How to manage the contents of your fruitbowl

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

If you're someone who likes to do your weekly shop in one hit then it's worth knowing which fruits are climacteric and which are not. That way you can manage your fruit supply and make sure nothing is wasted at the end of the week.

Climacteric fruits will continue to ripen after being picked and can be stored for a good number of days without fear of spoilage. Examples of climacteric fruit include bananas, apples, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, figs, and pears. Each of these fruit will release a gaseous plant hormone known as ethylene during their ripening process. When ethylene is released into the environment by a ripening fruit the other climacteric fruits in the bowl will also start to ripen.

Most people are aware that if you pop a hard pear into a paper bag with a ripe banana it will ripen more quickly. The same is true of kiwi fruit and apple. Being larger, bananas probably have the greatest ripening impact because they have a larger surface area to release ethylene from.

Non climacteric fruits do most of their ripening on the plant therefore if they're picked too soon they will never taste that good.

With decades of experience passed down through the generations, your local greengrocer will ensure that any fresh non-climacteric fruit he buys from a local grower or wholesaler will be ripe, good tasting and great quality.

Climacteric Fruits
Apple, apricot,avocado, banana, blueberry, guava, papaya, peach, pear, plum,nectarine, rockmelon

Non-Climacteric Fruits
Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, mandarins and lemon, grapes, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon

The bottom line
Climacteric fruit such as apples, pears, kiwi and banana can be purchased and eaten later in the week after they ripen.
Non climacteric soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries should be eaten early in the week.
To speed up the ripening process and enjoy fruit mid week, place the unripe fruit in a paper bag with a banana.


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