Bananas are regarded by many as a superfood thanks to their nutritional status and portable shape, but they do have some pitfalls.
Not only is the soft skin easily bruised, but also prone to ripening at a rapid rate – often before there’s time to enjoy them.
While it can feel like there’s no time between the fruit turning from green to brown, one expert has revealed a simple fix to preserve their perfectly yellow colour for more than a week.
Speaking previously to Express.co.uk, Gary Ellis, director at CE Safety claimed that it all comes down to a simple food storage hack.
He said: “Where you should store your bananas to stop them going prematurely brown has always been a hot topic of conversation.
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“Bananas emitting ethylene gas is what turns them brown, so in theory to keep them ripe, you should prevent the gas from travelling down and around the fruit.
“One key rule with bananas is to keep them away from other produce.”
The expert explained that when bananas are stored near other fruits that release an excess of ethylene gas, it rapidly speeds up the rate at which they fade from yellow to brown.
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This includes fruits such as peaches, tomatoes, avocados, figs and apples, all of which should be kept well clear of bananas – unless the goal is to quickly ripen them up.
One way to separate them is to hang the yellow fruits up which encourages ethylene gas to move away as the air circulates.
However, the fruit bowl is the last place this should be done, according to Gary. He said: “Fruit bowls with banana hangers over the top of them may look pretty, but these are just going to make your bananas ripen faster as they are near other fruits.”
Buying a separate fruit bowl with hanging space is one solution to this problem, but small hooks under kitchen cabinets will also work.
Gary said: “If you can separate bananas up, this will also help as the ethylene gas can spread from one to another. You can also use cling film on the end of your bananas once separate to slow down the ripening process.
“This will keep them fresher for longer as it traps the ethylene gas at the top of the fruit where it emits from rather than letting it spread and exposing the other bananas to the gas.”
They can also be placed in the fridge to extend the shelf life even further, but this should be done “as soon as they’re at your perfect ripeness”, according to the CE Safety director.
He added: “If you put them in too soon, they’ll stay very green. Too late and they will turn brown and mushy.”
A banana bought green, turning yellow, and then brown can take between a week and two weeks, depending on what storage methods are used.
So if a banana starts to ripen around day five, it will be perfectly ripe around day seven, before being placed in the fridge for a few days.
Using Gary’s expert method, the fruit should remain as fresh as possible for around 10 days.
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