How to tell if your banana has been artificially ripened

There are some misconceptions about the visual signs of artificially ripened bananas. Some people believe that bananas with green stalks and brown spots have been chemically ripened, while bananas with black stalks have ripened naturally. However, this is not accurate.

According to experts, there is no consistent visual difference between bananas that have ripened naturally and those that have been treated with ethylene gas, a chemical that bananas also naturally produce on their own.

The ripening process is often controlled and sped up by placing bananas in ripening rooms, which are then pumped with ethylene. This is sometimes referred to as “chemical ripening,” but it’s important to note that even “naturally ripened” bananas produce the same chemical themselves.

The brown spots that appear on the peel of bananas simply show it’s in an advanced stage of ripeness. These are often called “sugar spots” and indicate that the banana is fully ripe and sweet. The color of the stem isn’t indicative of whether a banana was chemically ripened but is more a function of the relative humidity during ripening.

In terms of taste and texture, some sources suggest that artificially ripened bananas may have a slightly metallic taste and be softer and mushier than naturally ripened bananas. However, most studies suggest that there is no difference in biochemical composition and sensory quality in bananas treated with chemicals that induce ripening from naturally ripened bananas.

So, it’s difficult to tell the difference between fruit ripened with ethylene and those allowed to ‘naturally’ ripen. The ‘naturally’ ripened might be slower to ripen and less uniform. Hence, it’s not possible to confidently assess if a banana has been ethylene treated or naturally ripened just by looking at it.

Read More: How to identify injected watermelons to avoid health risks

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