Tomatoes are the second-most eaten vegetable in the United States, following potatoes. (And are potatoes really vegetables? Are tomatoes? We digress.) People eat $60 billion worth worldwide every year, which is a lot.

But how should tomatoes be stored in your kitchen? Chefs and Italians have long left tomatoes at room temperature, while safety- and efficiency-minded types use the refrigerator. Now a new study in Frontiers in Plant Science determines once and for all what the best practices are for storage of Solanum lycopersicum L (that’s science for “tomato”).
但厨房的番茄该怎么储存呢?厨师和意大利人一直把番茄放在室温下,但注重安全和营养的人把番茄放冰箱里。现在《Frontiers in Plant Science》期刊上的一项新研究确定了一劳永逸的番茄最佳储存方法。

Hyper-detail-oriented researchers at the University of Göttingen grew a variety of tomatoes and then mimicked the commercial three-day harvest-to-consumer storage practices. Once they arrived at “home,” the tomatoes were stored either in the refrigerator (44.6 degrees F) or at room temperature (68 degrees F) and then evaluated by a dozen experienced food assessors.

Those assessors were trained at identifying things such as green-grassy odor, tomato-typical odor, tomato-typical flavor, sweetness, sourness, juiciness, firmness, aftertaste, and . . . you get the idea.

The tomatoes also underwent a raft of analysis, including taste by an “electronic tongue” known as the e-tongue.

Their findings: It doesn’t matter. No significant differences in flavor were found between refrigerator-stored and counter-stored tomatoes.
研究结果:并无区别。冰箱保存和橱柜保存的番茄在味道上没有明显区别 。

What matters is how long the tomato is at your house, the variety of the tomato, and the temperature of your refrigerator. The cultivars (aka breeds) had a much higher impact on flavor than the storage. And you should eat them within four days. “The shorter the storage period, the better it is for the flavor and related attributes, says lead author Larissa Kanski, a doctoral candidate in agricultural sciences. Make sure to pay attention to temperature, as previous studies have shown deleterious effects of storing tomatoes at 39 degrees F.
重点是番茄在家里的存放时间、番茄种类和冰箱的温度。品种比储存方法对味道的影响更大,你应该在四天内吃掉。身为研究第一作者的农业科学博士生Larissa Kanski说:“存放时间越短,味道和其他方面越好。”你一定要注意温度,此前的研究也表明,在39华氏度下储存番茄是有害的。

In short: For tasty tomatoes, buy tomatoes that taste good, store ’em however you want, and eat them within four days. Enjoy.