Various food products become questionable for storage once they are opened at the seal. This is because once the seal of a product is broken, the preservatives that are inside the product that keep it shelf friendly at the grocery store sometimes do not let the product last for long when it’s not stored in a cool, dry place.
And even products that are found on the shelves at grocery stores need to be refrigerated once they are opened. The debate on this issue is quite long since the issue itself is one to probe continuously. This is because the quality of the product starts to deteriorate if it’s not refrigerated.
Ketchup itself has the main ingredient of tomatoes in it. Other than that, Ketchup contains a lot of acidity from vinegar as well as the acidity in the tomatoes themselves.
To give it flavor, sugars, salt and spices as well as herbs, are added. Preservatives help keep the Ketchup from going bad.
The question as to whether Ketchup needs to be refrigerated has quite a lot of sides to it. For instance, the leading ketchup brand Heinz claims that it is shelf stable.
But that has a catch to it too. After the Ketchup itself is open, its stability can be affected widely by its storing conditions.
It is recommended that processed food such as Ketchup should be refrigerated after opening it since refrigerating the product will maintain its quality and allow it to last longer. Think about it like this; if you keep tomatoes or any other fruit or vegetables outside in your pantry instead of the refrigerator, they will obviously go bad within a day or two.
However, if they are kept in the fridge, they usually last much longer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have taken your processed food and put it in the fridge once, it is a very bad idea to keep it outside after that.
Picture it like this, You took a new bottle of Ketchup, used it and put it in the fridge. Afterward, you needed to use it again, so you took it out from the fridge again, but instead of putting it back in the fridge, you left it outside in your kitchen.
This will make the Ketchup or any other processed food go bad even faster since there will be moisture from the fridge inside the ketchup bottle forming after melting down to the temperature that exists outside since it was first in a very cold temperature for the night.
In hotter seasons such as summer, food tends to go bad much faster than in the winter. This is because heat contains a lot of humidity, which in turn causes excessive moisture in the air. This moisture and high temperature is by far the breeding ground for germs and fungi to grow on since it is a suitable environment for them to eat and grow in number.
The cold makes the germs and fungus less inactive since they cannot survive low temperatures.
This is why, after taking the Ketchup out and putting it in a warmer condition, such as your pantry, will cause the Ketchup to easily grow fungus on it, and the quality of it will also easily deteriorate.
It is therefore advised that if you consume a lot of Ketchup in your daily routine, you can keep the bottle outside your fridge but make it stay that way instead of putting it in the fridge and then taking it out again for a long time.
However, if you do not use Ketchup as readily, then it’s better that you keep your Ketchup in the fridge so that its quality remains good and consumable. If it’s winter and the temperature of your home is cold, then preserved or processed food becomes less of a problem.
The main issue with processed foods such as Ketchup is that a warmer temperature makes microorganisms, enzymes, molds, yeasts and fungus grow much faster and multiply since it is the optimal temperature for them to do so.
To end this debate, one can agree that a lot of conditions and factors combined allow us to close the debate of keeping Ketchup in the fridge or outside. The biggest of them is the temperature and time duration that it stays outside.
Studies show that Ketchup can be kept unrefrigerated for up to one month. It is, however advised that if you don’t think you’ll finish the bottle anytime soon then it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator.
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