Guaranteeing Banana Quality
01 January 2017
In terms of turnover, bananas are one of the most important products sold in stores. Yet, interestingly, its commercial success in Europe and the US depends only on one variety: Cavendish.
In other fresh produce, category differentiation of flavour has happened along varietal lines. However, in bananas today there is still only one flavour profile: the Cavendish flavour.
So what are consumers looking for in bananas? Perfect colour in stores and proper shelf-life after purchasing are the key features. There is nothing more frustrating for a consumer than bananas that turn brown or get sugar spots within two days.
However, what really matters for repeat purchasing is flavour.
There are a few factors that directly change the flavour of bananas:
- Leaving the bunches longer on the plants. In the tropics starch content of bananas is increased the longer they are left on the plant, and this results in higher sugar content after ripening. Bananas produced closer to being on-sale often have higher sugar content when fully ripe.
- Ripening slowly and under very controlled conditions improves the flavour and, curiously enough, shelf-life.
- Minimising dehydration after ripening also positively helps to maintain flavour.
Ensuring perfect quality bananas are on the shelves in a supermarket is complex. There are many aspects that play a role including harvesting protocols in the tropics - ripening programs, volume planning, and the physical handling of bananas in the supermarket itself.
Innovative Fresh can offer retailers and stores a 360-degree picture of banana quality. We evaluate the quality of bananas already in stores and combine those findings with analysis of eating quality in our lab. This helps to fine-tune the different processes that are critical to successful banana sales, from farm to retail shelf.
For more information on how we can help you, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.