Did you know that it takes about 2 weeks for bananas to reach your local supermarket after they have been harvested? The two weeks wait gives this tropical fruit enough time to ripen. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for overly ripe bananas to reach your grocer too. This is the reason why you need to keep an eye out for a bad batch. Does banana go bad?
As with all fruits, bananas will go bad at some point. Bananas have a relatively long shelf life provided that they’ve been stored in an unripe state. Ripe bananas have a short shelf life and once rot set in, the flavor of the fruit is forever altered. It is also worth noting that the shelf life of banana will depend on the storage conditions.
Image used under Creative Commons from =ChevalieR=
Since bananas are quite soft, they have high water content. This increases the likelihood of decay once the fruits have been left sitting at room temperature for long. This fruit is often sold in bunches so having leftovers isn’t all that uncommon. Storing this fruit properly is key to maximizing your supply.
How to Store Banana?
The best way to store unripe bananas or bananas that are about to ripen is to keep the fruits in the pantry. Ripe bananas that you have no plans of eating anytime soon could be kept in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life. Check out below to learn the best way to store bananas:
Storing Bananas in the Pantry
Buying green or unripe bananas is best if you have no plans of consuming the fruit right away. Again, there is a two-week wait before this fruit reaches the supermarket so buying unripe bananas ensures zero nasty surprises!
You can place the banana either on the counter or in a fruit bowl. Just set the bananas in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Leave the fruit to ripen slowly. On the other hand, if you are in a hurry to ripen the bananas, we recommend placing the fruit in a brown paper bag.
Fold the opening of the bag to trap the ethylene gas that the fruits emit. This gas is responsible for the ripening process of fruits. Within a few days, the bananas should be perfectly ripe! You can extend the shelf life of bananas at room temperature by wrapping the stems of the bunch with cling wrap.
Storing Bananas in the Refrigerator
This method is best for ripe bananas or bananas that are about to be over-ripe. Cold temperature slows down the ripening process. By chilling the bananas, the ripening process is delayed. This means you have more time to consume the fruit before it starts going bad.
There is no extra step when storing the bananas in the fridge. Just place the fruit at the back of the fridge and you are done. Never store unripe bananas in the fridge, the chilly temperature will inhibit the fruits from ripening fully so they won’t be as sweet.
Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart
Shelf Life of Bananas
Green or unripe bananas should keep in the pantry for a week. Once the bananas ripen, they will keep fresh for another week. Storing ripe bananas in the fridge should extend the fruits’ shelf life to 3 to 4 months. Refrigeration will cause the banana’s skin to darken. This does not mean the fruit is no longer usable. The banana skin will oxidize but this will not affect the flesh of the fruit.
How to Tell if Banana Has Gone Bad?
When fully ripe, bananas have a firm flesh and bright yellow peel. As the bananas over-ripen, brown spots will start developing on the peel. The once-firm flesh will start turning mushy and brown. The fruit will leak liquid as it turns mushy, which leads to mold growth. The flavor of an overripe banana is also different; it has a funky odor and a weird mouthfeel.
Storing bananas is so easy but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it! Does banana go bad? It will go bad if you didn’t keep these storage tips in mind. Maximizing your favorite fruit is easy as long as you know the basics.