Ripening Rooms

Banana ripening rooms prepare the green fruit for sale to consumers, but if the fruit is dry, cracks and spotting occur all too often. Ethylene treatment itself also dries out the fruit, reducing quality. And once ripening begins, the race to the consumer is won.

Major banana handlers recommend 95% relative humidity for the ripening room. High humidity improves quality by adding moisture to the fruit, reduces cracking and bruising, and slows down the ripening process to extend shelf life.
The Smart Fog Fogger and HumiSense Humidistat provide and control 95-98% RH in ripening rooms, reliably and with low maintenance.

The Smart Fog Fogger increases humidity to 95-98% RH without wetting the fruit. The banana skin actually absorbs the humidity in the air keeps the fruit inside moist. The ripening process is extended over a longer period of time, with higher quality fruit as a result.
The Smart Fog Fogger System uses micro droplets of water to produce a true “dry fog” that evaporates into the air before it reaches the ground.
The HumiSense Humidistat uses fiber-optical technology to constantly sense the RH, up to 98%, and turns the fogger on and off. Other humidity meters become saturated over 90% RH. Only the HumiSense can provide reliable control at this high humidity level.
The fogger system can be installed in rooms with a plenum, or in open circulation rooms, for storage in packs or in bulk. The system adds water vapor to the air, reducing the transpiration rate of the fruit. The fruit, and the ripening room, remain dry.

Slower ripening means longer shelf life.
Longer shelf life means less loss.
High Humidity prevents brown spots on the fruit.
Flesh remains firm.
Bruising is reduced.
Higher quality fruit for higher prices.
Easy Installation and low maintenance.

At Zemach Growers at the Sea of Galliee, cold store operator Itzhak Itzhaki says ” The extra humidity has made all the difference in our ripening process. The quality of all the fruit has improved dramatically. Apart from fruit picked in our driest season, we no longer have to take the risk of ruined shipments. We can add humidity and be sure the ripened fruit arrives in top condition to the supermarkets. The system is not cheap – but by saving the cost of ruined truckloads of bananas, there is no doubt that it pays off.”

Chiquita Brands Inc. and the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service sponsored research to re-examine banana ripening practices in 1995. The research recommendation:
“We feel that the best humidity recommendation for bananas after transport is to keep the fruit at a constant high humidity of 95% RH, particularly during the ripening cycle. It does not appear that a brief period of lower humidity before gassing causes a decline in quality, as long as ripening humidity is high. High humidity may delay ripening slightly, but the advantage of reduced scarring outweighs this small delay. From our studies, it does not seem necessary to reduce humidity during ripening to avoid disease problems, and this practice may be detrimental to overall fruit quality.”
– from “High Relative Humidity after Ethylene Gassing is Important to Banana Fruit Quality” , Sylvia Blankenship and Robert W. Herdeman; HortTechnology Apr/June 1995.

For the full research report and more information on ripening rooms, please contact us.