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Does Water Really Clean Your Fruits and Vegetables?


When it comes to washing veggies, most of us rely on good ol' water. Others use vinegar or soap, but are these techniques more effective? The folks at Cook's Illustrated magazine wanted to know and decided to put it all to the test.

In their test, they washed fruit with one of the following solutions:

  1. Antibacterial soap (not recommended as food safety experts think soap isn't something you should eat)
  2. One part vinegar and three parts water
  3. Scrubbing with a brush
  4. Plain water

Once they had washed their fruit, they then took a sterile cotton swab and rubbed it on the outside of the fruit. The grime collected on the swabs was then placed into Petri dishes and sat at 80F for several days.

Want to know what their results were? Find out, just read more

The best result was a solution of water and vinegar, which ended up removing 98 percent of the bacteria. Second was the scrub brush, which removed a tiny bit more than just water alone.

To achieve this level of cleanliness at home, spray the fruit with enough to coat the surface and then rinse it under the tap. Cook's Illustrated's editor Jack Bishop had this to say about it:

"The cold water will wash the residual flavor from the vinegar, and finishes the cleaning process. So it's a 30-second, 50-cent investment."

What do you think? Will you use a vinegar solution to clean your fruits and veg?

Source: NPR
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