marshmallows. For best results, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind that frozen whites don't always whip up to a foam as well as fresh ones.


Brown-baggers, rejoice: Both unopened and opened packages of lunchmeat will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.


You've probably frozen a loaf before, but did you realize you don't need to thaw it before eating it? Sliced sandwich bread is good for 3 months in the freezer, and revives quickly in the toaster -- making the freezer a better storage option than the fridge, which can dry bread out. Even a good baguette will last for 1 month in the freezer. Sprinkle it with a little water and bring it back to life in a warm oven.


After 2 weeks at room temperature, the oils in some nuts can start to go bad. Freezing slows their decline. Just make sure you keep what you're planning to use immediately in the fridge; repeatedly opening and closing the bag in the freezer will introduce moisture and the potential for contamination.


Accidentally buy a carton right before you're about to go out of town? You can freeze milk for up to 3 months.

Whole-Wheat Flour

Just like nuts, whole-wheat flour contains oils that can go bad at room temperature. It'll keep in the freezer for up to 2 years.


Pantry staples like quinoa, farro and bulgur last for up to 3 months at room temperature, which is plenty of time for most people work through their supply. But if you have extra packages, sock them away in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Smoked Salmon

A vacuum-sealed package of salmon (or trout or mackerel) is good for 2 months in the freezer. And hey, so are bagels -- instant brunch for days!


The texture will become much denser, but you can freeze tofu for up to 5 months to make smoothies or braises.


If you've got too much for your coffee, it'll be good for up to 4 months in the freezer. However, you can't say the same of heavy cream, which doesn't hold up well in freezing temps.


Yes, you can freeze them, so long as you let them thaw fully in the fridge (not the microwave) before using.


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