What is Ethylene

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What is Ethylene?


The ripening of fruit and vegetables is started by Ethylene which is a natural, odorless, colorless and harmless gas – a plant hormone – that is emitted by fruits and vegetables during storage. Ethylene gas initiates and accelerates the ripening process and ultimately causes fresh produce to lose shelf life.

Wastage caused by Ethylene contamination during storage and transport is a significant economic issue for the post-harvest industry, marketers, retailers and commercial distributors.

Fresh produce that is notorious for producing Ethylene includes apples, avocados, bananas, melons, peaches, pears, and tomatoes. When stored along with Ethylene sensitive produce such as kiwifruit, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, leafy greens, lettuce and others (refer to the produce chart) Ethylene damage is triggered causing deterioration, loss of shelf-life and wastage.

In addition to the natural emission of Ethylene gas by certain fresh produce, Ethylene gas can also be emitted by engines. Propane, diesel, and gasoline powered engines all produce Ethylene in amounts large enough to cause damage to Ethylene sensitive produce during storage.

By removing Ethylene surrounding or in the vicinity of fresh produce and cut-flowers, shelf-life can be greatly extended and spoilage avoided.

It is important to understand that Ethylene can have a negative effect on produce. To keep stored produce fresher for longer, contact Everfresh Technologies Ltd., for an effective solution to your produce storage needs.