How to check for artificial ripening in Banana?

02.12.17 06:13 AM Comment(s) By CityGreens

Have you ever experienced this? You bought green bananas from the supermarket, and they turned bright yellow after a few hours. And later within a day; black blotches appeared on the banana peel. This is an indication of chemical ripening. Read further to understand more about artificial ripening in bananas.

How to identify artificially ripened bananas?

To identify if a banana fruit is artificially ripened, look for the following signs.

Appearance: Naturally ripened bananas have black or brown stalk. The skin of it appears dark yellow with black and brown spots spread unevenly all over. Artificially ripened bananas, on the other hand, appear immaculate with lemon yellow skin. They also have a green stalk.

Touch & Feel: For artificially ripened bananas, Some parts of the fruit will be very soft while others would be hard. This is because some parts come in contact with chemicals, while others may not.

Why do vendors artificially ripen bananas?


Bananas have to survive the transit time, from the source of production to the destination market. This may take 2-3 days. At the marketplace, they are then ripened using chemicals.

Long-term availability

Unripe bananas are stored for a few days in the complete absence of ethylene to slow down the ripening process. Then to ensure long term supply much after its season, they are chemically ripened.

Chemicals used for artificial ripening

Calcium Carbide

When Calcium Carbide comes in contact with moisture present in fruits, it releases acetylene gas. This gas is similar to ethylene gas produced by naturally ripening fruits. It triggers fast ripening of bananas. Ripening using this process is not usually harmful. However, it is the traces of toxic arsenic and phosphorous left behind on fruits by this chemical that is harmful to human health. The symptoms of arsenic or phosphorous poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, burning sensation of chest and abdomen, weakness, irritation skin, ulcers on the skin, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath.

Ethepon one

It also releases ethylene gas to trick fruits into ripening fast. It is not very harmful unless used in large amounts.

Ethylene gas

Although fruits produce ethylene for natural ripening, its artificial use may make the fruit lack flavour. It, however, does not lack nutritional value. Also, excess use of ethylene gas on fruits is an unhealthy practice.

Best practices while shopping for banana

      • Always inspect the stem, if it is green in colour while the fruit is yellow, it's a sure shot sign of artificially ripened fruit. 
      • Look for unevenly spread brown spots on the banana peel. This is a sign of naturally ripened fruit. 

Stay Informed. Stay Safe!

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