Relating Ethylene Production and Banana Ripeness


  • Hugh Lam


Does fruit ripeness have an effect on the amount of ethylene produced? In this
experiment, ethylene production between unripe and ripe bananas was investigated by looking
at the ripening speeds of tomatoes exposed to them. Ripening, a process that affects color and
texture in fruit over time (Alexander, 2002) is promoted by ethylene, a natural gas produced by
fruits (Khan, 2017). Ripening speeds were measured through the percentage of red color in the
tomatoes over a two-week period, with the hypothesis stating that if unripe bananas produce
more ethylene than ripe bananas, then there will be a greater change in red color percentage in
the tomatoes over a two-week period. Statistical tests showed that there was no difference in
the means of red color percentage between the tomatoes paired with unripe or ripe bananas,
and therefore, there was insufficient evidence to suggest a difference in the amount of ethylene
produced by unripe and ripe bananas.