Fruits form an essential part of your diet. They are packed with the goodness of nature and have vitamins and minerals which help the body in many ways. But it is most of the time seen that people make grave mistakes while picking up any fruit.
Always remember the fresh-picked ones are way better than any of those stale ones. Also, if you can get it directly from an orchard or farm, then it’s worth the score. Let us now check the various ways to pick up the ripe fruit.
Why Pick Fruits When They Are Ripe?
Eating ripe fruit has its share of benefits. Just imagine you have picked an unripe banana and savored it. And some days later, you eat a ripe banana. What did you see? Well, for starters, there is a significant difference in the taste of both.
While the unripe Banana has a tart flavor, the ripe one, on the other hand, is filled with sweetness. This happens mostly because ripeness adds to the flavor, texture, and above all, makes any fruit more appetizing. But there also comes a downside with the ripeness. As soon as the fruit ripens, it starts to spoil quickly.
Let us now take a look at the ripening of the fruit.
How Do Ripe Fruits Look?
Fruits that have ripened timely have a different look and taste than the others. Because of the natural process that takes place, fruits that become ripe taste sweeter, look brighter, and smell sweeter than the un-ripened ones.
Most people do not know that the color change in the fruits is due to the breakdown of chlorophyll. As the coloring pigment starts to disintegrate, other chemicals such as anthocyanine and carotenoids accumulate.
When it comes down to the sweetness part of the fruit, starch plays a key role. The accumulated starch in the fruits gradually breaks down into glucose and fructose. This process also leads to the cell walls breaking down, giving rise to softness in the fruit.
Another thing to note is that fruits can be bifurcated into two parts. The first category belongs to those which continue ripening after being plucked or won’t. Fruits like apples, bananas, apricots, plums, and blueberries fall into this category. These types of fruits are also called climacteric fruits.
However, the second category includes citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, strawberries, grapes, and pineapple.
What Role Does Ethylene Play?
Ethylene is usually a gas that is found in all fruits. The gas acts as a plant hormone and helps to fasten up the process of ripening. The majority of climatic fruits have a burst of ethylene in them. One of the best examples is Banana. The reason why Banana tends to get spoiled easily is due to the presence of ethylene.
But that does not mean non-climatic fruits like oranges and lemons don’t produce ethylene. The hormone is present there also but not in substantial quantity. However, one thing to note here is that non-climatic fruits can ripen quickly when they are surrounded by fruits that produce ethylene.
Another thing to note here is that since ethylene works as a catalyst for ripening fruits, one thing to do is lower the levels to stop the process.
How to Delay The Ripening Of The Fruit?
One of the first steps to delay the ripening of the fruit is by plucking it at the right time. Always remember when the concentration of the ethylene reaches the tipping point, and then nothing can be done.
So, try to pluck fruits before it starts ripening to prevent it from spoiling. Apart from this, there are other ways also to stop the ripening of the fruit. And that is preserving it in cold storage. Cold storage is noted for being quite low in temperature.
Thus, when we store fruit in these places, the minimum temperature act as a barrier and slows down the fruit’s reactions. You won’t believe it, but the whole process of preserving fruits in low temperatures has been there since the 1800s.
Earlier, when the import and export took place through the sea route, barrels of fruits such as apples, pears, and apricots were kept in chilly barrels to prevent ripening. There is another method also which can help delay the ripening of the fruit.
This includes keeping the oxygen level at a bare minimum level of 2%. Fruits need oxygen to produce ethylene. Thus, lowering down the levels will delay the process to a certain extent.
Other methods followed are:
- Using the materials such as potassium permanganate and methyl-cyclo-propene, which absorb ethylene from the air.
General Tips To Follow While Picking Ripe Fruit
Fruits today are an essential part of everyone’s diet. Thus, whenever you are at the supermarket selecting ripe fruits, here are some of the tips to follow:
- First and foremost, check the color of the fruits. For example, oranges shall be orange, and apples shall be red, and so on.
- Squeeze and check. For fruits like apples, firmness is a test to pass, while oranges and peaches should not be firm.
- Check for stems, smell, and also check for the luster in appearance.
Always remember that fruits that we get today in the market shall be tested before bringing them to homes. Only then can we savor their natural taste.
Irrespective of what people say, the bottom line says that eating fruits always is beneficial to health. But going by today’s standards, it has become challenging to get hands-on the best variety of fruits.
Thus, this blog above is like a guide to all those who do not know what a ripe fruit looks like. Go through all the points mentioned and get a brief idea as to how you can prevent fruits from spoiling. So, next time you go fruit shopping, you already know the dos and donts’ which will help you pick the right products easily. Hence, give this article a read before picking the perfect ripe fruit.