The Ethylene Gas Phenomenon

Ethylene gas can cause damage to leafy vegetables even in small amounts. Products sensitive to ethylene gas like broccoli and bananas should not be stored with ethylene producers like avocados and apples. To maintain freshness, a list of foods that produce and are damaged by ethylene gas has been created.

That’s the good news. The bad news is it can cause damage to leafy vegetables in even very low quantities. For example, when lettuce is exposed to small amounts of ethylene gas at low temperatures, the product will decay.

Products such as broccoli and bananas, which are sensitive to ethylene gas, should never be stored in the same areas as avocados, melons, and apples, which are ethylene producers.

We have created a list of food items that create ethylene gas and the ones that are damaged by it to help you separate them and keep your produce looking and tasting fresher!

Foods that create ethylene gas:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas (ripening)
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherimoya
  • Citrus Fruits (except Grapefruit)
  • Cranberries
  • Figs
  • Guavas
  • Grapes
  • Green Onions
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi fruit (ripe)
  • Mammee
  • Mangoes
  • Mango steen
  • Melons
  • Mushrooms
  • Nectarines
  • Okra
  • Papayas
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peppers
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Plantains
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Quinces
  • Rambutan
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon.

Foods that are damaged by Ethylene Gas:

  • Asparagus
  • Belgian
  • Endive
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Cut Flowers
  • Eggplant
  • Escarole
  • Florist Greens
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Leafy Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Potted Plants
  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watercress
  • Yams.

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