There are several factors that can be attributed to rapid food spoilage. It could be that the different types of produce weren’t stored correctly or that the ethylene gas naturally emitted by food speeds up the ripening process. Temperature imbalance can also allow bacteria to grow, causing food to develop uncharacteristic odor or color. But arguably the top reason why food easily spoils in the fridge is improper humidity.

Ever experienced your cake smelling like fish? Or your ref’s interiors smelling like meat from the freezer? If you have the typical refrigerator, you most probably have. This is something that can’t be avoided when the items in the refrigerator section and freezer share the same air. As trivial as this may seem, the fact that these aren’t compartmentalized into two separate cooling systems significantly affects the taste and quality of food. As with most things in life, there is also no one-size-fits-all approach to food preservation; different types of food require different refrigeration conditions.

What happens inside a typical refrigerator is that the dry air in the freezer goes down to the ref compartment, where it gets mixed with the moist humid air. The difference in humidity is the reason why frozen ice crystals normally form around meat and ice cream in the freezer, and why when you store cheese in a regular ref without any cover, it’ll harden.

Left to right: Cheese stored in a Sub-Zero and cheese stored in a regular refrigerator for 10 days, without any cover

Proper humidity is crucial in preserving the flavor of food. It is of paramount importance that the two compartments don’t share air. Fresh produce needs chilly, humid air while frozen food requires frigid, dry air that prevents freezer burn. To ensure both types of food get the optimal humidity they each need, the pioneering solution food preservation specialist Sub-Zero came up with is the dual refrigeration system, where the ref and the freezer each has a compressor. This breakthrough innovation creates a proper humidity environment where food can stay fresh for a longer period of time.

Refrigeration brand Sub-Zero understands the importance of fresh food, and how it impacts lives. With its ongoing campaign called “Fresh Food Matters,” the brand aims to draw attention to the topic of fresh food through stories that show the powerful impact it has on our bodies (wellness), our senses (taste), and our society (ecology). And hopefully, by planting this seed in people’s heads, they will get to taste the difference sooner than later.

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Fresher Food Today

Start with knowing the basics of proper food storage. We’ve prepared an easy guide to help you learn how to keep food at its best, the longest.

It’s time to start fresh.