A banana is a nutritious fruit loved for its bright yellow coloring, mellow taste and portability. You may be tempted to toss your bananas in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage when you find you have either purchased too many or have not eaten your supply fast enough. Refrigerating bananas will half the ripening process and cause the peel of the banana to turn black. Blackened bananas are fine to eat, but you and other members of your family may consider the color unappealing. You cannot completely stop a banana peel from going black, but you can retard the process.

Allow your bananas to ripen to your satisfaction. You can buy bananas in varying stages of ripeness, ranging from green to yellow with brown spots. Store bananas that are not fully ripe in a cool, dry place preferably on a banana hanger to protect the skin from bruising. Bananas produce a ripening agent called ethylene when stored at warm or room temperatures. Place an apple and a banana in a brown paper bag if your bananas are not ripening fast enough. Place a lightly water-moistened paper towel over the fruits and close the paper bag tightly. The apple will give off additional ethylene, causing the banana to ripen at a faster rate. Check the banana every 12 hours to ensure that it does not over-ripen. This process should take no more than 36 hours.

Store bananas in the refrigerator when they have fully ripened. Remember that once bananas are placed in a cool climate, the production of ethylene stops and the fruit of the banana will not continue to ripen. Lower temperatures also cause banana peels to darken. Place the bananas in a plastic bag and seal the bag tightly. Place the plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper. This will help your bananas maintain their yellow color for at least two or three more days.

Remove the bananas from the refrigerator when you’re ready to eat them. The fruit of the banana will not ripen after it has been refrigerated, but the texture may become noticeably different if not consumed within two or three hours of removal. It is best to eat the fruit immediately unless you prefer the different texture..

Tips

  • A ripe banana will maintain its level of ripeness in the refrigerator for seven days.

  • Some desserts, such as banana breads, taste best when prepared with bananas that are over-ripened, usually at room temperature.