Climacteric fruits such as bananas require ethylene to ripen. Ethylene production is oxygen-dependent. Therefore, the removal of oxygen during storage is expected to reduce the rate of ripening. In this lab, you will test to determine how access to oxygen affects ripening rate.


  1. Foil
  2. 4 green bananas (or as green as you can get them)
  3. Large ziploc bag 


  1. Obtain 4 green bananas that are all at the same level of maturity (based on green color) 
  2. Separate into two batches and label as batch 1 and batch 2
  3. Take a side-by-side picture of the two batches 
  4. Leave both batches sitting on your kitchen counter for 3 days. However, you should wrap batch 2 in foil paper and then place the batch in a ziploc bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag as you seal it. Batch 1 must not be wrapped. Just leave it sitting on the counter.
  5. After three days, remove the foil and compare batches for color

Courtney Simons
Courtney Simons is a food science professor. He holds a BS degree in food science and a Ph.D. in cereal science from North Dakota State University.
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