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As I learnt from this post, there are some fruits that should not be kept together with the others (e.g. watermelon and apple). Which fruits should be kept separately in order to prevent rotting?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Anything that outgasses ethylene should be kept away from other items (both fruits and vegetables), in a well-ventelated area, if possible.

Apples and bananas are the two most common culprits, but the list is much longer. Subzero has a list of etylene producers and ethylene sensitive items, which I'm reproducing below in case of link rot:

Ethylene producing foods

  • apples
  • apricots
  • avocados
  • ripening bananas
  • cantaloupe
  • cherimoyas
  • figs
  • honeydew
  • kiwifruit
  • mamey sapote
  • mangoes
  • mangosteen
  • nectarines
  • papayas
  • passion fruit
  • peaches
  • pears
  • persimmons
  • plantains
  • plums
  • prunes
  • quince
  • tomatoes

Ethylene sensitive foods

  • unripe bananas
  • green beans
  • Belgian endive
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • chard
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant
  • leafy greens
  • lettuce
  • okra
  • parsley
  • peas
  • peppers
  • spinach
  • squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • watercress
  • watermelon
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I keep a list on my fridge from the June 2009 issue of Cooking Light magazine. (p. 45) Here's the details:

Keep these in the fridge:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery (which will last longer if you keep it wrapped in aluminum foil)
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Green onions (scallions)
  • Leafy greens
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Summer squashes (including zucchini)

On the countertop, away from direct sunlight in a container that allows air circulation, like a vented bowl.

  • Apples (move to fridge after 7 days)
  • Apricots
  • Avocados (refrigerate after ripening)
  • Bananas
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi (refrigerate after ripening)
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines (refrigerate after ripening)
  • Papayas
  • Peaches (refrigerate after ripening)
  • Pears ((refrigerate after ripening)
  • Peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Plums (refrigerate after ripening)
  • Pomegranates
  • Pumpkins
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Winter squashes

And, of course, keep onions, garlic, and potatoes in a dark, well-ventilated area.

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apples are typically the ones who cause problems. They cause bananas skins to ripen while the inside fruit does not actually get ripe. The best method for keeping fruit ripe without rotting is to let them ripen at room temperature, and then refrigerate them when they are at peak.

If you buy fruit in bulk, check for signs of mold/rot regularly. This way you only have to throw away the bad one, instead of having it spread to the whole batch.

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