Banana Ripening Tips

  1. Read and follow the suggested operating instructions for the Catalytic Generator you are using.
  2. Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate is a specially formulated liquid for use with our generators. The generator converts the Ethy-Gen® II to ethylene which triggers the bananas to start producing their own ethylene. This is a natural ripening process. Ethy-Gen® II will not ripen bananas without ethylene and the use of other liquids may cause expensive repairs to the generator.
  3. Ripening rooms are very important, not just any room will suffice. A proper ripening room must have the following:
    1. The room must be as air tight as possible to prevent too much of the ethylene from leaking out.
    2. The room must be properly insulated to be able to control the temperature within a few degrees.
    3. The room must have adequate refrigeration. Bananas produce large quantities of heat when they are ripening. The refrigeration equipment must have the capacity to accurately control the pulp temperature.
    4. The room may need heating equipment in order to maintain proper room temperature in cold weather. Electric heating elements have proven the most satisfactory and are often a part of the cooling system. Open flame type heating should never be used.
    5. The room must have adequate air circulation. Because uniform pulp temperatures throughout the load are essential for even ripening, the refrigerated air in the room must circulate at all times and uniformly throughout the load. The room should be constructed so that the air flow path from the cooler, through the load and back to the cooler is unobstructed. Proper air flow patterns are of the utmost importance.
    6. The boxes of bananas should be «air stacked». That is, the boxes should be offset to allow the air to circulate among all the boxes. If the room is designed for «solid stack» palletized ripening, there is no need to air stack.
  4. Avoid «chilling» or «cooking» the fruit. Bananas are very sensitive to temperatures. Chilling will occur if the fruit is subject to temperatures below 56° F. for several hours. It causes the peel to have a smoky, dull gray appearance. This may not show up for 18 to 24 hours after chilling occurs. Cooked bananas result from excessively high temperatures. The peel will have a brown to orange appearance. The fruit may be soft and have a short shelf life.
  5. Maintain proper humidity levels. For best ripening results, humidity should be 85 to 95%. If the humidity is too low, install a humidifier; wetting the floor of the room with water may increase the humidity but may cause sanitation issues.
  6. Apply ethylene for a minimum of 24 hours during the initial phase of the ripening cycle. We recommend 100-150 PPM. To achieve this, the generator setting will depend on the size of the ripening room.
    • Setting 1 for rooms 1500 — 2500 cubic feet.
    • Setting 2 for rooms 2500 — 5000 cubic feet.
    • Setting 3 for rooms 5000 — 7500 cubic feet.
    • Setting 4 for rooms 7500 — 10000+ cubic feet.

    Please note that all rooms vary in terms of how air-tight they are, so if more precise PPM determination is required, air testing for ethylene PPM levels is recommended.

    Note: If using a Sure-Ripe® generator, this unit will convert 1 US quart of Ethy-Gen® II to ethylene in approximately 16-20 hours. This will be enough ethylene for 1 ripening cycle depending on the size and condition of the room.DO NOT use any of our generators in rooms of less than 1500 cubic feet.

  7. Follow the «Suggested Guide for Banana Ripening» chart. Note that the temperatures given are pulp temperatures and not room temperatures.banana-chart
  8. When bananas are ripening, they release carbon dioxide which will build up in a ripening room; concentrations above 1% will retard ripening. Therefore, it is recommended to vent rooms by opening the doors for 20 minutes every 12 hours, after the first 24 hours of ripening. Other venting methods are by automatic fan (either timed or sensor-based) or «flow-though» (constant) ventilation.
  9. Bananas bruise easily, green or ripe. Careful handling at all stages will reduce bruising and enable you to sell the bananas for more money.
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