So THAT's How To Keep Bananas Fresh

If you’re anything like me, your week goes like this: you buy groceries on a Sunday, realise every piece of fruit and veg has gone off by Wednesday, panic, and then live off cereal and frozen garlic bread for the rest of the week.

For some reason, bananas are the worst culprit. Even for less fussy fans of the yellow berry than me, spotting a mushy, browned banana in your fruit bowl might be among the bottom three experiences around.

Well, no more. It turns out that simply wrapping the stems of bananas with tin foil can help to preserve them for longer. So, we thought we’d get into the science of why it works, and share how to wrap them properly.

The chemical that rots bananas is known as ethylene

Ethylene is responsible for the enzymatic browning (going off, to you and me) of bananas. It’s the same substance that causes fruit to ripen to begin with, which is why placing unripe fruit in the same bag as a banana can encourage them to reach their peak.

Bananas have an unusual amount of the stuff, and one riper banana can affect the others in the bunch. So, separating the bananas and encouraging airflow could keep the fruit fresher for longer.

And trapping the ethylene-rich gas that bananas emit can help, too.

How should I do it? 

Though some recommend using cling film for the job, the American Statistical Association tested whether cling film or tin foil was better at the task. They found that tinfoil did a better job, so you might want to put the plastic down for now.

Wrap the stalks carefully and individually (you don’t need to use that much foil). And while the wrapping might cover you for an extra couple of days, chucking the bananas in a fridge adds an extra layer of insurance and could mean they last an extra week.

Catch a TikTok on the topic here.