Fruit Ripening Plants

Fruit Ripening Technologies

Ripening is the process by which fruits attain their desirable flavour, quality, colour and other textural properties. On the basis of ripening behavior, fruits are classified as:

Climacteric : Climacteric fruits are defined as fruits that enter ‘climacteric phase’ after harvest i.e. they continue to ripen. During the ripening process the fruits emit ethylene along with increased rate of respiration. Ripe fruits are soft and delicate and generally cannot withstand rigours of transport and repeated handling. These fruits are harvested hard and green, but fully mature, and are ripened near consumption areas. Small dose of ethylene is used to induce ripening process under controlled conditions of temperature and humidity.

Climacteric fruits are:

*Mango *Banana *Papaya
*Guava *Sapota *Kiwi
*Fig *Apple *Passion fruit
*Apricot *Plum *Pear

The above fruits can also be ripened in plants similar to banana ripening plants. These fruits, in fully ripe state, are too delicate to withstand transportation over long distances and should preferably be ripened near the consumption area.

Non-Climacteric: Non-climacteric fruits once harvested do not ripen further. Non-climacteric fruits produce very small amount of ethylene and do not respond to ethylene treatment. There is no characteristic increased rate of respiration or production of carbon dioxide.

Non-climacteric fruits are:

*Orange *Mousambi *Kinnow
*Grapefruit *Grapes *Pomegranate
*Lichi *Watermelon *Cherry
*Raspberry *Blackberry *Strawberry

In order to improve external skin colour and market acceptance, citrus like orange, lemon, mousambi and kinnow can be treated with ethylene, as a de-greening agent. Ethylene treatment breaks down the green chlorophyll pigment in the exterior part of the peel and allows the yellow or orange carotenoid pigments to be
expressed.