Storage & Packaging
Bananas are sensitive to chilling injury when exposed to temperatures below 56°F, even if only for a few hours. Failure to ripen and discoloration of the peel can result, though severity depends on cultivar, maturity, temperature, and the length of exposure.
Mature green bananas can last up to six weeks in controlled atmospheres. Artificially ripened fruit is sweeter than bananas left to ripen on their own at room temperature.
References: American Phytopathological Society, Banana Link, Purdue University, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center.
• Bananas are commercially packed as fingers, clusters, hands, or a combination: a finger is one; a cluster is at least two but not more than seven; a hand is eight or more fingers attached to the crown
• Length is measured along the line of a finger’s outer curve from blossom end to the end of pulp
• If inspectors suspect chilling damage, small exploratory cuts are made lengthwise beneath the peel: any dead cells will give the peel a characteristic smoky or dull appearance after ripening.
Source: Tom Yawman, International Produce Training, www.ipt.us.com.