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Fruit Saver

Does it Work Wednesday
Fruit Saver
By: Amy Jacquin

How often do you buy a bunch of bananas, or grapes, or apples but they start rotting before you eat them? You waste money by tossing them out. Something called the Fruit Saver may help extend the life of your produce.

The $75 Fruit Saver is like a mini-refrigerator just for your fruit. But makers say you'll save money, by saving fruit you used to throw out.

I bought all the fruit from the exact same place at the exact same time, so it's as even as possible to start with. I divide the strawberries, grapes, bananas and nectarines into three groups. The first one goes into the crisper bin of the refrigerator, where they will remain untouched.

The second group makes a pretty collection in a bowl on my counter. The third group goes into the Fruit Saver. I make sure the base is attached and the lid is on. Directions say to keep the Fruit Saver out of direct sunlight, and away from heat sources. "Do not unnecessarily remove the lid ... This will cause a temperature increase and the Fruit Saver works by creating the ideal temperature for fruits and vegetables."

So how is the Fruit Saver different from the storage bin in my refrigerator. According to the directions, "The Fruit Saver uses a thermo-electric chamber to maintain a constant temperature. That temperature is slightly warmer than the temperature of your refrigerator. Often times, the temperature of a refrigerator is much too cold for fruits and vegetables, and will actually chill the fruits and vegetables too much, losing vital nutrients, flavor, and texture."

In exactly one week I can't stand it any longer. I need to get the rotting fruit out of my house!

At first glance it looks like only the fruit left on the counter is rotting. But look closer, and you'll see the $70 Fruit Saver isn't offering much protection. I gets the produce out of the refrigerator, to compare all three groups.

The strawberries on the counter molded so much, I had to put them in a baggie so they wouldn't contaminate anything else. But the strawberries inside the Fruit Saver didn't fair much better! They're covered in mold, too. At least those kept in the refrigerator still look like berries, even though they're not fit to eat.

The grapes from the counter and the Fruit Saver are slightly softer than a week ago. But those inside the refrigerator are still firm. The nectarine on the counter is slightly softer than in the Fruit Saver, but both are bruising. The nectarine out of the refrigerator is the firmest, with no signs of bruising.

The bananas on the counter are by far the worst, almost all dark brown. But those in the Fruit Saver look great, showing only a little ripening. Those from the refrigerator are a funny color, a light brown all over.

But someone warned me that would happen and they say if you taste the fruit, it'll still taste good. They do taste okay, not fresh, exactly, but definitely acceptable. It's the same with the prettier bananas from the Fruit Saver.

So the Fruit Saver seems to work for bananas. But you'll have to eat bunches to make it worth $70!

For everything else we say, skip the saver and use your refrigerator. The Fruit Saver tops out at a D.

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