Papaya Ripening


The degree of maturity will indicate whether papayas should be exposed to ethylene.

  • Papayas which are fully mature at harvest should not be ripened with ethylene if they are to be stored for an extended period of time. 

  • Papayas of minimum commercial maturity will benefit from a treatment of ethylene with an improvement in texture and color.


If not using pressurized ripening rooms, then air stack the boxes (at least 2" between boxes) to ensure proper air circulation. Leave 1½ feet between walls and pallets and about 6" between pallets.

Depending upon desired shipping time, bring the pulp temperature to the range of 68 to 77°F (20 to 25°C).


Apply 100 ppm ethylene for 24-48 hours (actual time of exposure to ethylene is determined by the maturity of the fruit; a yellowing of fruit color indicates that the papayas are producing ethylene and the generator is no longer needed).


Maintain humidity at 90-95% to prevent shrinkage during ripening.


Vent the rooms by automatic ventilation or by opening the doors for 20 minutes every 12 hours to flush out carbon dioxide and bring in oxygen.


Once the desired level of ripeness is attained, reduced the temperature to 50°F (10°C) for partially-ripe papayas or to 45°F (7°C) for ripe.











* For a complete line of supplies for ripening, including pulp thermometers and firmness testers, visit QA Supplies.


For ethylene generators, visit Catalytic Generators.

Information on this site is amassed from a diverse number of sources. While we have made great effort to provide accurate and current ripening techniques, we make no warranties regarding these recommendations or the applicability of such information to a particular ripening operation. Please note that we do not provide these recommendations as a replacement for technical ripening experts; if having ripening problems or starting a ripening program, we suggest that professionals be consulted.




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