Fruits ripens naturally even without human intervention. Some fruits need to be harvested at their full ripe stage. They are not able to continue their physiological process when detached from tree branches. Popular example is santol. Any fruit of this specie will never ripen when picked at their green or near yellow stage. Santol fruits are harvested at their full yellow or near yellow stage.
Another fruit of this kind is my favorite rambutan. I will harvest all rambutan in front of mom’s house before it ripen. I cannot do it however. I can barely eat some because others pick them when the peel appears slightly red or slightly yellow.
Other fruits are harvested at their full green maturity or the rare ripe stage. Their physiological processes continue after detachment from mother three. They are able to produce ethylene – a substance to induce ripening.
The papaya is one of climacteric fruits. It can be harvested during its full mature stage. And it should really be harvested while still hard green. Ripe papayas are soft and sensitive to damage during harvesting, handling and transport. Time might not be enough to to sell it. It almost always end in our dining table.
Every time we have papaya. We never want to wait several days to eat its delicious and succulent flesh. I get a knife and make a very narrow slice running from tip to base of stalk. Four to five narrow slices are enough to make a rare ripe papaya ripen within 24 hours. These wounds accelerate the release of ethylene and hasten the ripening process.
Cannot wait any longer? Just eat it green.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.