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.


7 Answers 7


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.


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.


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.

  • Changing color does not mean the fruit actually changes, though.
    – Catija
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 6:05

I tend to disagree with many of the opinions. I consider softness to be an important aspect of ripeness in the pineapple. While they claim it wont get sweeter, softer pineapples that are fragrant from the base (usually tend to have the leaves pluck off easy and show a little more yellow), are always sweeter and juicier to me than a green one with firm leaves. I actually dont like chewy hard pineapple, so allowing some shelf ripening for softness is critical to me.


I also agree that a green pineapple with no scent to it when you smell it is not a ripe pineapple. There are three ways to tell when a pineapple is ripe. If you wait a few days and it turns to a yellower color and if you sniff it and you can actually smell the pineapple and the leaves on top can be plucked without having to pull so hard, that's when a pineapple will be at its best. It is definitely definitely sweeter And juicier than green hard pineapples. Plus this way you don't get the nasty chewy stringy hardness that an all green, hard, non-smelling pineapple in a store would give you. Unless you buy it already nice and ripe , just be patient and in 2-4 days depending on the pineapple itself, you'll know what it is to eat a delicious ripe fresh pineapple.


Alot of Articles is Wrong I bought green pineapples and left them of the counter when they had no smell and hard And after 4 days the whole house smelled sweet and the pineapple was yellow When i cut into it, it was very sweet

  • This does not necessarily contradict what is in the other (referenced!) answers, especially it will be just as sweet when it is green and fresh as when it sat and turned yellow. So your A lot of articles is wrong is too quick a conclusion based on your 1 personal experience (we call that an anecdote, not evidence).
    – user34961
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 11:15

I've been doing it for years. Place in a small container with an inch of water and 2 dollops of honey. Leave it outdoors in Full Sun 3 days. Works like a champ.

  • Welcome to the site. First, this doesn't answer the question about ripening. Secondly, this sounds like it will create a breeding ground for bacteria.
    – moscafj
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 20:58
  • And we do have a code of conduct, which I strongly recommend you read and follow in future posts.
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 17:49

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