University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (Commodity)

Why is the skin splitting in the bananas I am shipping?

Category
  • Banana
Question

I am a banana wholesaler and thought I’d seen it all. I have referred to your website many times in the past but I am currently stumped.  I cannot find anything in your research that addresses "why bananas split".  One of our customers is sporadically seeing the bananas we send him split.  I have always assumed this was caused by the banana receiving too much heat (postharvest), upwards of 74 degrees somewhere during the ripening, delivery or storage stage. However, we have investigated all areas from Ripening to Retail and there is no interruption in the cold chain and pulp temperatures have not been above 64 degrees.  Do you have any suggestions on why we are seeing this occasional splitting?  Is the problem of bananas splitting only caused by heat or are there other factors to consider? (J.F.)

Answer

Banana skin splitting can result from high relative humidity (>90%) plus high temperature (>70 F), especially in bananas that are harvested fully mature-green (round in cross section).  Also, skin splitting often occurs when bananas are left on the plant until ripe because of the high temperature and high relative humidity in the production areas. 

 
–Adel Kader

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