Tomatoes and breaking of cold chain

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Jasmien Wildemeersch

May 6, 2021, 6:24:15 AMMay 6
Dear food waste experts! 

Tomatoes are climacteric fruits: hence we advise consumers to keep them out of the fridge for best storage! We have seen, however, that some retailers advise their clients to keep tomatoes in the fridge...

This, because they transport and keep them in the cold chain for logistic reasons. 

Would anybody know of any study that researches the effect of breaking this cold chain at home? i.e. can consumers keep their tomatoes longer if they keep them in the cold chain or if they break the cold chain and keep them out of the fridge? 

Thanks in advance! 
Greetings from Belgium, 


Tom Quested

May 28, 2021, 1:11:33 PMMay 28

Hi Jasmien, Hi All, 😊


In answer to the question you posed around three weeks ago, I don’t know of any existing research in this area.


However, I’ve been working with the University of Sheffield on the Household Simulation Model (article here). If you were able to find out the difference in the length of time people are prepared to eat tomatoes kept in the fridge compared to ambient temperatures (and any other changes associated with different storage conditions, such differences in consumption rates), it would be possible to estimate the impact on food waste in the home using the Household Simulation Model.


We’re currently using the model for a similar type of project – to understand the impact on food waste in the home of selling fresh fruit and vegetables sold loose versus packaged. The model is proving very useful. I should be able to give more details on the results in the autumn.


I’d be happy to discuss it further, if that would be of interest.


All the best,



Dr Tom Quested | Lead Analyst | WRAP
Direct +44 (0) 1295 817890 | Mobile
+44 (0) 7773 961 890

Email | Pronouns: he/his – why have I put this?


I’ve had the pleasure of working with many great people recently. Below are links to the most recent outputs we’ve created:

New report: UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021

Using discrete event simulation to explore food wasted in the home, Journal of Simulation

Comparing diaries and waste compositional analysis for measuring food waste in the home, Journal of Cleaner Production

For a full list of publications: Google scholar

The content of this email (including attachments) is confidential and is subject to the terms of WRAP’s email disclaimer at and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (which operates as WRAP) is a registered UK Charity No. 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 4125764. Registered office at Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 5BH, United Kingdom.

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