If freshly bought bananas are stored in a full fruit basket, then they won’t stay yellow very long. Just a few days later, the crooked fruits take on a brownish color and are more likely to be thrown away than be eaten. The reason for this rapid ripening is the chemical ethylene. The gaseous plant hormone not only functions as a messenger substance within an individual fruit, but also influences other specimens nearby. Ethylene triggers a real chain reaction by stimulating the production of (more) ethylene in other plants and fruits. And more ethylene means faster ripening. Therefore, fruits like apples that emit particularly high levels of ethylene cause premature ripening in, say, banana, which shows a particularly strong reaction in response to the hormone. When storing this foodstuff together, rapid ripening can become an undesirable side effect. Fruit cannot be stored as long—which not only leads to losses of food at home in the fridge, but also in the entire supply chain from the importer to the wholesale and retail trade. Continue reading at Physorg
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