Fruit Ripening Room – Frequently Asked Questions

various fruits

1) What is a ripening room?

A ripening room is a facility or equipment used to accelerate the ripening of fruits. In a ripening room, fruits are typically exposed to specific environmental conditions such as proper temperature, humidity, and gas concentration to facilitate their ripening process.

2) Do you know how many ripening methods there are?

  • Airtight container – Fruits are stored in an airtight container or bag for small-scale ripening, preventing the escape of ethylene they produce and accelerating ripening.
  • Smoke chambers – Fruits are placed in rooms where smoke is passed through to induce ripening.
  • Hay or husk cover – Fruits are arranged in layers and covered with wheat hay or rice husk for about a week to aid ripening.
  • Modern ripening rooms – Several modern patented facilities enable precise control of environmental conditions to ensure optimal ripening.

3) What is the principle of ripening?

Ethylene is a natural hormone that functions as a ripening agent, particularly effective at higher temperatures. It’s a scientifically validated and globally recognized method for ripening.

Typically, fruits are exposed to minimal amounts of ethylene to stimulate their ripening process. This exposure continues until the fruits naturally begin producing ethylene, facilitating ripening in a controlled environment and yielding optimal results.

Additionally, since ethylene is a natural plant hormone, it poses no health hazards. Moreover, it acts as a de-greening agent, transitioning the fruit peel color from green to a perfect yellow, while preserving the fruit’s sweetness and aroma.

The working principle of a ripening room involves controlling the temperature, humidity, and fresh air supply within the room, as well as regulating the levels of ethylene, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen released during the ripening process. By controlling these conditions, the ripening room can accelerate or decelerate the ripening process.


4) What temperature should a ripening room be set at?

Ripening speed accelerates at higher temperatures and slows down at lower temperatures. If fruits are exposed to temperatures below 56°F (13°C) for an extended period, they may become chilled. It’s recommended to keep the temperature below 65°F (18°C) to prevent fruits from becoming overly soft and having a shorter shelf life.

5) How should the humidity be set in a ripening room?

The humidity levels in a ripening room should typically be maintained within the range of 85-95%. This range is optimal for preventing moisture loss in fruits and achieving better ripening results. If the humidity is too low, installing a humidifier is recommended. While wetting the floor of the room with water can increase humidity, it may also lead to hygiene issues.

6) What gases are present in a ripening room?

  • Ethylene gas supply – It is recommended to maintain ethylene levels below 100 ppm to promote ripening of all fruits; for citrus fruits, it is suggested to keep ethylene levels between 3-5 ppm.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) – Carbon dioxide produced through respiration slows down ripening. Therefore, ventilation should be used to keep its concentration below 0.5%.
  • Oxygen (O2) – Optimal levels of oxygen are crucial during the ripening process as fruits require oxygen to ripen. With a decrease in oxygen levels, an increase in CO2 occurs, hence maintaining the appropriate balance of these two gases is necessary.

7) How to determine the size of a ripening room?

The size of a ripening room depends on the number of tiers and the quantity of pallets to be stored.

On average, the volume required is approximately 11 cubic meters per metric ton of banana fruits for ripening units with a capacity of 10 metric tons or larger, and 12 cubic meters per metric ton for ripening units with a capacity of less than 10 metric tons. This calculation considers the volume of one chamber. The number of chambers needed may vary from four to eight, depending on the ripening cycle duration in terms of the number of days.

8) Which fruits can be ripened in a ripening room?

There are two types of fruits: climacteric and non-climacteric. Not all fruit varieties are suitable for ripening in a ripening room.

Non-climacteric fruits cease ripening once harvested, so the ripening process must occur while they are still on the plant. Therefore, ripening rooms are not suitable for non-climacteric fruits. Examples of non-climacteric fruits include citrus fruits, pineapples, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, grapes, pomegranates, watermelons, cherries, and lychees.

Climacteric fruits, on the other hand, can be harvested in the early stages of ripeness and then stored in ripening rooms until they reach optimal ripeness for consumption. Examples of climacteric fruits include mangoes, bananas, tomatoes, figs, apricots, apples, pears, plums, avocados, papayas, kiwis, and passion fruits.

9) What are the benefits of using a ripening room?

  1. Regular monitoring of fruit and air temperatures allows you to adjust the ripening process duration according to market demands.
  2. Slower ripening results in a longer shelf life. A longer shelf life means fewer losses, reduced waste, and increased profitability.
  3. Minimizing temperature differentials between the air and the fruit helps prevent temperature shock, moisture loss, and damage to fruit quality and weight.
  4. Simple design and low operating maintenance costs.

10) What facilities can be equipped in a ripening room?

  • Puff insulated chambers
  • Insulated doors
  • Refrigeration system with higher airflow evaporator
  • Control panel
  • Humidifier
  • Ethylene generators & CO2 and Ethylene analyzers to track gas levels in the room
  • Crate for stacking

11) What should be considered when using a ripening room?

Ensure tight sealing: The room must be sealed as much as possible to prevent excessive ethylene leakage.

Proper insulation: Adequate insulation is essential to maintain the room temperature effectively.

Sufficient air circulation: Sufficient air circulation is necessary within the room. The room’s construction should ensure unobstructed airflow from the refrigeration system, through the load, and back to the refrigeration system.

Even distribution of cold air: The cold air inside the room must circulate uniformly throughout the entire load to ensure even ripening.

12) Why choose CRYO?

With our extensive expertise in various ripening room performance aspects, we are privileged to provide each customer with the best solution tailored to their requirements and available space. In terms of assembly, we exclusively utilize high-quality materials and equipment, ensuring minimal maintenance for our ripening rooms, with all major components easy to repair or clean.

Furthermore, our rooms can be designed to monitor and control all variables, including temperature, pulp temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and ethylene, to create the perfect ripening atmosphere. Additionally, we offer a remote application, allowing you to access and control your ripening room from anywhere. This includes one year of historical data recording and data trends.

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