How to Clean Fruit
There are simple principles that can be followed that will guide you on how to clean most fruit. Majority of the time you’re aiming to kill bacteria and clean off pesticides. However, each type of fruit may have it’s own nuances in regards to cleaning them. For example, raspberries are very fragile and need to be cleaned with care as opposed to an apple which can be scrubbed to remove the wax from it’s surface.
You may be interest in the following articles of ours which may describe how to clean the specific fruit you’re seeking to clean.
How to Clean
If your fruit is not on the list above then you can either pick the most similar fruit from the list above or keep reading the rest of this article as we will discuss in detail the general principles for cleaning fruit.
Killing Bacteria and Removing Pesticides
Unless you have your own tree, the fruit you eat takes a long journey to get to you. From the farm to your fruit bowl is quite a complex logistical process and your fruit can accumulate all sorts of bacteria and contaminants along the way. There’s insects and birds on the farm that may come into contact with your fruit. Depending on where the fruit is sourced the farm could use a range of obscurely named pesticides, many of which could be known carcinogens. Meaning they have the potential to cause cancer over the long term.
The most common and accessible way to remove bacteria is using Vinegar. Generally it is added to the water you’re using to rinse your fruit.
For example, fill up a large salad bowl with water, add a few splashes of vinegar, let your fruit soak for a few minutes, swirl your fruit around in the bowl a bit, then drain the liquid and rinse your fruit with fresh water.
This method alone isn’t sufficient for some types of fruit such as store bought apples. Often apples from the store are covered in a wax to make them shiny. This wax could have been applied over the top of bacteria and pesticides. Even if the apple was clean when they applied the wax, the surface is more prone to bacteria sticking and being to stubborn to wash off. It’s like trying to wash dirt off a waxed surfboard. You may want to read more in depth on how to clean apples.
This method is much more thorough than you could ever get with a wash. It’s still a good idea to wash your fruit first though so your peeler has less risk of contaminating the fruit flesh it exposes.
It’s a simple process you probably already know how to do if you’ve prepared food before. You can simply use a potato peeler to remove the skin of apple like fruit or your hands for a banana peel (obviously) or a knife for softer fruits like a Kiwi or a Mango.
Vinegar wash and peel
Even if your fruit is sourced from very questionable places, a vinegar rinse combined with removing the skin ensures a very low risk of any sort of contamination of the fruit flesh. It’s best to use both methods if you’re unsure about your fruit.
Fungus, Rot or Insects
If your fruit has visible fungus or rot then it’s best to throw it away. You can try to cut away the rotting surface but it’s best practice to stay safe and not to do this. With fungus, do not even think cutting it off and still consuming the fruit. Fungus can come in many dangerous forms, many fungus’s are know to impose disastrous mental or physical effects. Sometimes even death. Similarly, if there are insects within your fruit you should also discard it. Do not attempt to recover the fruit once it’s been contaminated with insects.