Why do bananas get sweeter as they ripen? © Getty Images

Why do bananas get sweeter as they ripen?

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The nutrient content in fruit changes as it ripens, encouraging animals to feed on them and help disperse their seeds.

Asked by: Alison Shields, Buckinghamshire

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Fruits disperse their seeds when animals eat them. By suddenly increasing the sugar content, plants encourage animals to selectively eat the fruits with mature seeds that have developed the protective coatings they will need to survive passage through the digestive system. Commercial bananas don’t actually have seeds, but the ripening process remains.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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