Posted on February 27, 2013 at 11:58 am

Health & Beauty Lifestyle What's Happenin'

Ethylene- The Fruit ripening hormone

gFruit ripening process indicates the stage at which the fruit gains flavor, color, texture and has the essential nutrients available to be consumed. There are two kinds of fruits – Climacteric and non-Climacteric fruits. Climacteric fruits continue to ripen even after they are plucked like Banana, Papaya,Kiwi, Avocado . while  non- climacteric fruits don’t ripen after being plucked like Pineapple, Strawberry, Raspberry etc.

Ethylene is the major compound used to aid fruit ripening. When a fruit ripens it produces a lot of Ethylene and carbon-di oxide.For example, if you close a ripen banana with unripe apples, the Ethylene produced by the Banana would increase the ripening process of the apple.

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When you also, leave fruits closed in a bag, the Ethylene production is high. Hence, you get ripened fruits faster. Knowing the need for Ethylene, fruit vendors/producers have started producing Ethylene to their produce in order to escalate it’s process.

The development stage of the fruit is when photosynthate is converted to starch and ripening stage is when starch is converted to sugar. For example, If banana’s from Mexico are being shipped to California then they are plucked at the Development stage and Ethylene is produced to escalate the process to reach to the ripening stage for commercial reasons. Fruits are digestible only when they are ripened and are easily absorbed , and the nutrient content is high. At the same time, too much Ethylene production could also lead to ruining the enzymes and could lead to destruction of the produce.

Technology has improved so much that Ethylene production can be alternated, hence controlling the ripening process of the fruit. Now the big question? Does Ethylene effect the fruit quality? Is this a good process ?

Ethylene being a natural hormone has been considered one of the safest methods for fruit ripening process. Too much of it is obviously bad news. Ethylene release has to be carefully regulated given the plants development stage, climatic conditions and the fruit’s capacity to absorb it.

Ripening at home

  • If you have a ripened fruit, place it with other un -ripe fruits in an air-tight container, it would increase the ripening process
  • Placing the un-ripe fruits on paddy straw, and the Ethylene produced would increase

Pick .Store. Eat.  Enjoy. Stay healthy

-Smriti