[NAFEX] ripening plums

LEE REICH lreich at hvc.rr.com
Thu Aug 5 21:06:31 EDT 2004


 The change in a fruit from the "mature" stage, which is when ripening can begin, to the "ripe" stage, which is
when the fruit is best for eating, is called ripening. As a fruit ripens, its color changes, the flesh softens,
sugars increase, and distinctive flavors develop. Apples, pears, kiwis, bananas, persimmons, and quinces can
ripen either on or off the plant, but they must first be mature. Whether or not a fruit will achieve best
quality ripened off the plant may depend on the particular variety of fruit. For instance, summer apples
generally taste best when picked ripe, but some winter apples, such as Idared and Newtown Pippin, taste best
picked mature, then ripened for a few months in storage.
 Interestingly, European pears, except for Seckel, and avocados MUST be harvested when mature and then allowed
to finish ripening off the plants to be at their gustatory best. Left to fully ripen on the plant, European
pears turn mushy and brown inside and avocados develop off-flavors.
 Now here's the important point: Most other fruits do not ripen at all after being picked, so must be picked
fully ripe to taste their best. Plums are in this group, along with grapes, figs, melons, cherries, peaches,
and a slew of other fruits. Picked underripe, any of these fruits will still soften and some of their complex
carbohydrates may break down to sugars, but those changes are more akin to the first stages of rotting than the
flavor changes associated with true ripening.

Lee Reich
www.leereich.com

derry&bill wrote:

> I know that apples and pears continue to ripen after picking, strawberries and
> raspberries do not.
>
> Do plums and peaches ripen after picking? Or do they just soften up?
>
> I picked some Beauty plums last week that were 80% coloured-up and I can't see any
> change in the colouring this week.
>
> Blueberries do colour-up after picking, usually within a couple of days at room
> temperature.
>
> One reason I ask is that we are expecting some rain after a couple of months
> without rain. This may cause the nearly ripe plums to split. If I knew they
> ripened after picking, I'd pick them just before the rain starts.
>
> Derry
> South Coastal B.C.
>
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> Derry Walsh & Bill Chase
> wchase at interchange.ubc.ca
> Aldergrove,  B. C.,  Canada
> phone/fax (604) 856-9316
> ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
> Home web page  http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/wchase/HTML
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