Peeling banana

It is impossible to peel the skin of a plantain fruit when it is raw but the same can be done very easily when fully ripe. Why ?

C. GEORGE VARGHESE,

Thrissur, Kerala

Fruits are classified into two groups. One, climatric and other, non-climatric.

Climatric types are those that ripen even after harvest, for example, banana. The non-climatric types do not ripen after harvest, for example, grapes.

The climatric fruits like banana need an external assistance for ripening them. Scientifically after harvest ethylene gas is used in godowns to hasten banana ripening. While on the plant ethylene hormone is released naturally by the plant to ripen the fruit.

Raw banana fruit is firm and not peelable since the cell cementing material is made of non soluble calcium pectin. On ripening the non soluble pectin will become soluble and hence the softness. Similar, before ripening the “starch” a complex sugar will transform into simple sugars on ripening thus creating inter cellular void which makes peeling easier.

DR. T.N. BALAMOHAN

Special Officer & CPI NAIP (Mango and Guava)& e-course

Horticultural College & Research Institute for Women

Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu