Going Green

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Controlling Ripening

This article about controlling the chemical processes of ripening fruits is lengthy but interesting. Consumer perceptions heavily influence plant breeders. We have selected for varieties with longer shelf-life rather than better flavor or better nutrition. Gaining control of the ripening process can help to reverse that trend.

Reining In Ripening

Researchers are learning to control key biochemical processes that affect the quality of fruits and vegetables

Sarah Everts

FAST-FORWARD to a dreary winter day. The gorgeous red tomato that you've just bitten into may not taste as good as it looks. Or maybe its consistency is wrong. It's simply not as good as the tomatoes you've grown in your garden in past summers or bought fresh at farmers' markets. Ditto for apples, strawberries, and peaches.

In your frustration, you might blame the growers or distributors. After all, the global multi-billion-dollar fruit industry wants to disarm the reality of the seasons to make ripe fruit available anywhere, anytime. To achieve this goal, most produce has been bred for shelf life, yield, and shipping durability—so that jet-lagged fruit looks good to the buyer even after extensive travel. While trying to optimize a fruit's suitability for ...(complete article here).

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