Banana Information, Handling, & Varieties

The Banana Ripening Process

Bananas are harvested green and begin ripening as soon as the banana stem is cut from the plant.

Chiquita classifies banana ripeness into five peel color stages:

  • Green
  • Yellow with Green Tips
  • Yellow
  • Yellow with Brown Flecks
  • Brown

As the banana ripens, its starch converts to sugar. The riper the banana, the creamier and sweeter it tastes.

Find recipe ideas for each stage of banana ripeness.

Chiquita Banana Ripening & Storage Tips

Most people like their bananas when the peel is yellow or yellow with brown flecks.

If the bananas you buy are too green, you can put them in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight to speed up the ripening process.

You can slow down the banana ripening process by storing the fruit in the refrigerator. The skin may darken, but the banana will be just right for several days.

If your bananas get too ripe before you can eat them, don't throw them away. Store them peeled in the freezer in a baggie to use in banana smoothies, shakes, or make a banana bread recipe.

Chiquita sets the standard for banana cultivation, irrigation, fertilization and research. We pioneered refrigerated ships to ensure freshness and invented special shipping cartons to protect Chiquita bananas from bruising.

Q. If my Chiquita bananas were packaged in a plastic bag at the store, should I remove them from the bag when I get home?
A. Yes, taking your Chiquita bananas out of the plastic bag will help them to ripen evenly which will make them most enjoyable to eat.

Q. The grocery store only had ripe bananas, the peels are yellow with brown flecks - is there anything else I can make with them besides banana bread?
A. Ripe to very ripe bananas that have brown peels are excellent for making moist banana bread. You can also make delicious banana smoothies and other banana desserts.

Q. Does the size of a Chiquita banana change the flavor or quality?
A. The size of the Chiquita banana does not affect its quality, so simply choose the size that best meets your needs.

Q. How should I store my Chiquita bananas?
A. Chiquita bananas should be left to ripen at room temperature. Unripe Chiquita bananas should not be placed in the refrigerator. This will interrupt the ripening process. If you place your unripe Chiquita bananas in the refrigerator, they may not be able to resume the ripening process even if they are returned to room temperature.

Q. Should I eat green Chiquita bananas?
A. Most people like to wait until their Chiquita bananas ripen before eating because green Chiquita bananas are still very starchy and can be difficult to digest. As the Chiquita banana ripens, the starch turns to natural sugars making it tasty, delicious and a natural energy superfruit! There are certain recipes that call for green bananas and you can make delicious things like curries and stews. Explore ideas at our Banana Ripeness-2-Recipe Tool.