I've bought a fresh mango for a recipe, I've not used mango fresh before and it's currently pretty green (there didn't seem to be any that were more ripe at the shop) and came with a sticker on informatively saying just "Ripen at home".

So, what's the best environment to help it ripen?
Should it be refrigerated during ripening and/or when ripe?
And how do I reliably tell when it's 'ready'?

7 Answers 7


You can let it ripe at room temperature.

If you want to slow down the ripening process, put it in the fridge, although this will affect the mango negatively. If you want to speed up the process, put it in a bag with a banana.

When the mango is ready to eat, it will be slightly soft if you press it and you can smell the mango flesh through the peel. The green colour will not totally disappear.

  • 1
    As per themaroon's suggestion of an apple, bananas also produce high quantities of ethylene. As do tomatoes. If you've ever wondered why bunches of bananas ripen together it's because of increasing concentration of ethylene in the bunch. Also, the phrase one bad apple ruins the bunch is directly related to the ethylene production of the single apple increasing the production of ethylene in apples near it. So anyway, Mien says banana, themaroon says apple. I say tomato. :)
    – zacechola
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 4:13
  • 2
    There is some information about ethylene itself here cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/109/… so I didn't feel the need to repeat it now :) But you're absolutely right.
    – Mien
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 6:39
  • 1
    I put an unripe mango into a paper bag. After a couple days, it developed dark/black spots where it was starting to rot, and the rest of the mango was still unripe. I won't do that again. Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 9:21

Fruit ripens due to exposure to a gas called ethylene. If you want fruit to ripen faster, expose it to more ethylene. Industrial agriculture companies often pick fruit under-ripe, ship it, then hit it with ethylene gas to ripen near the point of sale.

One common method is to put the fruit in a paper bag, which will trap the ethylene and therefore expose the fruit to it more. If you're in a hurry, toss an apple in the bag as well. This works for almost all fruit.

  • Putting the mango into a paper bag (or wrapping it into newspaper) also prevents the mango from drying. Source: my experience. :) Commented May 14, 2014 at 7:45
  • I put an unripe mango into a paper bag. After a couple days, it developed dark/black spots where it was starting to rot, and the rest of the mango was still unripe. I won't do that again. Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 9:18
  • This is true for all climacteric fruit. And Mango is climacteric. See foodandnutrition.org/blogs/student-scoop/…
    – Popup
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 14:02

Back home in India we had a big container filled with rice grains. Placing the mangoes inside the container would hasten the ripening process immensely.

  • Was there a top on the container? Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 14:02

Place the mango in a bowl with raw popcorn seeds. My boyfriend is from Jalisco, Mexico, and his mother is used to ripen them in this way.


Fruit ripening is largely caused by a plant hormone called ethylene, which is a gas. Most fruits give off ethylene in ever increasing quantities as they ripen. Temperature is a key determinant of chemical reaction rates and therefore, produce (fruits and vegetables) metabolic rates. Ethylene production increases as temperature rises. Ripening for most fruit is best at or slightly above room temperature, (68 - 70F). Low temperature can inactivate essential enzymes required for full ripening. The fruit may not complete the ripening processes, and/or achieve full flavor. When detached from the growing plant fresh produce continues to transpire and lose water, therefore it is very important to maintain high relative humidity (85% RH) in the storage atmosphere. Put fruits that emit a high concentration of ethylene such as apples, pears, bananas, avocados and passion fruit in a paper bag with slower ripening fruit, then inside a plastic bag to contain more of the ethylene gas.

Key variables affecting the storage life and eating quality of fruit and vegetables: 1. •time from harvest 2. •temperature 3. •relative humidity 4. •atmosphere composition 5. •ethylene 6. •pest and disease 7. •pre- and postharvest treatments


Place in dark place, like a cabinet over night- easy.


Store them in a warm place along with Hay.

  • 4
    ...hay? Why hay?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 17:27
  • In India, we do so. Dry hay acts as probably as insulator.
    – tuxnani
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 9:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.