Fruit ripening and storage

Get the best out of your fresh fruit delivery

Fruit that continues to ripen..

Climacteric fruits continue to ripen after being picked due to a process accelerated by a gaseous plant hormone called ethylene.  Bananas, apples, kiwi fruit, figs, pears, mangoes, peaches, plums,  tomatoes, avocadoes and some other fruits respond to ethylene in their environment and begin the ripening process.

Non-climacteric fruit produce little or no ethylene gas and therefore do not ripen once picked; these fruits include citrus fruits, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, watermelons, cherries, grapes and grapefruit.

Going bananas!

Bananas are very sensitive fruits – they react quickly to extreme temperatures!  Green bananas, or any unripe fruit for that matter, is a test of faith. You assume that they’ll soon turn yellow and be ripe enough to eat. …

Ripening fruit gives off ethylene gas, and putting the fruit in a paper bag traps the gas near the fruit, causing it to ripen faster. Place bananas in a brown paper bag and close loosely. Ethylene will build up and circulate within the bag, speeding up the ripening process. Check now and again so you can take them out at your desired ripeness. This usually takes about 3 days depending on room temperature.  To ripen the bananas faster, place a ripe fruit such as an apple or tomato in the bag as well.

If you store bananas in the fridge they will turn black!  However the flesh inside will remain good to eat – they just don’t look too nice!  Remember to only refrigerate bananas once they are ripe.   Occasionally this discolouration can happen to our bananas on very cold delivery days, although we do our utmost to keep them warm by wrapping them in blankets – exposure to extreme cold even for a short period, may turn the bananas dark grey in colour.

To keep a bunch of bananas fresh for longer, wrap the stems in some plastic wrap. Re-cover the bananas with the wrap after removing one. This method prevents ethylene gas, produced naturally in the ripening process, from reaching other parts of the fruit and prematurely ripening it.

Fruit and vegetable storage

Store unripe fruit and veg like pears, peaches, plums, kiwis, mangoes, apricots, avocados, melons, and bananas in a basket or bowl on a clean dry surface.

Fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature should be removed from any packaging and left as loose as possible. Some items, like apricots and avocados, will ripen faster in a paper bag left out on the side!

Once ripe, you can store fruit and veg in the fridge – although it is wise to them apart in the fridge as ethylene gas will continue to ripen the fruit.

Produce such as peppers, grapes and berries  deteriorate much quicker than other fruit, so it’s a good idea to keep these refrigerated if they are not being eaten straight away.

Keep potatoes, onions, and tomatoes in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge. The cold will ruin their flavour.

Storing soft fruit such as strawberries!

Keep the berries cold and dry – if you wash them before storing, they are likely to turn mouldy quite quickly!  Arrange the berries (without washing or removing the stems) on a paper towel-lined tray and cover with plastic wrap; then refrigerate. Before eating or using them, wash the berries under cool water and then remove stems

What causes fruit to go bad?

Enzymes, which occur naturally in live fruits and vegetables are part of the natural aging process. Fruit and vegetables decompose from the moment they are harvested due to attacks from enzymes, oxidation and microorganisms.  Micro-organisms speed produce deterioration through structural decay.

The fruit that rots quickest are the softer fruits such as berries,  bananas, peaches, plums, kiwis, satsumas and clementines as well as tomatoes, kale, spinach, lettuce – to name but a few!

Get advice and recommendations by emailing our friendly team.