Nutrients in fruits and vegetables start to break down after harvest. This loss of nutrients can be minimized by proper storage or processing. Frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice products are processed just after harvesting to "lock in" the freshness of just-picked produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables are picked, packed, and distributed to stores very quickly so that you get the freshest items available. After purchase, proper storage and handling of fruits and vegetables will help retain nutrients.
Storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator will prolong their shelf life and slow down the spoilage process. It is best not to wash fruits or vegetables until you are ready to consume them to reduce spoilage and mold growth.
The three natural destroyers of vitamins in fruits and vegetables are heat, light, and oxygen. However, cooking and storing methods can help retain nutrients. Here's how: