BananaS, the ClimacteriC OneS

Citrus fruits, tropical fruits, drupes, berries, winter fruit, summer fruit, … We all know different types of fruit that we can frame in each of the four seasons of the year.

But what about climacteric fruits?

What are they? Do you know them?

The term “climacteric” may seem strange to most. However, another closely related word we all use is “ripening”. It is known that as a fruit ripens it becomes more edible or appetizing. Thanks to the process of ripening, its texture becomes softer, its aroma more pungent, its colors more vivid, its flavor more intense, … put briefly, the fruit reaches its optimum point to enjoy it. However, not all fruits ripen in the same way. Thus, for example, bananas can be classified as a climacteric fruit. And what is a “climacteric” fruit?.

Ripening provides the fruit to change its appearance, aroma and texture.

So, let us begin by explaining what ripening is. From a scientific point of view, ripening is a process in which a series of biochemical reactions are triggered. These reactions take place inside the fruit cells, causing changes in their sugar content, acidity, color, texture and aroma.

The sensorial quality of the fruit depends on all these biochemical events triggered inside it during the ripening stage.

But ripening does not behave the same way in all fruit. For this reason, according to the regulatory mechanisms underlying the ripening process, fruit can be classified in two groups:

Thanks to this division, you can make the most of each type of fruit. For instance, if you come across very green bananas in the supermarket, don’t worry. They will continue ripening once you get home, you will only need a few more days to enjoy them. And if you want to speed up the ripening process of other climacteric fruits, put them near a banana or an apple (you can even place them all together in a paper bag). The ethylene they release will soon make other fruits to reach their optimum ripening point.

Below you can find a list of fruits divided into these two groups: