Bananaology: Keeping Your Bananas Fresh the Scientific Way!


Introduction: Bananaology: Keeping Your Bananas Fresh the Scientific Way!

Buying in bulk has been one of the best ways to save money, but keeping all those bananas fresh is very challenging. You may have

read online about ways to preserve your bananas, but which way is the best? In this instructable I compared 3 methods of preserving

bananas: refrigeration, putting plastic wrap on the stem, and a banana tree. I predicted that the plastic wrap would work the best

because it stops the ripening chemical from reaching the rest of the banana. I used two bananas for each method - in case one

was bad to begin with (to get the best results). This test was conducted over a 7 day period. NOTE (The bananas were taken before

they were ripe, which may affect results on the refrigeration method)

Step 1: The Overall Results

The plastic wrap (banana 2) was the most effective of the three. The banana tree was the next effective (banana 1) and refrigeration

(banana 3) was the worst. To properly use the plastic wrap method, wrap the stem of the banana in plastic wrap (the stem

releases ripening chemicals to the rest of the banana, this will slow this down). 

Step 2: Refridgerator Style

This style was very ineffective because with storing the banana in the produce drawer it was bruised by the weight of the other produce and seemed to bruise much more easily. Either way this way was the least affective of the 3 and I would NOT recommend this method.

Step 3: Banana Tree Style

This method is very simple and just requires a banana tree. The bananas must be in at least a pair to hang on this tree though. This method worked pretty well, but the plastic wrap method worked the best.

Step 4: Plastic Wrapped

This method worked the best of all the three. The plastic wrap around the stem slowed the ripening chemical from spreading to the

rest of the banana slowing down the ripening time. This method is also very convenient because you can do this with a single

banana - unlike the banana tree, which requires a pair of bananas to work. I would absolutely recommend this method to anyone

who likes to keep their bananas fresh longer!



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    I'm surprised that you didn't include green bags, such as Debbie Meyer Green Bags or Evert-Fresh Green Bags in your test. These bags contain zeolite, which absorbs ethylene gas. They really do work well on all fruits and veggies that produce ethylene gas as a natural ripening process.

    I am not sure where you heard that the stem releases the hormone, that is news to me and not mentioned in all the other references I have to hand. In fact Wikipedia states that all parts of a plant release the hormone.
    Might I suggest that your results reflect too small a sample size with only one(?) banana used for each condition.
    Back in the 80's I worked on a research project developing a means of protecting bananas and other produce from over ripening. The hormone that is released is a gas, ethylene. The quickest way to increase ripening is to enclose the fruit in anything that will slow the dispersion of the ethylene. Low temperatures slow the evolution of the gas and it's reaction with the fruit, but the small portion of ethylene that is released in the cold tends to stay within the cell walls and quickly damages the fruit as the temperature is raised.
    Something that chemically absorbs the ethylene is best, particularly when combined with separation of the fruit and some means of forcing the ethylene to the ethylene absorbent. This could be as simple as a small exhaust fan and/or potassium permanganate mixed with sodium hydrogen sulphate as used in commercial ethylene absorber pellets.

    1 reply

    So you're saying we need an exhaust fan enclosure for bananas, preferably solar-powered to keep the project green and the bananas yellowish...?

    @usefuluses, I appreciate you testing banana preservation methods. The world must know, and traffic is unusually high for everyday item mythbusting.

    Refrigerated bananas skins turn dark, and look bruised. But the fruit inside is still good!

    1 reply

    Refrigerating the bananas has always worked the best for me also. I avoid putting anything on top of them, and although the skin turns dark, the banana within is still firm and tasty.

    I have tried the plastic wrap and it does work. thank you.

    Thanks for the info, I will try it.