I Tried the $6 Amazon Find That’s Supposed to Help Fruits and Vegetables Last Longer

published Mar 19, 2020
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Like a lot of Americans, I’m trying to limit my trips to the grocery store right now. And while I know that a lot of people are opting for frozen or canned produce, I’m still buying fresh stuff when it makes sense. I just need to make sure it can last at home.

Credit: Jenny McCoy

That’s where the $6 Bluapple comes in. (It’s $12 for two on Amazon!) I heard about this nifty device from a friend who explained that it’s supposed to help your fruits and veggies last longer. According to the product description, each blue apple-shaped plastic ball contains a packet that absorbs ethylene gas, a plant hormone that gets released and triggers ripening. Place the Bluapple in your crisper drawer or on the counter with a bowl of fruit, and it will allegedly keep produce fresher. But does it actually work? 

According to the majority of reviews on Amazon, the answer is yes. The product currently holds a 4.2-star rating, and has more than 1,000 reviews, with 65% of folks giving it a full 5-stars. Although that’s a convincing endorsement, I wanted to test the Bluapple for myself. Recently, I did just that. Here’s what happened. 

How I Tested the Bluapple

Once my two-pack of Bluapple fresher savers arrived in the mail, I got to work designing an experiment that would allow me to test their effectiveness as accurately and fairly as possible. Recalling the basics of the scientific method from middle school, I decided I’d need a control group and a test group. I opted to test both fruit (bananas) and vegetables (cabbage). I did my best to choose two bananas of equal ripeness and chopped a whole cabbage into smaller wedges so that the starting conditions were as similar as possible for both the test groups and the control groups. 

Credit: Jenny McCoy

Then, because a small note on the product’s package mentioned that it works best in “an enclosed space,” I sealed my yellow bananas in containers and stashed ‘em on the counter, and stored my cut cabbage in bowls, covered them with plastic, and stuck them in the fridge. I would have loved to test the product in my crisper drawer as that seems to be the most advertised form of usage, but because I don’t have two crisper drawers of equal size, I sadly couldn’t make that happen (gotta follow the scientific method, after all). 

Once all elements of my experiment were in place, I impatiently bided my time, eagerly eyeing the produce multiple times a day to see if anything science-y was happening. 

Credit: Jenny McCoy

After about five days, I noticed some small differences in the bananas, with the Bluapple banana appearing a teeny bit less ripe than the non-Bluapple banana. I didn’t see (or smell) any changes between the cabbage wedges, though to be fair, neither seemed to have ripened at all, making me think I needed to let the experiment continue before jumping to conclusions. 

Credit: Jenny McCoy

So I did. And after nine total days of experimenting, I officially concluded the experiment. The results? Both bananas continued to ripen, but the Bluapple banana had slightly fewer brown spots by the end. As for the cabbage, both wedges started to brown in spots, but by day nine, the Bluapple bowl seemed to have marginally fewer marks. It was cool to notice some difference between the groups, but that difference was so minor that, overall, I wasn’t wowed

Credit: Jenny McCoy

I should also mention that I conducted a separate experiment with the Bluapple. Before I noticed the note about the product working best in enclosed spaces, I tested it out with bowls of fruit (a mix of bananas, tomatoes, and an avocado) that I left uncovered on the counter. After about six days of testing, I didn’t notice any difference in ripeness between the control group and the experiment group, which makes me think the Bluapple definitely doesn’t work out in the open. 

The Final Verdict

In my elementary-level experiment, the Bluapple seemed to somewhat slow the ripening process when used in an enclosed space. Maybe I would have gotten different results if I could have tested it in my crisper drawer, and I will do that test next, just in a less scientific way. (For what it’s worth: The friend who turned me onto Bluapple keeps two of them in her crisper drawer and she thinks it has helped her produce — particularly her lemons — last longer.) In any case, the product is for sure not a miracle worker, but hey, it’s a step forward in the fight against food waste, and that counts for something, right? 

Because I already own two Bluapples, I’m going to keep using them. If you want to give it a go yourself, the $6 price tag ($12 for a two-pack) is reasonable. Just don’t expect any total miracles.