Should tomatoes go in the fridge?

There is much debate about the correct storage of tomatoes.

There are two main options available to consumers: storage in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

A research team from the University of Göttingen has now investigated whether there are differences in the flavour of ripe tomatoes depending on how they are stored and taking into account the chain of harvesting from farm to fork.

No perceptible difference was found: the variety of tomato is much more important. 

How does the flavour change when ripe, picked tomatoes go through a commercial post-harvest chain and are then stored either in the refrigerator (7 degrees Celsius) or at room temperature (20 degrees Celsius)?

Researchers at the University of Göttingen analysed flavour-related attributes in new tomato strains drawing on the expertise of a “sensory panel”.

The sensory panel consisted of experienced and trained assessors who use their senses to perceive and evaluate the sensory properties of products.

Among other attributes, this panel examined the discernible sweetness, acidity and juiciness of tomatoes.

No significant differences in flavour were found between the two storage options when the entire post-harvest chain was taken into account.

Read the full study.

Do you store your tomatoes in the fridge?


I lke my tomatoes picked straight off the vine,

by growing different varieties I find I have fresh toms all the year around.

I keep my tomatoes in the fridge. But 3 0 4 tomatoes in Summer, will last for a week in the fridge and can use half or full tomato on salad. If I don't keep in the fridge, then can throw the overripe ones after 2 or 3 days. Do I want to buy a single tomato every day, or every second day, NO.

Hi Golden Oldie,

I too keep my tomatoes in the fridge for similar reasons. As a matter of interest, my last purchase of vine toms I keep in the fridge and as an experiment took out three (with stalks) and hung them on my banana hook for a couple of days and they did have a better flavor than straight from the fridge.

P.S. Banana hook is a chrome stem with a hook on top designed to hang banana's

When the authors of this article consider room temperature to be 20 degrees C, the thing is totally meaningless to most of Australians

Nearly right Hasbeen, in summer I set the aircon to 24 deg C and in winter the heating to 22 deg C. For most purposes though room temperature of 20 deg C is close enough to prove the concept.

If I have too many tomatoes to eat within a few days I store them in the fridge but let them get back to room temperture before consuming. Recently ordering my shopping on-line, I made the mistake of thinking the tomatoes were individual instead of a 500g pack, I received 4 packs (ie 2 Kg). Kept a few out and rest in fridge and feasted on tomatoes for a couple of weeks. They all tasted good. Do the same successfully with avocados.

My maternal grandfather was a professional gardener in Scotland. I can still remember the smell of his vine-grown tomatoes and have never smelt or tasted any like them since. They were magnificent. Unfortunately I haven't inherited his gardening skills and have no idea what variety of tomato they were.

Along with the tomatoes, I can also recall the odour of the potting shed at "the big house" where he was employed in the 1940s and also his pipe tobacco smoke.



Hi BillW41 I can remember the same smells!

Grandfather [a builder] had an orchid and a green house, he grew his tomato plants in the green house, this is the UK also.

I remember the lovely smell of the tomato plants; tomatos in Australia are like chocolate they don't taste the same!

My other grandfather was infact a horticulturist and designed gardens, I cannot remember him growing vegs though, but my late mother used to say he did.

As for storing tomatoes I put them in the fridge but they don't last long they get eaten.   I love tomatoes on toast with bacon for breakfast sometimes.


PS:   Like many things I think it depends when the tomato is picked!  if it is green or if it is ripe most I think get picked when they are turning so they are not over ripe in the supermarket.

Doesn't matter where you keep them. If you buy them from a supermarket they are tasteless anyway!

Do you store your tomatoes in the fridge?

Here in SE Queensland ... depends ... summer > fridge, winter > pantry.

Really depends on the variety and then whether they are bought or home-grown IMO.


To make a comment, please register or login

Preview your comment