Ethylene Ripener Side Effects

Ethylene Ripener Side Effects

Ethylene, a natural ripening agent, has both positive and negative effects on fruits and vegetables. Here are some key points about ethylene and its effects:

Positive Effects

Natural Ripening: Ethylene is produced by fruits and vegetables naturally, accelerating their ripening process. It helps convert complex polysaccharides into simple sugars, making the skin soft and enhancing flavor.

Commercial Use: Ethylene is used commercially to ripen fruits and vegetables, especially those that are picked before they are fully ripe. This allows for a longer shelf life and wider availability of produce.

Negative Effects

Damage to Plants: High concentrations of ethylene can cause bud damage in dormant nursery stock, turn vegetables yellow, drop leaves from ornamental plants, and cause rapid death in cut flowers

Handling Damage: Damaged fruits and vegetables produce more ethylene, which can accelerate ripening and spoilage. Handling them carefully is essential to minimize this effect.


Avoid Damaging Fruits: Handle fruits and vegetables carefully to prevent damage, which can lead to excessive ethylene production and spoilage.

Use Ethylene Inhibitors: Chemicals like silver thiosulfate can be used to block ethylene production and extend the shelf life of cut flowers.

Overall, ethylene is a natural and essential part of the ripening process, but its excessive production or exposure can have negative effects. Proper handling and storage practices can help minimize these negative impacts.

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