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Coating slows banana ripening

23/08/2012 11:00:00 AM
AAP
By covering bananas with a special film made them ripen more slowly by reducing their ability to absorb oxygen, a study in China has shown
By covering bananas with a special film made them ripen more slowly by reducing their ability to absorb oxygen, a study in China has shown

Bananas can be kept fresh by blocking their breathing, a study has found.

Covering the fruit with a special film made them ripen more slowly by reducing their ability to absorb oxygen.

It also killed the bacteria that cause over-ripe bananas to rot.

The coating used was made from chitosan, a material derived from shrimp and crab shells.

Study leader Dr Xihong Li, from Tianjin University of Science and Technology in China, said: "We found that by spraying green bananas with a chitosan aerogel we can keep bananas fresh for up to 12 days.

"Once bananas begin to mature, they quickly become yellow and soft, and then they rot. We have developed a way to keep bananas green for a longer time and inhibit the rapid ripening that occurs.

"Such a coating could be used a home by consumers, in supermarkets or during shipment of bananas."

The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

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