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why does fruit ripen faster in a paper bag

Placing fruit in a bag will help hasten the ripening for only a few fruits. Most fruits will not ripen (ever) once they have been picked. The only fruits that ripen once they're picked are bananas, avocados, pears, mango, and kiwifruit. Ripeness in fruits is based on sugar content, not color, thus most tomatoes in grocery stores have no flavor because they were picked green and exposed to ethylene gas to induce color change. Tomatoes are what are known as a "climacteric fruit" which means they'll change appearance based on climactic conditions but they don't ripen.


Yes, they continue to soften but that's simply the process of cell deterioration know as decomposition. Some fruits such as peaches, plums, etc. will seem to develop more sweetness as they sit on the counter but that's because they're also losing moisture and the residual sugars are concentrating in the cell walls. Placing fruit in a paper bag helps to concentrate the levels of ethylene gas which is what helps induce the ripening of the above mentioned fruits (bananas/avocados, etc. ). In fact, avocados and pears must be picked in order to ripen.


Pears that are left on the tree will simply rot. As mentioned previously. brown paper bags used to be something everyone had around their house so it was a commmon item before the switch to plastic bags. Have you ever noticed some people like red bell peppers and not green ones? The reason is due to.
When fruit is picked or when the weather signals it to begin ripening, it releases ethylene gas. This chemical causes the fruitвs cells to make all the changes involved with ripening: Chlorophyll is broken down, causing color changes; starches are converted into sugars, making the fruit sweet and less mealy; acids are broken down, causing it to taste less sour; and pectin is broken down, making it softer.


Putting the fruit in a loosely closed paper bag traps the ethylene gas inside and accelerates ripening. Donвt seal the bag too tightly or use a plastic bag, howeverвif you trap too much moisture, mold may grow. If you really want to ripen things in a hurry, put an apple in the bag with your other fruitвthey produce a lot of ethylene gas.

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