(redirected from cervical ripening)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.



of fruit, the bringing of unripened fruit to consumer ripeness. Fruit can be ripened in warehouses, or storage facilities, or in specially equipped lockers (artificial ripening). The winter varieties of apples and pears, as a rule, do not ripen on the tree. The summer and autumn varieties of apples and pears, as well as apricots, tomatoes, peaches, and melons are often harvested unripe to increase their transport-ability and length of storage. With ripening the fruit acquires its consumer qualities (taste, aroma, and so forth).

Ripening, whether on the plant or not, breaks down the compound organic substances of the fruits in simple ones—for example, protopectin turns into soluble pectin, starch is converted into sugar, and the fruit’s acid content is reduced. As a result, the fruit becomes softer and sweeter. Ripened (on the plant or artificially) fruit acquires its characteristic color as a result of the formation of coloring substances (pigments) in it. However, in fruit that is plant-ripened substances not only break down, but are also synthesized. The taste qualities of such fruit are higher than of fruit ripened in storage. For this reason, immature fruit is harvested and subsequently ripened only when necessary. Tomatoes are almost always artificially ripened.

Undamaged fruit is placed in open, well-ventilated boxes to ripen. Storage facilities are ventilated, heated, and protected from daylight. The speed of the artificial ripening depends upon the air humidity and temperature in the warehouse or locker. The relative air humidity should not be over 80 percent. To slow down ripening, fruit (for example, apples, pears, stone fruits, and melons) is stored at the lowest possible temperature, and to accelerate ripening, at approximately 20°C. At temperatures above 25°C, ripening is also retarded, and the decomposition of certain vitamins begins. In tomatoes the coloring pigment does not form and the fruit .becomes yellow.

Ripening can be accelerated by stimulants—for example, ethylene (a gas). Ethylene ripening of tomatoes is particularly effective, as the green mature fruit can be ripened in five days. In northern regions it is advisable to harvest green tomatoes and to ripen them artificially. This makes it possible to obtain ripe fruit one month earlier than with natural vine ripening. Ethylene ripening is done in airtight lockers kept in heated areas.

Triple-ply plywood lockers can be used for small batches of fruit. The fruit is placed on the shelves of the chambers in two or three layers, and the ethylene is introduced (1 liter of gas per cu m of locker). Large batches of fruit are placed in boxes and ripened in lockers equipped with heat and ventilation. Up to 80 kg of fruit can be placed per sq m of shelf. The lockers are filled with ethylene every 24 hours until the fruit has turned russet, after which the supply of gas is turned off. The fruit may also be ripened in gas-tight lockers filled with oxygen (60-80 percent of the locker’s volume). The lockers are kept at approximately 20°C. The fruit is kept in oxygen for three days, after which it ripens well under ordinary conditions.


Rakitin, Iu. V. Rukovodstvo po uskoreniiu sozrevaniia pomidorov pri pomoshchi etilena, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Metlitskii, L. V. Biokhimiia na strazhe urozhaia. Moscow, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
Vaginal misoprostol for cervical ripening before operative hysteroscopy in pre-menopausal women: a doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial with three dose regimens.
Comparison of oral and vaginal misoprostol for cervical ripening before evacuation of first trimester missed miscarriage.
In addition to the risks already noted regarding cervical ripening agents, oxytocin, and artificial rupture of membranes, other risks include increased use of epidurals, increased blood loss, increased cesarean sections, fetal hypoglycemia, and fetal distress resulting in an increased admission rate to a Newborn Intensive Care Unit (Baxley, 2003; Crane and Young, 1998; Crowley, 2000; Dublin et al.
She hopes to identify key steps in normal cervical ripening, as well as differences that may be caused by infection and other factors that trigger preterm labor.
A second dinopostrone vaginal ovule was administered to patients in whom cervical ripening was not achieved and labour could not be induced.
Cook Women's Health, a division of Cook Medical, the world's largest privately held medical device company, launched its newest product, the Cook Cervical Ripening Balloon at the 55th Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in May.
Sarah Stock note that the findings that intracervical placement of a Foley catheter induces cervical ripening without inducing uterine contractions and is as successful as prostaglandin for inducing labor, could have important implications for women with a prior cesarean section.
Cervical ripening is usually thought of in the context of pregnancy.
The results of the study show that the risk of cesarean section is five times higher in women with at least one previous vaginal delivery who receive cervical ripening before elective induction, compared with women who have spontaneous labor.
today announced an agreement under which Beijing Med-Pharm will conduct late-stage clinical development, registration, sales, marketing and distribution in the People's Republic of China of Cytokine's Misopess[TM], a second-generation vaginal insert under investigation in several countries for cervical ripening and induction of labor.
Additionally, it can involve the need for cervical ripening which is when the cervix is deemed as being "unfavorable" or when the tissue needs to soften, thin and dilate.