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Ask the Expert Archive

Is just picked fruit better than fruit that has been sitting in cold storage?


Q. What, if any, is the nutritional difference between fruit ripened on the tree or vine and fruit picked and then shipped great distances to ripen on the trip or in the store?


A. The nutritional value of produce depends on many different factors, including weather, amount of sunlight, varietals, and even when it is picked. However, differences in nutrition between just picked and store bought are likely small since produce purchased at the store is usually picked when it is close to ripe. The nutrition information that is posted for fresh produce in the supermarket is based on analysis of items that were selected at the supermarket so that it reflects what you are purchasing. The important thing is to eat MORE fruits and vegetables, whether they be just picked, store bought fresh, fresh, frozen, canned or dried!

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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