Why the BananaRest is the smart solution to keep bananas fresh longer
Typically when you purchase bananas, you buy a bunch or two, depending on your family size. Once you get them home, they will all typically ripen at the same pace, however, you will likely not eat them all in one day. The challenge is how do you store bananas so that they ripen at a gradual pace and can be enjoyed over a 4-5 day period without overripening.
Should you separate bananas? The simple science behind the banana ripening process
Bananas are a climacteric fruit that continues to ripen after it has been picked from the tree. There are two very simple facts that determine how fast bananas ripen, ethylene gas and temperature. In fact, when bananas are shipped across the ocean, the temperature and ethylene gas levels inside the shipping containers are carefully controlled so that they arrive at their destination with an ideal color and ripeness.
Bananas release a gas, ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process. If you place bananas in a brown paper bag they will ripen faster because the ethylene gas remains trapped in the bag. Logically then if you want to slow the pace of ripening, you need to disperse the gas away from the bananas as best as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to separate the bananas and elevate them off of the counter so that there is ample air circulation around each banana. It helps to store them in a place with decent ventilation, otherwise, you are replicating the brown paper bag experience on a larger scale. The gas will then be dissipated into the ambient air away from the bananas helping keep the bananas fresh longer.
Now you will see lots of advice and experiments regarding wrapping the stems in plastic or foil to try and trap the gas inside the bananas so that it cannot escape. I am skeptical about whether the gas is released only through the stem; if it were you should see the stems ripen significantly faster than the rest of the banana, which I have never seen. My sense is that covering the stem may keep it from drying out and may help to keep the skin in better condition, but I doubt that it affects the release of ethylene gas. The studies I have seen have mixed results and most are not scientifically controlled experiments, so I personally do not wrap the stems, and further, I find it to be a lot of extra work.
The second factor and probably more important is the ambient temperature at which bananas are stored. There is a reason the commercial transporters control the temperature. In the same way that refrigeration slows down the ripening process, keeping them in a very hot climate will cause them to ripen faster. So depending on how green or ripe they are when you buy them, and relative to when you plan to eat them, and the local temperature where you live, will determine where is the best place to store bananas.
Where do you keep bananas
If you want them to ripen slowly and keep the bananas from browning, then keep them in a cooler location, out of direct sunlight, and make sure there is good air flow. Again, separating the bananas allows for better airflow around each banana, so that facilitates better cooling and more even ripening of each banana. Many people refrigerate bananas - we do not recommend refrigerating bananas unless they are already ripe and have fully developed their flavor and sweetness.
Design to keep bananas fresh longer
As you can see, the BananaRest stores bananas separately and elevated to allow for maximum air circulation around each banana which allows for a more gradual and controlled pace of ripening. Of course, it is still up to you to place it in a location where the ambient temperature is appropriate for the timeline on which you plan to consume them. The other nice features of the BananaRest are that bananas are now easy to grab and go; you don't have to tear one away from the bunch which can tear open other bananas, leading to exposed pulp which can attract fruit flies. Also, they look very neat and organized which is nice if you like your kitchen looking organized.
Bananas are super healthy
Bananas are delicious, cheap, super healthy and available year round. Lots of potassium, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B-6. Enjoy them!