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Project Produce: Which Refrigerator Keeps Food Fresh The Longest?

August 18th, 2020 | 4 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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We call it Project Produce.

We tested all the brands with claims of keeping food fresher for a longer time. For last month's readers, we completed our tests and there are two winners. One brand is expected the other is a total surprise.

In this post, you will learn about the methodology, see pictures of the 5 brands over 4 weeks along with video.

Let's begin by describing the test.

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Testing Food Freshness In Refrigerators

French-door-counter-depth-refrigerators-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverCounter Depth Refrigerators at Yale Appliance in Hanover


Why test?

Last month, we were writing about the new Beko refrigerators. It has Blue Light Crisper Bins.

Blue Lighting emulates photosynthesis or how green plants use sunlight to synthesize food (don't feel bad, I had to look photosynthesis up).

In other words, Blue Lights trick plants into not dying or not spoiling quicker.

Although it may sound far fetched, sunlight renders blueish on the Kelvin scale, so it is possible to extend life with a blue light.

Then again, someone has to investigate whether air cleaners, air scrubbers, "Cool Pantry" features, Blue Lights, and Green Shelves keep food fresher.

Project Produce Testing

Each refrigerator will have the same fruits and vegetables. We will check these fruits and vegetables weekly for one month to determine the best refrigerator.

Sub-Zero, Beko, Bosch, Thermador, and Samsung were all part of this test.

The Produce Were Testing: 

  • Cucumbers
  • Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes
  • Lemons

We listed each plus their marketing claims as to why their brand keeps food fresher.

Best Refrigerator Brands To Keep Food Fresh (Claims Only)


sub-zero-and-wolf-kitchen-at-yale-appliance-hanover (1)Sub-Zero & Wolf Appliance Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover


You have to believe Sub-Zero should be at the top of the list.

Its magnetic seal is hard to open for a human being. It must be harder for an air particle to squeeze through.

Freshness Design: Besides the vacuum door seal, the air scrubber scrubs gas off spoiling foods to keep food fresher longer.

This is a NASA discovery (seriously), and it also eliminates cross-contamination with other foods.

Crisper Bins: Magnetically sealed to keep air out.

Twin Compressors: The refrigerator and freezer air does not blend, so each compartment is staying at the right temperature and humidity.

Sub-Zero's Refrigerator We're Testing: Sub-Zero Professional Counter Depth Refrigerator BI-36UFD/O



Thermador-kitchen-display-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverThermador Appliance Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover


Cool Produce Bins: Thermador redesigned their refrigeration and has the Cool Produce bin on the door to set temperature and humidity.

Twin Compressors: Like the Sub-Zero, dual compressors ensure cold and warmer air do not cause premature spoilage.

Thermador's Refrigerator We're Testing: Thermador Professional Counter Depth Refrigerator T36BT920NS

thermador pro refrigerator



bosch-kitchen-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverBosch Appliance Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover


Bosch freestanding refrigerators are the only non-built-in types with two compressors to keep the air separate.

Ethylene Gas Filter: This device also removes spoiling gas fumes off food. It's a filter, not a "scrubber." We will know the difference before the end of the month.

Two Evaporator Models: Evaporator Vs. Compressor (Technical Jargon)

For the evaporators to function correctly, the compressor must raise the refrigerant gas's temperature by increasing its pressure.

Then excess heat is expelled, and the gas compresses into a liquid in the condenser.

Once turned into a liquid, it invades the evaporator. In the evaporator, the liquid will expand and boil at a lower pressure.

This allows it to collect heat from the food compartment until it evaporates back into a low-pressure, low-temperature gas to restart the cycle over again.

What does this mean?  It means the evaporator is part of the overall compressor.

What does it really mean?  

In terms of freshness, we will find out.

Bosch's Refrigerator We're Testing: Bosch Counter Depth Refrigerator B36CT80SNS

Bosch B36CT80SNS


samsung-kitchen-package-at-yale-appliance-in-hanover-1Samsung Appliance Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover


Samsung was the first mass-produced refrigerator addressing better food storage with two evaporators.

How do two evaporators fare versus two compressors on your produce? We will find out in a month.

Cool Pantry Plus: This allows air in and out of the crisper bin by slats.

Samsung's Refrigerator We're Testing: Samsung Counter Depth Refrigerator RF23R6201SR



Beko has the most tech in their crisper bins to keep food fresher for a more extended period.

Two Evaporators: Similar to Samsung, the two environments are kept separate.

Active Fresh Blue Light: Light emulates sunlight to further photosynthesis and keep food fresher. It's a bold claim. We will find out if the claim has validity.

Again, sunlight does render blue on the Kelvin scale, so maybe bluish light does trick plants into growing and not spoiling.

EverFresh +: Keeps food fresher for a longer time. In reality: It's a more heavily gasketed crisper to keep condensation and gasses out of the crisper.

Beko's Refrigerator We're Testing: Beko Counter Depth Refrigerator BFFD3624SS

Beko Counter Depth Refrigerator-1


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Best Overall: Sub-Zero

Sub-Zero was the overall winner. It did an excellent job on the grapes and lemon. The cucumber could have been fresher.

Runner-Up: Thermador

Thermador was number two and only performed slightly worse than the Sub-Zero on the veggies.

Best Value: Beko

I guess there is something to blue lights in a crisper. This refrigerator performed the best all-around for the lesser expensive freestanding units.

Runner-Up for Freestanding: Bosch

Bosch was decent and the second-best of the freestanding units by just a bit on the vegetables.

Last Place: Samsung

Samsung was ok but performed the worst in both categories. The lettuce especially was spoiled earlier than the other brands.


Which Refrigerator Keeps Food Fresh The Longest?

We learned as much about fruit as the refrigerators.

Lemons store the best with grapes being second best.

Cucumbers didn’t fare well after week 2 in any of the refrigerators, so the fruit stays fresher than veggies.

In terms of technology, two evaporators with one compressor fared as well as two compressors.

Overall, these brands performed pretty well. You probably will eat your food in less than a month anyway.

Best Overall is Sub-Zero, Runner-Up would be Thermador, Best Value is Beko. Samsung could have been a bit better.

I would have suspected Sub-Zero to be the best, and it was. Beko was surprising. I guess all that crazy tech is not so far fetched after all.

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Counter Depth Refrigerator Buying Guide with features, specs, and inside buying tips for regular, pro, and integrated counter-depth refrigerators. Well over 580,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

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