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Why do bananas go brown?

Why do bananas go brown?

Everyone knows how it is: you have just bought some lovely yellow bananas yet just a short time later they have dark spots on them. But why do bananas go brown and are brown bananas still edible?

Brown bananas a sign of ripeness

Bananas are one of those fruits that continue to ripen after they are harvested. This is because they contain the plant hormone ethylene, which is produced by the banana itself. As a result, the ripening process is accelerated and the fruit goes brown. Small brown spots on the skin of the fruit indicate that the banana is ripe. The banana flesh itself can also have brown spots. These occur mostly through bruises if the fruit is extremely ripe.

Storage is also a factor

If a banana comes into contact with another fruit that also releases a lot of ethylene, it produces even more of the hormone. If bananas are stored beside apples or tomatoes, for example, they ripen faster. Bananas also produce stress-related ethylene in a cold environment. They should therefore not be stored in the fridge, as they also go brown faster there. A dark, dry location is perfect.

Can you still eat brown bananas?

Brown spots on bananas are a typical sign of ripeness. The starch in the fruit has been converted to sugar and as a result the bananas taste sweeter and more aromatic. Ripe bananas can therefore deliver energy quickly to the body and are particularly easy to digest.

Even if bananas have a few brown spots on the skin or the flesh, they are still definitely edible. The brown parts can simply be cut off. Alternatively, very ripe bananas also make great smoothies or homemade banana ice cream.

By the way, if you don’t want to eat your bananas straight away but want to prepare something else with them, you can sprinkle them with lemon or lime juice to prevent discolouration caused by the air.

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