AbstractStudies were conducted to determine the optimum conditions under which to ripen the Montecristo bananas grown in Puerto Rico to obtain fruit of high quality for the fresh market and for processing. When harvested at a thin grade like "three-quarters" the fruit generally ripens unevenly or may not ripen at all. The fruit must be harvested at a more developed stage like "light three-quarters" or "full three-quarters". The following ripening treatment gave the best results: The fruit is placed in the ripening room as soon after harvest as possible. The room controls are set to 68° F. and 95 percent relative humidity, and the fruit cooled to a pulp temperature of 68° F., which, in a room with adequate refrigeration capacity, takes about 12 to 24 hours. Two dosages of ethylene at the rate of 1 cubic foot per 1,000 cubic feet of room volume are applied within a period of 2 hours keeping the room tightly closed. The next day after the ethylene application, the room is ventilated for about 15 minutes, after turning, the temperature is lowered to 66° F. and 85 percent relative humidity, ventilating every day as previously indicated until cutting color is reached. The fruit ripens to color 4 in about 6 days. Higher ripening temperatures resulted in excessive finger drop after the fruit was removed from the ripening rooms. The ripening behavior of the bananas was found to vary with the time of the year when harvested and with the geographical zone in which they were produced. Fruit produced on the Southern Coast of Puerto Rico ripened uniformly the year around, while fruit produced in the Mountainous Area was more difficult to ripen, particularly during the winter months. Data are given on the changes in carbohydrates, moisture, acidity, and pH, which take place during ripening of the Montecristo bananas.
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