Why Do Green Bananas Turn Yellow When They Ripen

Main image of an article on why bananas change color from green to yellow.

Why does a banana look yellow? The peel is initially green because it is rich in chlorophyll, an important component of photosynthesis that also has antioxidant properties (Müller & Kräutler, 2010).

During ripening, the chlorophyll in the banana peel is converted into other, less colorful pigments. This produces carotenoids such as lutein (yellowish color).

Video: Facts About Bananas

Why Does a Banana Look Yellow

The ripe banana gets this yellowish color due to the aging of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the substance responsible for photosynthesis.

Before ripening, the banana has a green color because the chlorophyll is still very young and the fruit is still connected to the stem or has many resources to perform its metabolic activities.

After some time, its color changes.

The same phenomenon occurs with tree leaves in autumn. Also, with various other fruits such as avocados and pears that change color.

It is important to remember that bananas are green in their immature state. Once bananas harvested, they begin an accelerated process of cellular respiration. This process is necessary for the complex sugar, which is starch, to be converted into simpler sugars.

Facts About Bananas

The banana is one of the most common products and can be found in the fruit bowls of most households. It is one of the first foods that man began to eat, and because of its richness, it is widespread throughout the world. It is not only used as a dessert, but is often an ingredient for cooking.

  • There are many types of bananas, and some of them are inedible.
  • The most consumed varieties in the world are those of the Cavendish group, which are also the most widely grown.
  • Originally, bananas were not yellow, they were green and then red. Yellow bananas are derived from a species discovered in 1836.
  • Although they look dry and firm, bananas are made up of 75% water.
  • There are over 300 species of bananas that are grown in over 100 countries.
  • Bananas are harvested green and stiff. They ripen in special chambers containing ethylene.
  • An average banana weighs about 100 grams.
  • When bananas ripen, the starch turns into sugar, so ripe bananas are sweeter.
  • Banana plants produce bananas all year round.

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