Degree of fullness of the fingers, i.e., disappearance of angularity in a cross section. Bananas are harvested mature-green and ripened upon arrival at destination markets since fruits ripened on the plant often split and have poor texture.
Maturity (the more mature the better the quality when ripe); finger length (depending on intended use and demand for various sizes); freedom from defects, such as insect injury, physical damage, scars, and decay.
As bananas ripen their starch content is converted into sugars (increased sweetness). Other constituents that influence flavor include acids and volatiles.
Banana Optimum Temperature
13-14°C (56-58°F) for storage and transport
15-20°C (59-68°F) for ripen
Banana Optimum Relative Humidity
Rates of Respiration Production
ml CO2/kg·hr1, 2
1Low end for mature-green bananas and high end for ripening bananas
2To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·h by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122 to get kcal/metric ton/day.
Rates of Ethylene Production
Responses to Ethylene
Most commercial cultivars of bananas require exposure to 100-150 ppm ethylene 24-48 hours at 15-20°C (59-68°F) and 90-95% relative humidity to induce uniform ripening. Carbon dioxide concentration should be kept below 1% to avoid its effect on delaying ethylene action. Use of a forced-air system in ripening rooms assures more uniform cooling or warming of bananas as needed and more uniform ethylene concentration throughout the ripening
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)
- 2-5% O2and 2-5% CO2
- CA delays ripening and reduces respiration and ethylene production rates.
- Postharvest life potential of mature-green bananas: 2-4 weeks in air and 4-6 weeks in CA at 14°C (58°F)
- Exposure to<1% O2 and/or >7% CO2may cause undesirable texture and flavor.
- Use of CA during transport to delay ripening has facilitated picking bananas at the full mature stage.