Storing tomatoes in the fridge keeps them from spoiling, but depending on the quality of the tomato and how ripe it is, the tomatoes could suffer in flavour, texture and colour. One quick chemistry trick to help your tomatoes retain their flavour: Dip the tomatoes in warm water before chilling them.
Plant physiologist Jinhe Bai presented new research at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. As Quartz explains:
The group from the U.S. Department of Agriculture took tomatoes fresh off the stem and placed them in 125-degree-Fahrenheit water for five minutes, let them return to room temperature, and then went through the normal process of chilling the fruit.
The heated tomatoes retained more of their flavour and, according to Bai, tasted better than those that weren’t heated before chilling.
The folks at Food52 did a blind taste test of two tomatoes from the supermarket, both refrigerated overnight but one of them subjected to the water bath first and the other not. 80% of testers found the pre-heated tomato to taste more “tomato-y.”
Though their test was a small one, it’s worth trying on your own for that possible tomato flavour boost.