as surprising as it may seem, the maturation of a large number of fruits and fruit vegetables (tomato, zucchini, eggplant…) is done via a colourless gas, virtually odourless and non-flammable: ethylene. Naturally synthesized by plants, and this hydrocarbon, formula, C2H4, is considered by biologists as a plant hormone. It regulates the growth, development and senescence in higher plants even when present at trace.
All fruits and vegetables do not produce the same amount and all have not the same sensitivity. The fruit called climactériques are those that produce high amounts of ethylene (between 10 and 100 ppm) during their maturation. It is the apple, the pear, the apricot, the peach, the plum, avocado, or melon, with a record for the passion fruit.
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conversely, those who produce the least are the blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, watermelon, pineapple, kiwi, cucumber, eggplant, pumpkin, olive, bell pepper, and artichoke, asparagus, cauliflower, cherry, all citrus fruits, the grape or the strawberry does not give off virtually no (less than 0.1 ppm).
During storage, the ethylene will act not only on the fruits that have produced it, but also on the plants present in the vicinity of which it will accelerate the ripening (yellowing of apples and pears, reddening of the tomato, the tenderness of the flesh, decreased acidity, etc.).
For example, for the ripening of kiwi in a week, simply place 1 to 2 kg with one ripe apple in a plastic bag for 1 to 3 days, all at a temperature of about 20°C.