I gathered a dozen or so reports that hot-water treatments suppress mold growth on berries, grapes and stone fruits. The test temperatures ranged from 113 to 145 degrees, with exposure times of a few minutes at the lower temperatures, and 12 seconds at the highest.
Why is it that delicate berries can survive heat high enough to kill mold and injure fingers? Probably because they have to do so in the field. One study of tomatoes found that intense sunlight raised their interiors to 122 degrees.
28 August 2009
How hot is the inside of a tomato on a sunny day?
You'd never guess. An article at the New York Times today discusses the traditional way to store berries without having them turn moldy (dry them and refrigerate them), and then explains that extreme heat can also be useful...