Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Salt, Leaves of Madre de Cacao hasten ripening of fruits

Dr Abe V Rotor

Still the best fruit is one that ripens naturally.
Don' t harvest immature fruits.

It is true.

Not only that sodium chloride hastens ripening. It seals the base of the peduncle (fruit stem) and protects the fruit from fungi and bacteria that may cause rotting during ripening. Not all fruits though respond to this treatment, especially those harvested when still immature.

This is a common practice of old folks on chico, nangka, atis, guava, guyabano, papaya, mango, and the like. It is effective. Here is another ripening technique.

Old folks use fresh leaves of madre de cacao or kakawate (Gliricida sepium) to ripen banana, papaya, mango, chico, guyabano, atis, avocado, and others.

The fruits are placed in an earthen jar lined with a layer or two of kakawate leaves. The jar is closed or inverted in order to trap the ethylene gas that catalyzes the softening of pectin and the conversion of complex to simple sugar. Ripening takes around three days. Plastic bag is a good substitute for jar.

Unlike the commercial method of using carbide (carburo), kakawate ripened fruits, assuming they were picked at proper maturity, retain their natural taste, color and aroma as if they were ripened on the tree.    

Living with Folk Wisdom
, AVR, UST Manila

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