Why do bananas ripen so fast?

I’ve got a banana I brought in this morning sitting on my desk, and over the course of the day I’ve watched it steadily go from a few brown spots to now majority brown. And it seems that whenever I buy bananas from the store, they’re good for two or three days tops. Why do bananas seem to turn so fast, compared to other fruits? Is there any way I can stretch out their shelf life?

And also should we keep them in a dry dark place or in the fridge?

You can put them in the fridge. The skin will turn brown all over, but the fruit won’t soften as fast.

The ripening signal for most fruits is ethylene gas. Bananas just produce a LOT of it. In fact, if you want to speed up the ripening of some other fruit, throw it in a bag with a banana.

A *PAPER * bag with a banana. The fruit needs oxygen, too, and a plastic bag won’t work.

We had this discussion on another board and it seemed there were 2 effective methods to slow down ripening

a) store it at a lower ambient temperature, ie: in a cool dark place and not in sunlight.
b) buy a banana hanger thing which will suspend the banana in the air. There wasn’t a conclusive reason as to why this works but apparently it does remakably well.

Ethylene is denser then air. So if bananas are place on a counter top/table or
whatever, they end up sitting in a pool of thei own Ethylene. Thus they rippen faster than if they are hanging and the Ethylene they produce drops below them.

In the fridge on the rack woks best … but I just can’t take the look of the
totaly brow bananas even though they’re fine.

Err … sorry about the spelling. I’ll have to get better at proofing my posts!