How you store your pantry staples can be a surprisingly personal thing, and is one that can sometimes pave the way for amusing and frustrating differences in opinion when there’s more than one person using the kitchen.

Room temperature or refrigerated?

For some, fridge storage is the ideal choice for anything under the sun which is why it’s worth investing in a family-sized fridge while for others, the pantry cupboards are the perfect storage space. Most of us tend to walk on the fine line in between, but when it comes to specific items, like fruits or even chocolate, you’d be surprised to find that there’s a large division of opinions.

But now we can finally put the quarrel between room temp and refrigerated to rest, as Dr Duane Mellor, Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Canberra and Senior Lecturer in Nutrition at Coventry University, offers some insight to help you win (or lose) your argument…

Where to Store Eggs? Fridge & Cabinet

“Eggs can be kept outside the refrigerator,” says Dr Duane. “The main factor here is how warm your kitchen is.”

He adds: “If you are going to refrigerate your eggs, it’s best to place them in the inside door of the refrigerator, not in the back or bottom of the refrigerator.” As such, you may need to re-jig your fridge storage accordingly.

Basically, eggs do need a cool-ish environment, so a fridge is best if you’re unsure, but a cupboard is a-ok if you live in a cooler home. Most egg manufacturers recommend storing below 15 degrees Celsius.

Where to Store Tomato Sauce? Cabinet

“Realistically, sauces are fine for up to four weeks outside of the refrigerator,” says Dr Duane (take that fridge saucers!). “Most sauces are traditionally made with salt, sugar or vinegar to preserve them. If you’re purchasing a sauce with a modified recipe that has lower salt or sugar, then you may need to refrigerate it.”

Read Also: How to store fresh food properly in your fridge

Where to Store Chocolate: Fridge & Cabinet?

“This one comes down to personal preference.” says Dr Duane, “Keeping your chocolate in the refrigerator won’t cause any problems, nor will leaving it in the cupboard.”

However, it is important to remain consistent with where you store your chocolate, and you aren’t putting in the fridge and then leaving it in the cupboard later on.

If you move the chocolate between different temperatures it will cause “blooming”– should this happen the chocolate is fine to eat, however it does create white patches that may look unsavoury. “One more thing to note is that Australian chocolate likely has a higher melting temperature than European chocolate, as the climate is warmer here,” he adds.

“This means if you’re bringing back nice Belgian chocolate from your latest European trip you may want to refrigerate it.”

Where to Store Potatoes? Cabinet

While most other foods have variables, Dr Duane is certain in saying “don’t keep your potatoes in the fridge.”‘

“The starches in the potato will break down and cause the vegetable to go sweet. While there’s no risk associated with this, it does create a weird taste when you eat it and may also cause colour changes.”

If you’re planning to keep your fridge cleaner for longer, it’s best to avoid this one.

Where to Store Bananas: Cabinet & Countertop

“Don’t keep your bananas in the fridge, as their natural climate is warm,” says Dr Duane. “An option for overripe bananas is to peel them and put them in the freezer, giving you a natural sweet treat.”

This article was first published on The Singapore Women’s Weekly.