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Why do bananas bruise so quickly?

It all stems from the stem. 11Alive's Why Guy Jerry Carnes explains.

ATLANTA — ATLANTA—The bananas you bought yesterday are full of bruises today, leaving you wondering why they spoil so quickly.

In this “get up and go” world, there’s nothing like grabbing a banana for breakfast as you dash out of the door. Rarely do you make it through the entire bunch before they go bad.

Bananas are among the fruits that continue to ripen after they’re picked. Peaches and pears are a couple of other examples.

They continue to ripen by releasing ethylene gas.

Any wounds on the fruit will increase the amount of ethylene and speed the ripening process. The act of picking fruit from the tree will create wounds.

That’s where we find a major difference between bananas and other fruits.

“When apples or pears are picked that stem is a very small area,” says food expert Nancy Waldeck of Tasteandsavor.com. “When they pull the bananas off the tree they have a large wound. The more damage there is the more ethylene is released.”

Bigger wounds, more ethylene gas, and a faster trip from ripe to rotten.

We keep bananas by the bunch, so when they bang around against each other it causes even more damage.

There are banana stands that reduce the conflict.

“Keeping them separate on a hanger will help you keep them a bit longer,” says Waldeck.

Covering the wound at the top of the bunch will help.


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