Within the different classifications that can be applied to fruits, there is one that enables classifying them as either climacteric and non-climacteric fruits. Due to their characteristics, both avocados and mangos are climacteric fruits.
The fact that they are climacteric means many advantages for consumers and buyers, who can buy green mangos or avocados that are not ripe, with peace of mind, being able to enjoy their favourite fruits with a little patience.
What are climacteric fruits?
As has been said so far, it is clear that being a climacteric fruit is a good thing, in fact, the adjective “climacteric” is a key term within the fruit and vegetable industry. But: what exactly does it mean when a fruit is climacteric or not?
Climacteric fruits are those that continue to ripen even after harvesting, in other words, from the moment they are harvested until they reach the consumer, they will continue to complete their ripening, as if they were still in the plant and, if the consumer takes a while to eat them, the cycle will continue progressing, and this is possible thanks to the autocatalytic production of ethylene, as it is precisely the ethylene that is responsible for making them ripe.
When during their growth they produce enough ethylene in the plant, once harvested, they can continue to ripen, although they no longer receive more nutrients from the plant they came from, as they are able to continue producing the ethylene they need.
The most classic example of climacteric fruits are tomatoes, which are traditionally harvested long before the fruits are ripe and allowed to ripen outside the plant, which allows the fruit to be enjoyed for many months and in perfect ripening conditions. Other examples of climacteric fruits are bananas or pears and, of course, avocados and mangos, which continue to ripen after they have been harvested.
On the other hand, citrus fruits are included among non-climacteric fruits, which, if they are harvested when they are still green, will reach the table green, and they will even rot while still green.
What is the effect of avocados being climacteric at the time of harvesting?
Avocados are a type of climacteric fruit with specific characteristics as, only if they are harvested at the perfect time will they be able to start ripening, which means they will be with the consumer at the optimum time.
The harvest time is therefore key to this climacteric fruit. Only producers with optimal cultivation methodologies will be able to get the ideal harvesting time right.
Once purchased, is there any way to speed up the ripening of climacteric fruits at home?
The fact that avocados and mangos are climacteric fruits has advantages, as you can buy fruits that still need a few more days to be perfectly ripe and this can be sped up at home.
There is a trick to solve the problem of what to do with mangos and avocados that are not ripe yet, which consists of taking advantage of the characteristic of another climacteric fruit, apples, that, due to their high production levels of ethylene, help other climacteric fruits to speed up their ripening. All you have to do is put avocados or mangos in a paper bag with some apples and wait for two or three days. What we call “climacteric acceleration” will take place and so the fruits will be delicious and exquisite for consumption within a few days.
The fact that they are climacteric is, in short, one more reason to buy avocados and mangos, therefore providing an extra guarantee that you will enjoy them when they are tasty, very juicy and at the consumption time of your choosing if you use the “climacteric acceleration” method.