Banana Gasser

I just read this in a list of the "sweetest" jobs to have. I doubt it.

"Less flatulent than you might think, banana gassers finish off what Mother Nature started. To make sure the bottom of your split is tasty, bananas are shipped while they're still green to prevent bruising. Gassers for the JFC Fruit Company are in charge of moving new shipments into hermetically sealed chambers where the fruit is sprayed with an ethylene gas to catalyze ripening. According to the company's Web site, trained gassers use the computer program Probe to determine how much gas should be applied for how long. The process can take anywhere from three to eight days, after which bananas hit grocery store shelves yellow and ready to be eaten. Bon appétit!"

I'm gonna look at bananas differently from now on. :-)

Cheryl C.


  • 14 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Apparently some of them get by the gassers. I buy green ones all the time.

    And speaking of violating bananas, the worst thing I've see (gotta' picture this) is chocolate covered bananas. That's also a violation of chocolate.

  • My company has eight of these gas chambers where we ripen bananas. It is like putting them into a brown paper bag to ripen on your countertop in the kitchen, only on a grander scale.
  • I agree with Sam...leave the bananas and chocolate separate for pete's sake and mine!!!

    What kind of gas is used on the bananas...??

    Cheryl C.
  • Our old chambers used ethylene gas, I am not sure if the new ones still use that or not. Several years ago, we stopped gasing our bananas and had a national company supply them DSD to our stores. Our customers started complaining of the quality of the bananas and we built new chambers. We doubled the number and size of the chambers as well. You can put an entire load in one chamber and they will ripen in three days (enough for us to send to the stores). We do not ripen all the way, because then they will go brown at the store. We want them to start yellowing while on display. We only keep them on display for three days before we discard them. That way, we do not have product that will start to go bad when you get it home. Fortunately for me, my kids love bananas. I have to watch my son or he will eat them all in a day. I put them on top of the frdge so he can't reach them. Then in the morning, I cut them up and put them in our cereal.
  • I put a banana in a paper bag with store-bought tomatoes for a few days. They come out tasting like home-grown.
  • I would NEVER buy yellow bananas unless they were the only ones available and then would buy no more than we would eat before tomorrow. I always pick a bunch that are properly green, counting in my head how many days they may hang on my banana rack before disappearing and knowing they will not turn brown or spotted prior to that day. If the nice green bunch has more than six, I snap off only what I want. I think they're shipped green more as a means of not having them rot while in shipment than to prevent bruising. Just as tomatoes are not shipped totally ripe.

    I've always heard that all (most?) of America's supply of bananas enters through the Port of Gulfport, MS, which as we know, has had a face lift recently. So, if that is true, gassing may be a moot point for a while.

    It is a well known fact that the moment at which a cow is killed for processing, he passes gas, and as hogs are slaughtered, that noise you hear is not 'oink'. Thought I'd ad that one just for good measure.
  • "....and as hogs are slaughtered, that noise you hear is not 'oink'"

    You're right, the actual sound is more like SAAAAAAAAVVVEEEEE.
  • I always buy green bananas and let them sit on the counter until I see the slightest tint of yellow. Then I put them in the fridge. They keep longer that way. The peel may get brown but the fruit itself will not be overripe. For lunch I just had a banana with chocolate pudding. Chocolate goes with anything!
  • Anyone who thinks that a job in a ripening operation is sweet needs to come on down. We gas tomatoes too if anyone is interested.
  • I'll take a slice at it, how do you gas a tomato and what chemical(s) are used?
  • Same process as bananas, really, or any other ripening operation. Ethylene gas (which is the same gas that it is given off internally by the fruit as it naturally ripens) is used to trick the fruit into thinking it is ripe and thus turns color.

  • Did someone say they put bananas in the refrigerator. That is the number one violation in Banana 101.
  • From my observation, most folks eat bananas while still green (not necessarily in color but rippening stage). I like to eat them only after they are uniformly speckled with brown dots, and they are never ripe enough in the store to eat, and beforeethey get properly ripe at home, someone else has already eaten them. Consequently, I havn't had a banana in years! I think I will try to ripen a tomato as suggested - I hate green, flavorless tomatoes (unless properly prepared and fried green....)Some of the best I ever had were at Chappy's, on 90 near Gulfport. I suppose that place is now only a fond memory.....
  • You are sadly, no doubt correct about Chappy's on 90. In fact most if not all of 90 in Gulfport is only rubble now, including all of the restaurants and shops to either side of 90 just feet north of the Gulf. But, fear not, most of us in this state are expert green 'mater friers and we have the process in our heads.

    The once palatial home of President Jefferson Davis, standing beside 90 for a hundred and 20 years, having fought off many bitches prior to Katrina, is partially in ruins but will quickly be reconditioned by those of us who own it. There have been many-a green tomato fried and julep sipped in the kitchen, dining rooms and windy porches of that place, no doubt.
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