A fruit basket or a fruit bowl always looks great, plus it’s a good way to go the healthier route. But should you have a basket full of ripe fruits, especially if it has bananas?
You may store bananas with other fruits if you want to ripen them faster. If not, do not store them with or close to bananas. Bananas produce moderate levels of ethylene gas which can speed up ripening. They also have a strong smell so keep a distance from other fruits.
What are these fruits that you shouldn’t store with bananas? Read on to find out!
How Far Away Should Bananas Be from Other Fruit?
Eating a variety of fruits is always a great idea. But, when we have them on hand and want to eat them anytime, should we store them together?
It depends on the type of fruit. Bananas are notorious for causing other fruits that are near them to ripen faster than they will if stored alone. Bananas should, therefore, be stored away from some fruits if you don’t want them to ripen fast, and close if you want them to.
Some fruits produce a gas called ethylene gas when they convert oxygen and sugar into carbon dioxide, water, and energy — a process called respiration.
Bananas are one of these fruits that produce a substantial amount of ethylene gas (source: USDA). In bananas, the ethylene gas will convert the starch in bananas into simple sugars, particularly sucrose (source: Frontiers in Plant Science).
The ethylene gas produced by bananas is moderate but they’re potent. Some fruits like pears, apples, and melons are very sensitive to it, where they can ripen pretty fast (source: Science Focus).
For this reason, if you have bananas and other fruits in a fruit bowl, the bananas will make the other fruits ripen faster.
If you want them to ripen fast, then you can keep them as is. However, if you don’t, just take out the bananas from the basket. Do the same for apples, pears, cantaloupe, avocados, mangoes, kiwis, and stone fruits.
These fruits are called climacteric. They are affected by the presence of ethylene gas and produce more themselves (source: Washington Post). If you have any or some of these fruits in a basket or stored close together on the counter, they will basically ripen each other up.
The smell of bananas is quite strong (source: Boston Magazine). It would be best not to store it close to apples and grapes.
Types of Fruit and Veg when Stored with Bananas
Here we will discuss whether a fruit or vegetable can be stored with bananas when it comes to exposure to ethylene and absorption of smell when applicable:
Oranges aren’t that reactive to ethylene gas so you can store them safely with bananas (sources: Business Insider).
Apples are both ethylene gas producers and reactors. Whenever there is ethylene gas present, apples can ripen and produce their own ethylene gas themselves as explained above. Moreover, apples can absorb strong odors as well.
When stored with bananas, they will ripen each other up, as well as absorb each other’s odors. Storing them together is not recommended because fruits that produce ethylene should not be stored together (source: Washington Post)
Bananas are also pungent so apples might absorb more of the banana smell.
Lemons and Limes
Lemons are unclear because they are said to be sensitive to fruits that produce ethylene gas and are best stored away from bananas. Another source points out that they are not sensitive and are safe to be stored with bananas (sources: Live Strong, Business Insider).
Avocados, like apples, are climacteric. They react and ripen to the presence of ethylene gas and produce it themselves to trigger further ripening. Avocados and bananas are not recommended to be stored together.
Tomatoes produce pretty high levels of ethylene gas and therefore should not be stored with bananas unless you want them to ripen fast.
Like tomatoes, onions are pretty up on the list of ethylene gas producers. If you want the bananas you have to ripen faster, you can store them close to onions.
Potatoes don’t react much to ethylene gas so you can store them with bananas. Sweet potatoes, however, are sensitive to ethylene and therefore shouldn’t be stored with bananas.
Other fruits and vegetables that can be safe to be stored with bananas are pineapples, berries, grapefruit, blueberries, and garlic because they are not sensitive to ethylene gas.
However, bananas might absorb the smell of garlic because garlic is pungent, and bananas can absorb smell pretty easily.
The point is that if you want to ripen fruits, you may go ahead and store them with bananas. If not, store them away or not close to bananas.
Storing fruits or vegetables with bananas is not necessarily a bad thing depending on your goal whether you want them to ripen fast or not. May this article serve as a good guide!