Oct 14, 2016

Banana Myths Debunked

There is an old wife's tale that you cannot store bananas in the refrigerator. There is a reason for this myth, bananas do get a dark and ugly skin in the refrigerator. However, this does not mean the fruit goes bad. Also, they do not produce gas or other toxins in the cold.

Once bananas are ripened, they can be kept in a fridge. A banana peel will turn dark brown, making it appear bad, but the part you eat inside actually stays quite good. Remove the ugly peel and you will see the flesh inside is as delicious as ever. You can let it sit out for a short time to return to room temperature, if desired before eating.

Bananas can typically be kept in the refrigerator for about a week, which is significantly longer than an optimally ripe banana will last at room temperature. A handy place to store them is in the crisper.

Banana companies Chiquita and Dole recommend you do this to make the banana last longer in its perfect ripeness stage. Once a banana reaches its optimal ripeness for your taste, stick it in the refrigerator to drastically slow the conversion of starch into sugars, almost to the point of stopping the ripening process.
It is important not to put the bananas in the refrigerator before they reach the level of ripeness you desire. Chiquita says, “If you place your unripe Chiquita bananas in the refrigerator, they may not be able to resume the ripening process even if they are returned to room temperature.”
There are other ways to keep bananas fresh longer. For instance, you can slow the ripening process of a banana by keeping the banana away from other fruits, including separating a banana from the same hand it came from. Bananas put off large amounts of ethylene, relative to many other fruits. This triggers and quickens the ripening process significantly.

Incidentally, if you would like to speed up the ripening of some green bananas or other fruit or vegetables, put them in a paper bag together over night. The trapped ethylene will quickly ripen the fruit, and the paper bag will still let enough oxygen in to keep the ripening progress smoothly.  Also, putting fresh bananas in the same container as an overripe banana will rapidly accelerate the ripening process of the fresh bananas. Related posts LINK1, LINK2.

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