Most of us like banana for its great nutritional value but it is sad to know that it gets spoilt after some time. However, it is crucial to know how to store them well to extend the period they stay fresh if you buy a big bunch. Since the internet is awash with misleading content about banana storage, we did a thorough research about whether it can go bad.
Does Banana Go Bad?
Yes, banana goes bad quite easily. Its shelf life is relatively short compared to other fruits like oranges and lemons. Bananas get too spoilt to eat when they turn their color to black. Though, this varies from country to country. Besides, how long the banana stays fresh is determined by various factors.
First, it depends on how ripe the banana was when you started storing it. Green bananas will last longer than yellow ripe bananas. Also, it depends on the storage method you have used on the bananas. Ripe bananas should last between eight and ten days before turning mushy and spoiling.
How Long Does Banana Last?
In most cases, a banana’s shelf life is very hard to determine because it does not have exact expiry dates. Thus, to get a close estimate of the dates your banana will give the best service, you must use the dates you purchased the bananas.
Often referred to as nature’s perfect food, bananas contain numerous essential minerals and vitamins to your body. These include potassium and calcium. Besides, the fruit comes nicely tacked in its natural wrapper for convenient storage.
People have different opinions and perspectives on the ripeness of bananas. Interestingly, some love consuming them when they are still bright green on the outside. At this stage, others consider them unripe and not fit for consumption.
However, the most common stage when considered ripe by most people is when they are yellow and still firm. Once they start developing brown spots, it is an alarm that they are beginning to spoil. If not properly stored, the bananas start turning black and lose their firmness, rendering them unsafe for consumption.
The chart below shows the estimated shelf life of banana under different conditions:
|Fresh bananas||3-8 days||4-9 days|
Up to 3 months
3 Tips to Tell If Banana Has Gone Bad
When a banana has stayed in the pantry or fridge for a long time, it will obviously start spoiling. There are many ways to identify a banana that has gone bad. Spoilt bananas can be quite harmful to your health.
That’s why we advise you always to get rid of the bananas whenever you suspect they have gone bad. But how can you identify a spoilt banana? Here’s how you can tell:
Withering and change of color
Note that a banana that is safe for consumption should be firm, strong, and healthy-looking. Whenever you notice that your bananas have started withering and changing their color to a weird dark or black, it should be an indicator that they are going bad.
However, turning black and developing brown spots does not necessarily mean that the bananas have expired. That could be a sign of an overripe.
Extremely soft touch in flesh
You can tell if a banana has gone bad by feeling its touch. As earlier stated, good bananas should have a fairly firm touch and a good strong feel.
Thus, whenever you touch the banana, and it feels very soft in the flesh beneath the skin, it could indicate that the banana has spoiled. However, it would be best if you also were very keen when using this method because it could be an overripe case.
Unpleasant sour smell
A sour smell or unpleasant smell could be an indication that the bananas are spoilt. Fresh bananas should have a great fruity odor. It is essential to note that overripe bananas are not harmful to your body and are suitable for cooking banana bread and muffins.
Besides, some people enjoy their bananas best when they are overripe, depending on preferences. Thus, when using this method to determine the freshness of your fruit, you should be very keen, lest you discard bananas that are not yet expired.
3 Tips to Store Banana
We had earlier stated that how long bananas stay fresh is determined by their storage. In this section, we will look at different storage methods for bananas and ways to increase the time that the bananas stay fresh. Besides, you should note that the bananas’ status is the main factor to consider during storage.
Whether green, ripe or overripe, there are specific storage methods that fit each banana type. Here they’re:
Keeping on countertop at room temperature
You should keep green and unripe bananas on the countertop at room temperature. This is a perfect place that offers them a conducive environment to ripen. Also, always remember that the bananas should not come into contact with hard floors or surfaces to prevent them from getting bruises. The best way to store the bananas is by hanging them off a banana trunk or placing them in a bowl.
Storing the banana amidst ethylene producing fruits
Your storage method can also influence the ripening speed of unripe bananas. Depending on your preference and urgency, you can choose to speed up or slow down the fruit ripening speed. Interestingly, when you store them with ethylene-producing vegetables and fruits, the ripening speed is fairly boosted.
Such fruits and vegetables include avocados, potatoes, apples, and cabbages. However, the bananas will also speed up the ripening of these other fruits. To save the cost of buying different fruits to aid your bananas’ ripening, you should slice two to three avocados into very small pieces and put them together with the bananas.
We have chosen avocado because it proves to contain a high ethylene level compared to other fruits. However, sometimes you might need to slow down the ripening process to use the fruits for a longer time. Interestingly, scientists have discovered that the stalk of the banana is the point where ethylene is released.
Ethylene is the main agent that aids in the ripening of fruits. When the agent is in excess, the banana ripens pretty fast. On the other hand, when it is minimal, the fruit will take some time. Thus, to reduce the amount of ethylene gas produced, you should cover the stalk with a polythene wrap or cling film. Additionally, tin foil also works well to step down the initial gas production.
In the case of bananas, they can be kept in various locations depending on the time you intend to use them. For instance, if you intend to eat the bananas within a short span, you can keep them on the pantry or countertop.
Storing the bananas in the refrigerator
However, the period should not exceed a couple of days as the bananas soon overripe without notice. On the other hand, if the ripe bananas are to be eaten over a week or so, you should consider putting them in a fridge. The fridge’s temperature regulation stops their steady ripening, keeping them fresh over a couple of days.
It is important to note that unripe bananas should not be kept in a fridge. Consequently, the refrigeration process entirely stops or severely slows down the ripening process. Thus, the green bananas may never ripen at all at the end of the day.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Banana
Consuming expired and rotten bananas could cause you notable health complications. In a study done recently, expired bananas have are associated with causing foodborne illnesses. We advise people not to use rotten bananas for baking. It is not worth taking the risk to use bananas that you can see are not fit for safe consumption. Otherwise, you may end up in the hospital for ignorance.
It is relatively easy to identify an excessively spoilt banana; it starts oozing on its sides, and the skin starts splitting. Bananas in that state are considered rotten and unsafe for human consumption. However, it would help if you were keen to differentiate a rotten banana from an overripe one.
Spoilt bananas have a significant contribution to the rising cases of food poisoning in the world today. The most vulnerable people are those with weak immune systems, and the foodborne diseases stay hard on them. However, compared to other foods like unpasteurized deli meats, the risk of bananas is noticeably low.
The risk is higher for older people, people living with chronic diseases, those with autoimmune disorders, and little children under two years. Thus, to eliminate this risk, it is vital to avoid the consumption of bananas that exhibit signs of spoilage or those that are rotten.
Can You Freeze Banana?
Yes, you can freeze your bananas if you want them to stay fresh for a long time. However, it is crucial to note that the bananas must be fully ripe before freezing. So, the first step to freezing a banana is removing the peel.
Never make the mistake of freezing bananas with the peel still on because it is impossible to remove the peel once it is frozen. Frozen bananas are best for making smoothies, which require at least one banana. Depending on your blender’s strength and ability, you can choose to freeze the bananas in whole or slice them into smaller pieces.
Freezing a whole banana is quite a simple task. All you need to do is unpeel the banana and place it in an airtight container. Depending on the size of your container, you can freeze one or more bananas at a go.
There are large containers in the market that hold even more than ten whole bananas. However, there is no offense if your container is smaller, and you have to break the bananas into pieces for proper fitting. In cases where your blender cannot handle a whole banana, you can freeze the banana as slices. However, note that to freeze a banana as slices, you need to place them on a lined baking sheet to prevent them from sticking on the pan.
As discussed above, banana go bad just like any other fruit. However, it is your handling trends that determine how long the banana will last. Keeping an unripe banana on the counter at room temperature is fit for its ripening. Additionally, freezing ripe bananas gives them an extended fresh period.