STATE-OF-THE-ART RIPENING SYSTEMS

Did you know?

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There are no chemical or physiological differences between fruit that has ripened naturally or fruit where ethylene has been used in ripening rooms to activate the process.

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Ethylene is an odourless, colourless gas produced and released by most fresh fruits and vegetables as a natural ripening agent.

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Ethylene is also known as the ripening hormone.

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Ethylene will penetrate most substances including cardboard boxes and wood, but not a well sealed ripening room!

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Bananas are harvested green and transported to ripening distribution centres. Heating the air to around 16-17ºC causes the bananas to respire. The combination of warm air and the release of ethylene into the chambers starts the ripening process.

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The conversion of starch to sugar in fruit generates heat. Controlling the heat = controlling the ripening process.

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When bananas are harvested they have very high levels of starch. During ripening the starch is converted into soluble sugars, which is why bananas are so much sweeter when ripe.

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