Banana Storage

The bananas that I buy at the grocery store have a rubber seal wrapped around the end of the bunch where it was cut from the plant. Is it supposed to be removed? Is it designed to slow or speed ripening? I’m having trouble finding any info about it on the google machine.

I’ve read that one way to make bananas last is to wrap the cut end in plastic wrap, so…………

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The wrap slows the ripening. It may not be rubber, but plastic.

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Never seen that in my part of the world.

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That stuff is called “Parafilm” (or is similar to it). I used it on a regular basis in the lab to seal beakers, vials, etc. I did not know that it slows banana ripening - I’ve been leaving it on and I guess our bananas have been ripening more slowly?


I’ve never seen that here - Houston. Freeport, 55 mi. S, is a major port for bananas. We’re closer to the source than many.

Is it capped or just wrapped? Maybe to keep people from breaking up bunches and taking their pick of individual bananas?

I put bananas that are getting over-ripe in the fridge. The skin will continue to blacken but the interior is preserved for longer. Chilled bananas are tasty.

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Our usual solution to the over-ripe issue is to buy smaller bunches that are going to be fine till the next shopping trip. The occasional ones that slip through the net go in the freezer to be subsequently made into banana bread


This would be my guess.

Thanks to the parafilm reference above I was able to find the following link. It seems that the film is used to prevent ‘in-transit decay’ and reduces the need for additional pesticides.

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Would that be an issue where you are? It’s commonplace in Bitish supermarkets for folk to just break off the number they need - which is fine if you also just need a couple as there will always be loads of single bananas.

The only ones not loose are the organic ones which are in plastic bags. FWIW, all the others in my normal supermarket are Fairtrade registered.

Here, to resolve this, a tape or a silicon band is used to bundle around the bunch.

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I see. Although sometimes, I see the decay starts from the parafilm, the end getting black.

That’s not good!

Very good! Thanks. I also found this from the short section on transportation and storage on Wikipedia:

“Carbon dioxide (which bananas produce) and ethylene absorbents extend fruit life even at high temperatures. This effect can be exploited by packing banana in a polyethylene bag and including an ethylene absorbent, e.g., [potassium permanganate] on an inert carrier. The bag is then sealed with a band or string. This treatment has been shown to more than double lifespans up to 3–4 weeks without the need for refrigeration”

So they’re both bagged and the tops wrapped, the bag (over a whole stalk, I’m guessing) has to be removed for display for sale.


I buy bananas that are just losing their green. In the winter when the kitchen is cooler, 24 hours a day, I can buy 7 or 8 at a time and finish them (avg. one per day) before they go bad. In the summer, only about 6 at a time, maximum.

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Seems to vary by store, John. At HEB, which holds sainthood status to most Texans, I find lots of loose bananas. Most importantly, almost none still showing any green and many, perhaps most, showing bad dark splotches and streaks on the skin. By contrast, a neighborhood Walmart near me has just what I’m looking for - very few loose, a good percentage, perhaps 1/2, still showing a lot of green (the way I like them for endurance). I haven’t been in any other stores in person since the pandemic began except Aldi which displays bananas in their shipping boxes and they’re usually all still completely green and hard and you almost never see loose bananas.