Can You Put Bananas in the Fridge?

Can You Put Bananas in the Fridge?

Bananas are among the most popular fruits in the world. Although they are tropical fruits, they can be found in almost all parts of the world.

Part of what makes bananas popular is their nutritional value. They provide significant health benefits to people and have been found to be good for the heart, cardiovascular system, and general body metabolism. They are a source of various nutrients, including Vitamins C  and B, potassium, fiber, and different antioxidants.

Bananas have a very sweet taste due to their high sugar concentration. The high sugar concentration doesn’t stop most people from eating a stomach-full, though. The sugar in bananas is natural sugar, so it doesn’t pose a health risk to most people.

Can you put bananas in the fridge? Yes, you can always put bananas in the fridge. In fact, putting bananas in a fridge is a very popular way of preserving them and keeping them fresh for longer.

Contrary to certain claims, refrigerated bananas do not become poisonous. The root of the claim is likely because sometimes refrigerating bananas can make their skin turn black. However, even in those cases, the bananas are still safe for consumption.

When Should You Put Bananas in the Fridge?

Because of the way bananas ripen, it is not always advisable to put them in the fridge at all stages of their ripening. This is not because the bananas become unsafe per se; it’s because the results of refrigerating them at those stages are not optimal.

The optimal time to keep bananas in the fridge is when they are ripe. The refrigeration of ripe bananas slows down the ripening process and allows them to last longer. While it doesn’t have adverse health effects, it is typically not advised to keep unripe and overripe bananas in the fridge.

When unripe bananas are refrigerated, the ripening process is still halted, but the banana skin goes black eventually. Bananas produce a number of compounds to help them ripen. One of those compounds is known as Ethylene.

Ethylene is produced on the skin of bananas and helps the skin turn yellow and eventually black during the ripening process. When unripe bananas are refrigerated, most internal ripening processes slow down drastically, but the production of Ethylene continues. This continued production of ethylene leads to the blackening of the banana skin. 

Although the banana skin may turn black or dark brown, the inner fruit remains quite firm and safe to eat. However, in certain cases, the banana inside may not be able to resume the ripening process after it is brought out of the fridge. This is why it is not recommended to keep unripe bananas in the fridge.

Overripe bananas can easily be identified by their brown/black skin and mushy insides. When kept in the fridge, overripe bananas only turn into mush at a faster rate. The skin also turns darker at an accelerated rate. However, mushy bananas are not bad either. Some people swear by them for their banana pie recipes.   

If you prefer eating your fruit directly as opposed to baking them into a pie, the best time to keep bananas in the fridge is when they’ve just turned ripe. That way, you preserve the firmness and freshness of the fruit. Ripe bananas can be refrigerated for up to three months in certain cases.

What is the Best Way to Store Unripe Bananas?

As has been said earlier, storing unripe bananas in the fridge can be a messy experience. One, most people don’t like the look of black or brown bananas. This is natural because black or brown skins on bananas are an indication that they are overripe. Secondly, overripe bananas may never ripen as the ripening process can come to a complete halt despite the black skin.

The best way to store unripe bananas is to keep them at room temperature. This allows them to ripen naturally, after which you can store them in the fridge.

What is the Best Way to Store Ripe Bananas?

Storing ripe bananas is a question of keeping them from turning overripe for as long as possible. This usually means you want to prevent the ethylene gas from turning the bananas overripe and the insides from becoming mushy.  As has already been described, keeping ripe bananas in the refrigerator is a great way to keep them from becoming overripe. However, there are other things you can do to make them last even longer.

Wrapping your bananas in air-tight bags before refrigerating is a great way to enhance their lifespan in the freezer. It also helps you avoid the blackening of the skin as it prevents excess production of ethylene in the banana. 

You can also peel your banana and store it without the screen. This is a very popular way to store bananas, especially if you are looking to freeze them. This method can make the banana last up to three months in some cases. Once you need it, you just take it out of the freezer and leave it to thaw for about 30 mins. Once it thaws, you can enjoy your banana again.

Final Thoughts

Bananas are a universally-loved fruit and should be part of everyone’s fruit diet. The sweet taste and packed nutritional benefits make them an almost perfect fruit. Here are a couple of final thoughts we’d love you to leave with from this article:

  • It is safe to keep bananas in the fridge. They do not get poisonous because you kept them frozen or cold.
  • The best time to keep bananas in the fridge is when they are just ripening. If you freeze them earlier, the skin turns black, and they may never ripen.
  • Unripe bananas should only be stored at room temperature to allow them to ripen before you can now transfer them to the refrigerator.
  • Use an airtight bag to store your ripe bananas if you want them to last longer.