Should commercial fruit farmers be allowed to use ethylene to accelerate the ripening of fruit for the market? Why or Why not?
Ethylene is a hormone, specifically used to accelerate the ripening process of fruits before shipment and sale.Farmers “blast” fruit with the gas so that it can go to sale faster. This does not reduce the quality or flavour of the fruit, nor does it increase the fruit’s shelf life, and instead actually increases the flavour and makes the fruit taste sweeter.
This happens when the ethylene breaks down starch in the fruits with the enzyme alpha-amylase. Ethylene does cause the fruit to ripen much faster and, as a result, results in fruit that will spoil closer to the time of purchase.
By not using this to treat fruits before sale, the fruit may be unripe upon shipment or remain in stock in stores, greatly reducing the industry’s turnover rate.