Keep bananas ripe for longer by storing them at this exact temperature

Bananas are a staple in many people’s food shopping lists, yet few know the proper way to store when home.

There are so many out there that suggest gadgets or single-use plastics, but one expert has an entirely free alternative.

Dr Jeffrey Brecht is a Postharvest Physiologist, an expert who is knowledgeable in the longevity of a crop from harvest to the time of use or deterioration, at the University of Florida.

Sharing his advice with Best Food Facts, the fruits and vegetables expert revealed the best way to “properly store bananas to maintain freshness”.

Interestingly, his suggestion was to focus on temperature rather than savvy storage solutions.

He explained that picking out the best bunch of bananas is never easy, but keeping them fresh at home is actually very simple – and it doesn’t involve putting them in the fridge.

Dr Brecht said: “Compared to keeping bananas on an open kitchen counter, placing the fruit in a cool place (not less than about 58F though) will slow ripening and allow them to last longer.”

That’s equivalent to around 14C, which is lower than the average temperature of most kitchens. According to Vaillant, the ideal room temperature of a kitchen is 18-20C.

To maintain a consistently cool environment for bananas, it’s best to keep them well away from direct sunlight and cooking appliances.

Aim for a spot on the kitchen counter that’s a good distance from the toaster, oven, kettle, microwave or air fryer, and tucked out of sight from a window. A cool cupboard or pantry shelf may be a better option, as long as it is dry and cool.

Jeffrey added: “It’s also possible to keep bananas in a plastic bag that restricts diffusion of respiratory gases and creates a modified atmosphere, but that can be a little risky to try on your own due to the possibility that the atmosphere will become too extreme and trigger fermentation.”

The food expert did recommend a certain kind of bag for those interested in trying this method, specifically the Breatheway Clearly Fresh bags, which are available as large case liners, pallet bags, or pouch bags for everyday use.

Bananas, like most fruits, react with ethylene, an airborne hormone, which jumpstarts the ripening process.

According to Jeffry, the acids start to break down when a fruit comes in contact with this gas. He noted that one of the reasons that bananas ripen so quickly is that they create a larger amount of ethylene than most fruits.

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