Bananas ripen quickly, and if not stored properly, they will turn brown in a few days. Unless you are making banana bread, you want to keep them firm and yellow as long as possible.
There are quite a few banana storage hacks; some work better than others. The latest one that is becoming increasingly popular is a storage bag that promises to keep bananas from ripening and keeping them fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Seems like the best storage method you can find, but does the banana storage bag actually make any difference, and if so, how?
First Things First—Why Do Bananas Ripen?
When fruits start to ripen and shift from green—thus rich in chlorophyll—to yellow, a ripening hormone called ethylene starts to affect the banana. Ethylene breaks down the chlorophyll, transforming the starchy, hard and green banana into yellow-brown, softer, sweeter fruit .
Ethylene comes in the form of gas, and, as it happens, bananas produce a large amount of it. Subsequently, while the ethylene production starts the ripening process, the banana will eventually make far too much and decay ripe bananas into that brown or even black mush.
Long story short? The more a banana produces or comes in contact with ethylene, the faster it ripens. Thus, the way to keep it from ripening is to reduce ethylene production as much as possible once the banana reaches the optimal yellow state.
How Does The Banana Storage Bag Work?
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This keep-fresh bag claims to slow down the ripening process of produce and extend the life of vegetables, bananas, and other fruit by up to 2 weeks. All you need to do is place the fruit inside the bag, close it tightly, and store it in the fridge. Simple, right?
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But why would a bag prevent bananas from ripening?
The bag is made of nylon, but beyond praising its ingenious design, manufacturers do not specify how it works or the mechanism behind its function. What is more intriguing, keeping bananas tightly wrapped inside a bag sounds like a sure-proof way to concentrate the amounts of ethylene gas and thus accelerate ripening instead of slowing it down.
But even though there is no explanation on how the bags work, many people online have attested to its effectiveness, and many positive reviews defend the product.
That just brings another question. If it doesn’t slow down ethylene gas release and seems to concentrate it instead—how can it prevent ripening?
It’s All About Temperature Regulation
These bags do not seem to prevent the natural ripening provided by ethylene. Instead, it focuses on changing the environmental circumstances that can slow down the process.
Horticulture expert Dr. Jenny Ekman told the scientific Cosmos Magazine that the benefits of banana bags seem to protect the fruit from the cold temperatures inside your fridge, giving them an exact amount of insulation needed. While sealed inside, their gas release concentrates a safe amount of warmth and humidity to preserve the banana’s texture .
Bananas are tropical fruits not adapted to cold conditions, which can accelerate the cell breakdown inside the fruit. As such, the bags create an environment that is not as cold as the exposed refrigerator but not as warm as room temperature.
Are Banana Bags Worth It?
Although many people report an excellent experience, it doesn’t seem like the results are exclusively thanks to the bag’s design. In fact, according to Dr. Ekman’s explanation, it appears to be a result easily achievable through any bag.
If you feel the inclination to buy a banana bag, you can do it! Many people claim it to be an excellent storage method, which certainly slows down the ripening process. From my own testing, I would say almost twice its normal lifespan.
However, you can also focus on tried-and-true DIY approaches that work just as well. Here is how to keep Bananas Fresh With Foil (+5 Other Storage Methods).
-  Hogeback, Jonathan (2022). Why Do Bananas Turn Brown? Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/story/why-do-bananas-turn-brown
-  Handsley-Davis, Matilda (2022). How do banana bags work? Retrieved from https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/plants/summer-of-science-banana-bag.