Most fresh fruit lasts longer in the fridge, so, if you aren’t going to eat it immediately, it makes sense to chill it. However, this isn’t the case for watermelons, even if the idea of eating (or drinking) this delicious, healthy fruit on a hot summer’s day is extremely tempting.

Here C & M Watermelon Imports Ltd, a leading watermelon importer based in London, explains why watermelons are best kept at room temperature.

The Research

Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture recently conducted a two-week experiment into watermelons. At their research lab in Oklahoma, they stored three popular varieties of the fruit at three different temperatures:

  • 70F or 21C, which is equivalent to room temperature
  • 55F or 13C, which is the equivalent of a very cool pantry
  • And 41F or 5C, which is the equivalent of a refrigerator

The ones stored at the warmest temperatures retained substantially more nutrients than the ones at the lowest.

The Appliance of Science

This is because refrigeration effectively destroys some of the fruit’s valuable nutrients, which can be released even after the watermelon has been picked. As a result, levels of beta carotene and lypocene were substantially higher among fruit that had been left at room temperature.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that reduces your risk of some types of cancer and provides electrolytes needed for healthy nerve function. Beta carotene is a nutrient that helps give watermelons their striking colour and offers a range of health benefits, including helping to maintain tissue health and lower your risk of chronic diseases.

How Should You Store Watermelons?

In fact, refrigerated watermelons might start decaying or going off more rapidly too, perhaps within a week. They also take up a lot of space in your fridge.

By leaving them at room temperature, they will last two or three times as long as chilled fruit. It is best to place them on a surface in a cool and dark place. Only once they are cut open should you put them in the fridge. When doing so, it is best to cover the fruit in plastic, or seal it in an airtight container to preserve the freshness for as long as possible. Even then, you should still consume the watermelon within a few days.

If you are ever in a situation where you have a lot more fruit than you can eat, then you can also put it in the freezer for up to six months. Once they are fully thawed out, you will find that the flesh will be softer than a fresh one. For that reason, they aren’t so good to eat out of your hands any more. However, they will still be great for making ice cream, popsicles, smoothies and other drinks.

C & M Watermelon Imports Ltd – Watermelon Importer Based in London

At C & M Watermelon Imports Ltd we are renowned for supplying the highest quality fruit, at competitive prices within the UK. Our network of contacts within the industry mean we can source watermelons from Europe, Africa and Asia.

We can supply watermelons to all major UK cities, from as far north as Glasgow to as far south as Southampton. We can deliver anywhere within the M25, and for destinations further afield throughout the UK and Ireland, we can arrange transportation and shipping.

To find out more, you can call us on 020 8345 5555, 020 8884 4678, or 07855 796 776. Our full contact details can be found by clicking here.