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Do apples really ripen faster if you put them next to bananas? © Getty Images

Do apples really ripen faster if you put them next to bananas?

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This fruity phenomenon can be explained by banana's production of ethylene.

Asked by: Sue Dodd, Newcastle

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Yes. Many ripening fruit produce the hydrocarbon gas ethylene as they ripen, which itself triggers more ripening. Bananas are especially productive sources of the gas, and putting one that's in the process of going brown next to apples, pears or hard avocados will greatly speed up their ripening.

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Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

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