Do you love to stock canned fruit? How do you keep them unopened? Can you refrigerate unopened canned fruit?
Many misconceptions encircle canned food storage. However, if stored unopened in a cool, dry condition and treat opened leftovers properly, you’re on the safe side.
So can you refrigerate unopened canned fruit? Let’s find out:
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Can You Refrigerate Unopened Canned Fruit?
Yes, you can refrigerate unopened canned fruits, but it’s not recommended as metals tend to rust in moist surroundings.
Store unopened canned fruits in a cool, dry place such as the pantry. However, if you must refrigerate your canned fruits, make sure to eat them within a short period.
When stored correctly (cool, dry environment), canned fruit can last up to two years unopened.
Nothing can ever be wrong with storing unopened canned fruits in the fridge, but it doesn’t make sense when the whole idea for canning is to ensure food safety at room temperature.
Unless you want to have, your canned fruit chilled, refrain from putting it in the refrigerator.
The best temperature to store canned food is between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A refrigerator may interfere with the consistency of the canned contents because of the cold currents. Even so, it won’t affect the fruits in any way.
If you notice bulges, leaks, or dents in your can, the chances are that the fruits inside have expired or contaminated with bacteria, so dispose of them.
But what if you open your canned fruit and there are some leftovers? Well, you can keep it in the refrigerator and consume it within three days. Remember to transfer it in a glass jar or plastic container with an airtight lid to prevent metallic taste.
If freshness is your primary concern, then you should use your canned fruit within a year. Non-acidic canned fruit may last longer but will deteriorate over time in terms of quality and taste. More importantly, temperatures higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit can affect the content inside the can.
How Long Can Canned Fruit Be Stored in the Refrigerator?
How long your canned fruits last in the refrigerator will vary depending on the manufacturing cycle. Keep on reading to learn the shelf life of different canned fruits.
1. Commercially Canned Fruits
The expiration dates of commercially canned fruits are often printed on the can that’s two to five years from the date of processing. Acidic fruits have a shorter shelf life than low-acidic varieties, which last up to 18 months.
It’s worth noting that these guidelines are only practical when stored unopened in a cool, dry environment and refrigerated accordingly. Jarred canned fruits with broken seals are prone to spoilage and should be thrown away.
2. Home-Made Canned Fruit
Homemade unopened canned fruits should be refrigerated or kept in the dark, cool area for an enhanced lifespan. It should be eaten within one year of canning or two years before the fruit lapses. If you notice discoloration in the fruits or cloudy liquid in the can, discard the canned content.
3. Open Cans
Store your opened canned fruits in the refrigerator and consumed them within three to four days. But before then, make sure to transfer the leftover in a glass jar or plastic container with an airtight lid.
Jarred fruits tend to have the same lifespan, regardless of the processing method, and can be stored in the original container.
4. Frozen Canned Fruit
Refrain from freezing fruits canned in jars, whether it’s homemade or commercially processed. Freezing causes food to expand and changes its texture, exposing your canned fruit at risk of rust. The seals or jar lids might as well burst, encouraging microbial growth.
Bulges, dents, or leaks are some of the signs of spoilt canned foods and should be discarded. You should also dispose of jars with broken seals or lids.
Foul odors or spurting liquids resulting from opened cans are a sign of botulism, and the content inside the can should be thrown away without tasting.
How to Store Food From Cans
Opened canned foods are highly perishable and should be treated the same way as regular food—meaning they should not be kept longer.
While it’s recommended to refrigerate opened canned fruits, the tin or iron can dissolve into the food, giving it a tinny taste. This is more common in highly acidic canned fruits such as lemon, oranges, limes, etc.
If you’re constantly using tinned fruits, then it might be worth spending on quality storage to extend the life of your leftovers. Most importantly, you should transfer your canned portions in plastic containers or glass jars before refrigerating.
You could also include storage dates, so you are not eating your fruits beyond freshness. Ideally, you will want to consume it within three days.
It’s also important to note that not all foods need to be transferred from their original tins. Opened dry and sugary fruits can be kept open in a cool, dry area like cupboards. Just check what the labels say and store as prompts.
How Do I Tell If My Canned Fruit Has Gone Bad?
In practice, press on the lid of your can to check for any pressure or swelling. Unsteadiness in the lid top could also be a sign that your canned fruit has gone bad. These food hazards result from bacteria growth that releases toxins, causing the can to bulge.
These harmful toxins can cause food poisoning to humans, or even worse, botulism, a deadly form of food poisoning.
2. Mushy or Moldy
Most canned fruits that develop molds were not canned correctly. As such, the faulty equipment and methods used led to the growth of molds that has turned your food mushy.
In this case, you should dispose of the entire content because you have no idea of what hygienic issues might have occurred during canning.
3. Spurting Liquid When Opened
It’s common for canned fruits to spill out a little bit upon opening, but what’s not usual is the spurting liquid that erupts at the top of the can.
This is a dangerous sign resulting from the accumulated pressure inside the can caused by bacteria.
4. Strange Colors
Your canned fruit should retain the same color while going and coming out because that’s the whole essence of canning preservation. The discoloration is a sure sign of contamination, either from bacteria, air, or even metals. You don’t want to eat it up, do you?
When opening the can, two or three bubbles might pop on the surface due to whisking. But if you see a layer of foamy bubbles, then your canned fruit has gone bad.
Is Canned Fruit Still Good For You?
Yes, canned fruit is still good for you. While most people believe that there is a difference between fresh and canned food, the truth is that there is no much difference in terms of nutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
For instance, when you compare fresh and canned 100g of tomatoes, you’ll realize that 100g of canned tomatoes has 1g of protein, and 3.8g of carbohydrates, while fresh 100g of tomatoes has 0.5g of protein and 3g of carbohydrates.
There’s also a slight difference in vitamins and minerals. Canned fruits or food usually have good levels of vitamins and can make up a balanced diet. While there are nutrients lost during the canning process, the truth is that very few of those are lost.
The best advice when purchasing canned foods is to check the labels to see if they have excess added sugar or salt. You want to avoid foods with so many added sugars and salt because these might not be good for your health.
However, you also need to note that some canned products will naturally possess more sugars and salt due to the canning process. For example, canned tomatoes may have 3g more salt per 100g than fresh tomatoes that may have 2g per 100g.
1. Is It Safe to Put Unopened Canned Food in the Refrigerator?
No, there’s nothing wrong with putting unopened canned food in the refrigerator, but there’s no need in terms of the safety of your food.
The reason why people in foods is to ensure they are safe to store when at room temperature. Therefore, don’t consume too much space when you could have stored unopened canned foods at room temperature.
2. Why Shouldn’t You Put Open Cans in the Fridge?
You should avoid putting open cans in the refrigerator because the iron from the tins or cans can get into food and taint their flavor, resulting in adverse health effects.
Additionally, storing open cans in your refrigerator is not a good idea, especially for acidic foods, such as tomatoes.
3. Is It Ok to Store Canned Tuna in the Refrigerator?
Yes, you can store canned tuna in the fridge in either a glass or plastic container. It is advisable to remove the tuna from an opened can and transfer it to a container before letting it go into the refrigerator. Once in the fridge, canned tuna can stay in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Hopefully, you now have the answer to your most disturbing question—can you refrigerate unopened canned fruit and probably some related questions.
The idea was to give you insights on how you can store canned fruits and keep them longer while still maintaining their quality and keeping them safe for consumption.
If you’ve had some experience refrigerating unopened canned fruits or having any questions about refrigerating any canned fruits, please leave a comment.