Science Project / Ripening at Home



For a Sceince Project, here is a suggested process for testing the effect of ethylene on fruit:

  1. Obtain one or two hands (bunches) of green bananas that have not had ethylene applied to them. Typically, these cannot be purchased at a local grocer; one must contact a produce company or banana distributor that ripens bananas.

  2. Also obtain several apples. These are high ethylene producers.

  3. Place one - two apples in a sealed container or bag with a hand of bananas. Place the other hand of bananas in a separate sealed container with NO apples.

  4. Place both containers in an area that is 60 - 72°F (room temperature is sufficient).

  5. Do not open the containers for 24 hours. After 24 hours and every 24 hours thereafter, remove the lids of the containers to vent. This will replenish the O2 and release the CO2.

  6. Monitor the ripening of the fruit, comparing color changes in the bananas. See the banana ripening tips found on our website for our Banana Color Chart to document color changes.

  7. Note: if it is desired to measure the ethylene levels that the apples produce (and lack of ethylene in the control container), this can easily be done with an air sampling kit (see the Suppliers page).


Home Ripening

Occasionally, fruit purchased at the grocer may be too green for optimal eating quality.  In this case, placing the fruit in an area that is warmer may help to speed ripening, but what is usually best is to place the fruit inside of a bag with an apple, as described above.  This will release ethylene and trigger the other fruit to release ethylene and ripen faster.

Our web site, while intended for those companies engaged in the commercial application of ethylene, does contains useful information for students  desiring to learn more about ethylene and how it affects the ripening of various fruits, or for consumers wanting to ripen a small quantity of fruit.




Copyright © 2020.  All rights reserved. Privacy Policy.