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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The fruit sellers were posing health risk to the public life by selling chemically ripened fruits in the city without knowing its repercussions, the consumers blamed.
The Commission had registered the case on the basis of a complaint in the year 2014 that about 50-60 families of Kaneri Tal, Gir Gadhada, and District Gir Somnath lived on the opposite bank of the Ripen River passing through village Kaneri locally known as aACoeSim Vistar of BokharapuraaACA[yen].
Adamu, who identified carbide as the chemical commonly used to ripen mangoes and bananas artificially, said that the trend was responsible for the rising cases of kidney and liver diseases.
Ease off on watering the plants, which will encourage remaining fruits to ripen.
The warmer it is, the faster they will ripen, but make sure it's a dry, dark environment and check them over every couple of days, removing any showing signs of rot.
||Bring them inside Once the cooler weather has set in, cut offwhole trusses of the remaining fruits so you can attempt to ripen them indoors.
The sale of burciak is limited in Slovakia between August 15 and December 31 in order to protect local producers from imporing burciak or grapes from countries where grapes ripen earlier.
Fruits such as avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out, while grapes, all citrus fruits, and berries will only deteriorate if left out and should be refrigerated.
'Now spray and injections are also being used to ripen fruits and change their colour.
You can force tomatoes to ripen by putting them in a drawer with some other over-ripe fruit.
Pulp of mango can be easily extracted by hand peeling any variety of ripened mangoes and then crushing it.
A division bench of the High Court expressed its deep concern over the rampant use of hazardous chemicals including Calcium Carbide, a carcinogen, to ripen fruits, and asked the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh why they cannot curb its use.