How To Ripen Papaya Fruit? [FAST TIPS]

How To Ripen Papaya Fruit

I buy papaya from time to time and every now and then some of them don’t ripen.

So, I wanted to know if there are any ways to ensure my papaya ripens after it’s been picked

I did some research and here’s what I found.

It has been scientifically shown that papaya fruit will ripen faster in the presence of ethylene gas (source).

Ethylene gas is produced naturally by ripening fruit, so putting unripe papayas next to ripening fruit such as apples and bananas will speed the ripening process.

Certain fruits such as bananas are housed in ethylene gas storage once they arrive at their destination to initiate ripening.

Then the ethylene content is strictly monitored.

In this article I will explain whether papayas ripen after being picked, the main factors that influence how fast papayas ripen, what fruits will ripen other fruits and whether fruit ripens after it’s picked.

Do Papayas Ripen After Being Picked?

Do Papayas Ripen After Being Picked

Certain fruits will ripen after being harvested such as bananas.

So, I was interested in whether papayas ripen if you pick them when they’re still green…

As a general rule, papayas will ripen after being picked.

Most papayas will ripen after 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature.

However, they will take much longer if you keep them in the fridge, or if they are kept in a cold environment – such as in a basement.

Most people are of the opinion that papaya will eventually ripen even when picked green.

But, it can seem to take forever. I tend to get papaya that has yellow streaks, and only pick papaya when it has a bit of yellow on the skin.

People have suggested that green papaya will ripen but it won’t ripen properly, and won’t be as sweet.

I notice this as well when I get bananas that are a bit green.

When I get bananas that are almost all yellow they taste much sweeter than bananas that I get with a bit of green on the stalk.

After I let them ripen to be completely yellow, they aren’t as bright yellow and have a different texture.

Rather than being soft and mushy, they are still quite firm.  The same is true for papayas and it’s best to let the tree ripen as much as possible.

Taking care not to lose too many of them to birds.  It’s generally best to pick them before they get completely ripe.

That way you can keep them inside away from birds or other animals and insects.

Why Is My Papaya Not Ripening?

Why Is My Papaya Not Ripening

Certain papaya you buy can seem to take forever to ripen.

And you may be wondering why it isn’t ripening.

There are a few factors that will cause papaya to ripen.

Generally, papaya will take a long time to ripen at cold temperatures, and when it is picked early.

To aid ripening you should pick them when they show some yellow on the skin.

As well as, keep them somewhere warm and in direct sunlight, after they’ve been picked.

As you may know, you can eat green papaya.

It is a very popular dish in Thailand where it’s called papaya salad.

It has the taste and texture of a vegetable.

It’s common at some grocery stores that papayas are sold to be used green before they ripen.

And therefore they are picked very early on purpose. It’s best to not buy these ones if you’re wanting to eat ripe papaya.

They’re easy to identify because the skin is completely green.

What Fruit Ripens Other Fruit?

What Fruit Ripens Other Fruit

Certain fruits are better than others at causing them to ripen faster.

And some fruits are also unaffected by ethylene that’s produced by ripening fruits.

Here are the fruits that aid other fruits to ripen and cause them to ripen faster.

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

*According to the San Diego School of Medicine.

However, there are many fruits and vegetables that are unaffected by the fruits that ripen other fruits.

The following fruits and vegetables will ripen faster when next to the ethylene producing fruits above:

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Mangos
  • Onions
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelon

And here’s the fruit and vegetables that are unaffected by fruits that cause ripening:

Therefore, it’s wise to keep the above fruits and vegetables away from the list of other fruits above.

Apples and bananas are very common.

In fact, bananas are the most popular fruit worldwide.

I recently showed what the most popular fruits are in the world and in the USA.

Read it here: how many fruits and vegetables are there

You might have noticed that some of the fruits on the list of fruits that cause other fruits to ripen are what most people would call vegetables.

Such as tomatoes, and peppers.

However, they are in fact fruits.

There are many fruits that are called vegetables.

Interestingly, the way to tell them apart is that vegetables are the roots, leaves, and stems of plants.

Whereas, fruits are the seed pods.

For example, beans, pumpkin, and eggplant are all fruits.

Will Fruit Ripen After Cut?

Will Fruit Ripen After Cut

At certain times you may want to cut fruit before it’s ripe, for example, if you want to use it in a savoury dish.

But, does fruit continue to ripen after it’s cut?

Overall fruit will continue to ripen after it has been cut.

The main consideration with cutting fruit is that it increases the surface area that will be exposed to the air and cause the fruit to rot faster.

So, you should only cut fruit if you’re planning to use it very soon.

You may have noticed that if you leave some slices of apple, bananas, or carrot out they will start to turn a brown color.

They still remain good to eat for a few hours.

But, in most climates, the fruit will begin to dry out and become almost stale.

The cut part of the fruit can also become harder than the flesh of the fruit.

The good news is that the outer layer mostly keeps the flesh of the fruit fresh.

And if you leave them for a few days, you may decide it’s better to cut off the outer part of the fruit that is a bit tougher now, and only eat the freshest, best-tasting part.

How long can cut papaya be kept in the fridge?

How long can cut papaya be kept in the fridge

Papaya can grow very large, and so even when you cut one in half you might only feel like eating one half of it.

Or, you might be adding a small amount to a dessert or breakfast.

So, you’ll be left with some cut papaya that is ideally kept in the fridge.

But, how long can cut papaya be kept in the fridge?

Cut papaya will last for around 30 days in the fridge.

The longer it’s kept in the fridge the riper it will become.

The skin can also begin to wrinkle due to the water content being removed by the cool air.

However, the flesh will still remain sweet and delicious for around 30 days in the fridge.

Papaya can also be frozen, however, once you defrost it the texture won’t be nice or good to eat.

Therefore, it’s only good to freeze papaya if you intend to use it for baking, smoothies, and jams.

Frozen papaya can last for 6 months or more. Provided it doesn’t get everyone’s favorite – freezer burn!

There are a few ways to limit freezer burn, which I explained in full detail in an article about whether you can freeze fruit. Read it here: can fresh fruit be frozen.

Another good way to preserve papaya is to dry it.

As you may know, there are specialist fruit dryers which you can use in your home.

However, drying it will remove some of the nutrients, and the healthiest way to eat papaya is fresh.

How do I know if a papaya is ripe?

How do I know if a papaya is ripe

I’ve eaten my fair share of papayas, some were perfectly ripe, whereas others weren’t quite ripe and I had to throw some of it away.

So, I thought I’d explain how to tell when a papaya is ripe.

A papaya is ripe when the flesh is soft to the touch when you press the outside of the skin with a finger.

It’s virtually identical to testing an avocado for ripeness.

Unripe papaya will have no give to it and feels like a green banana or apple when you press the skin with a finger.

The skin will also tend to turn from green to yellow as it ripens.

Or, at the very least have some yellow streaks on the skin. You will notice that papayas can ripen unevenly.

Parts of the papaya can be ripe, while other parts will still be hard.

For example, the area around the top and bottom of the papaya can still be quite firm and unripe, whereas, towards the middle part of the fruit it’s soft to the touch, sweet, and ripe.

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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