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Abstract

Ripening changes were studied in plantains of three cultivars, two Horn types and one French type, and compared with those in bananas ripened under the same conditions. Bananas contained 1% starch when fully ripe and none when overripe, whereas plantains contained about 9% starch when fully ripe and 3% when overripe (composition expressed as percentage fresh weight). Total sugar content was 23% in fully ripe and overripe bananas but in plantains it increased from 20% when fully ripe to 27% when overripe. The ratio of glucose:fructose was approximately unity for bananas and plantains at all stages of ripeness. Sucrose comprised more than 70% of the total sugars in fully ripe bananas and plantains and about half of the total sugars in overripe fruits.