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Selecting, ripening and storing raspberries

Selecting Raspberries

When you select raspberries look for ones that are fully ripe because they will not ripen after they are picked. Fully ripe raspberries are ones that are slightly soft, plump and deep in color. As with all fruit, we recommend selecting organically grown varieties whenever possible.

Avoid overripe raspberries that are very soft, mushy or moldy. If you are buying berries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly which may cause them to become crushed and damaged. Also make sure that the container has no signs of stains or moisture which might indicate possible spoilage. Overripe raspberries should not be eaten.

I have found that because raspberries are highly perishable, they should only be purchased one or two days prior to use. Raspberries do not store well, will not ripen but will just mold and rot so they need to be eaten as soon as possible after you bring them home.

Storing Raspberries

Because your raspberries are still very much alive and “breathing” when you bring them home it is important to store them correctly to help preserve their nutrients, texture and flavor. The faster they breathe the more the raspberries interact with air to produce carbon dioxide. The more carbon dioxide that is produced, the more quickly they will spoil.

Fruits breathe at different rates (i.e. they have different rates of respiration), a characteristic which is related to their shelf life. A specific respiration rate for raspberries has not been established by the scientific community. However, because they have a similar shelf life to strawberries, we would expect it to have a similar respiration rate and give off carbon dioxide at a rate of approximately 75 milliliters per kilogram every hour when kept in a in a dark cool place at a temperature of approximately 59°F (15°C). Here’s how:


Refrigeration helps slows the rate of respiration, reduces the amount of carbon dioxide produced and helps retain the vitamin content of raspberries so they will remain fresh and you can store them for a longer period of time. Fresh raspberries can last for up to 2 days when properly stored and refrigerated. Water encourages spoilage, so do not wash raspberries before refrigeration.

Handle with Care

Like all berries, raspberries are very perishable, so great care should be taken in their handling and storage. Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any raspberries that are moldy or damaged so that they will not contaminate others. Replace unwashed, whole berries (do not remove stems) in their original container or spread them out on a plate covered with a paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap. Raspberries will keep fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days.

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This page was updated on: 2004-06-03 20:51:12


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