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Carrots are a unique source of many beneficial vitamins and minerals. It contains essential beta-carotene, as well as vitamin A, the lack of which leads to many dangerous pathologies, such as night blindness.
Unfortunately, the climatic conditions in most of the territory of our country are such that it is very problematic to provide the population with fresh vegetables throughout the year. For this purpose, technologies for storing carrots come to our aid, in this article we will tell you at what temperature a fresh vegetable can be stored in winter.
Features of the structure of the vegetable
Due to the fact that the carrot plant is two years old, it has mechanisms of adaptation to being at rest at a low temperature, in other words, it can fall into a kind of "hibernation". So, at a temperature close to the freezing point of water, the metabolism in the root crop slows down about 10 times!
Note! Carrots do not tolerate freezing! Frozen root crops not only lose their beneficial properties, but are also subject to accelerated decay. In addition, small, ugly, branched root crops are poorly stored.
Hence the conclusion follows: store carrots at a temperature not lower than zero, for storage, select large and medium-sized specimens of the correct shape.
At the same time, carrots, as a vegetable crop, have a relatively low "keeping quality" (that is, they are not very well stored), therefore, even under ideal conditions, part of the carrots will inevitably be lost during storage. In practice, the scrap rate varies from 1 to 10 percent of the total stored root crops.
It is also worth noting that you cannot pick off the tops of carrots before storing. The tops are carefully trimmed with a sharp knife, leaving about 2 to 3 millimeters at the base of the root crop.
Varieties subject to long-term storage
The following varieties are subject to long-term storage:
- "Queen of Autumn" - "Olympus".
- "Sweet Winter".
- "Red Giant".
All of the listed varieties are late-ripening, ripening at the very end of summer - beginning of autumn.
It is not recommended to store the following varieties:
- "Carotel Parisian".
These varieties are early maturing, do not tolerate cooling well. Generally, varieties with shortened root crops are worst stored.
Can you save for the winter?
It is not only possible to store carrots for the winter, but it is also necessary that this wonderful vegetable always be on your table. However, in order for the root crop to delight you throughout the winter (and most of the spring too), the following recommendations for its storage should be observed.
Carrots are usually stored in a cellar or warm basement. To do this, a filler is poured into the room, which conducts air well, and at the same time adsorbs moisture, for example:
- Sawdust. Conifers are best suited - they contain antimicrobial agents.
- Onion peel.
- Ordinary land.
The carrots are placed in the filler so that they cover the roots by 5 to 7 centimeters.
Also, carrots can be stored in plastic or canvas bags, but this method is less desirable, as it prevents the free penetration of air to the vegetable. Besides, the useful root vegetable is also stored in ordinary enamel pots.
Important! It is not recommended to store carrots in sugar bags, as carbon dioxide will accumulate in such a container due to their density, which will have a bad effect on root crops.
In addition, the bags must be untied so that the carrots can breathe oxygen freely. Damaged root vegetables are stored:
- either frozen;
- either dried;
- or canned.
The importance of the right temperature
In the room where vegetables are stored, the air temperature should be kept within the range from 0 to 5 degrees. If the temperature drops below freezing, the carrots will start to spoil., and if it rises above 5, kidneys will begin to form on it.
The best way to maintain the temperature in a room in winter is to ventilate it. In the warm season, you can maintain the air temperature by organizing a glacier in the storage. For this, large pieces of snow, cut from snowdrifts with a hacksaw, are brought into it every year. From above, the snow is covered with a thick layer of straw, which prevents the snow from melting quickly.
It must be remembered that the storage regime for carrots is divided into 3 stages:
- The stage is curative. It begins directly with the laying of the root crop in the storage and lasts 8-12 days. The temperature during the first stage must be maintained between 12 and 14 degrees. At this time, the carrots seem to "get used to" the storage conditions.
- The stage of lowering the temperature. Duration - 10-15 days after the "treatment" stage. At this time, the roots seem to "go into hibernation." The temperature at this stage gradually decreases from the initial to near-zero mark. This is achieved by ventilating the storage (for example, the vents can be opened in the basement).
- The main stage. Lasts until the end of the storage period (that is, until spring). Temperature - from 0 to 1 degrees.
Air humidity during all stages should be between 90 and 95 percent.
Note! In rooms with high humidity, it is recommended to sprinkle carrots with grated chalk. This will keep it from rotting.
In addition, it is recommended to disinfect, thoroughly ventilate and whitewash the room before placing carrots in it. This is to keep the roots from fungal infection (which they are very susceptible to), as well as from pests.
The storage rooms for carrots must not freeze! This will lead to its accelerated deterioration. Very few root crops “survive” until spring in a frozen room.
From the video you will learn useful tips on how to store carrots:
Carrots are among the most consumed vegetables, and it is quite difficult for a modern person to imagine their diet without it. That is why, compliance with all the recommendations set out in the article will help you enjoy a delicious orange root vegetable all year round, maintain a balance of vitamins and essential microelements in the body.
If you let the storage process take its course, the roots will start to deteriorate. and will not be able to maintain their presentation and their many useful properties until spring. So be careful!