You might know that putting avocados in a paper bag helps the fruit to ripen faster than it normally would. But do you know why and how this trick works?
As fruit ripens, it emits ethylene gas, which is an organic compound that stimulates the budding of flowers and the ripening of fruit, among other things. Enclosed in a paper bag, the ethylene gas gets trapped and acts as a stimulant to the ripening process.
Bananas are known to give off an excessive amount of ethylene, and are therefore excellent additions to the paper bag in order to speed up the ripening process even more. The sweet and musky smell of fruit is actually the smell of ethylene.
So the next time you get frustrated with how long it is taking your avocados to ripen and become ready to eat, use this paper bag trick to help speed up the process.
Image: Avocados ripening in a brown paper bag by Nate Steiner
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