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Ethylene Producing Foods

Topics:

  • Food spoiling too quickly
  • Where to store fruits and vegetables?
  • What foods are ethylene producing?
  • What foods are ethylene sensitive?
  • What is ethylene?

Answer:

Some fruits and vegetables will produce ethylene, a gas that initiates the ripening process:

  •  Ethylene can cause premature ripening in some foods, while in others it can actually cause damage.
  • To reduce unnecessary spoilage of your produce, do not store ethylene producing fruits and vegetables with those that are sensitive to it. For an example from the lists below, storing ethylene-producing apples with ethylene-sensitive peppers can cause the peppers to overripen or spoil.

Note that not all fruits and vegetables produce significant amounts of ethylene, nor is all produce sensitive to it.

  • Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, for example, do not produce much ethylene and are relatively hardy to it.

ETHYLENE PRODUCING FOODS:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Ripening bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherimoya
  • Figs
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mamey sapote
  • Mangoes
  • Mangosteen
  • Nectarine
  • Papayas
  • Passion fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Plantains
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Quince
  • Tomatoes

ETHYLENE SENSITIVE FOODS

  • Unripe bananas
  • Green beans
  • Belgian endive
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Leafy greens
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watercress
  • Watermelon

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