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Do pineapples ripen after they are picked? I had alway thought you could leave them on the counter to ripen, however, I recently heard they don't ripen after they are picked.

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This answer (…) should be helpful to you. – justkt Dec 14 '10 at 15:18

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Pineapple softens, but not sweeten on shelf ripening.

Fruit ripening is usually due to exposure of unsaturated hydrocarbons e.g. ethylene. This phenomenon occurs in fruit known as "climacteric fruits". Well known examples are banana, avocado, tomato, apple, pear, kiwi, to name a few.

Pineapple is not a kind of climacteric fruit. However, ethylene exposure will activate chitinase (which is a type of enzyme that breaks down chitin, a structural material inside plants), and cause softening of the pineapple. To achieve this a simple method is to place a ripe banana with the pineapple which release ethylene.

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According to Dole and Cooking for Engineers (which has an excellent article on a variety of fruits) pineapples do not ripen after picking but do change color. So it will be just as sweet when it is green and fresh as when it sat and turned yellow.

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I've ripened a pineapple at home after buying - turn upside down in a vase, works great!! Turns from green to more of a yellow-greenish color - bottoms always ripen first. Don't ripen too long though.

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Changing color does not mean the fruit actually changes, though. – Catija May 31 at 6:05

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