Are fruit ripening agents safe?


Plant growth regulators are also called plant hormones, so some people think that ripening agents contain "hormones". In fact, this view is wrong. Plant hormones do not cause premature puberty in humans and animals. There is actually a huge difference between plant hormones and human hormones. They are not the same thing from chemical structure to function. It is completely unfounded to worry that fruit ripening agents will cause children to develop prematurely.

Phytohormones only act on plants, and there are no animal estrogens and androgens in plants. Plant hormones also have no effect on the animal body. Plant hormones are mostly small molecules, while animal hormones are mainly large molecules of proteins and peptides. The two have different chemical structures and completely different mechanisms of action.

Some people are worried that fruit farmers and traders will add excessive amounts of plant hormones. In fact, there is no need to worry too much. Because the use of plant hormones requires costs and has certain limitations: there are benefits to using a small amount, but there are disadvantages to using too much. For example, if too much ripening agent is used, the fruits will ripen too quickly and become easily spoiled, which is not conducive to transportation and storage. Therefore, merchants and fruit growers generally do not use excessive amounts of plant hormones.

Will the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables be reduced after using ripening agents?

Many people believe that fruits and vegetables that use ripening agents mature quickly, which is a "reduction in seedling growth" and the nutritional value will be reduced. In fact, the use of ripening agents in agricultural production can promote the growth of fruits and vegetables and increase yields. The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables does not always decrease.

Among dark-colored fruits and vegetables, the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables that are ripened will indeed be reduced. In research on tomato ripening, it was found that the lycopene and vitamin C contents of tomatoes ripened using ethylene were lower than those of naturally ripened tomatoes. This is because tomatoes are greenish-yellow when unripe and contain almost no lycopene. During the ripening process, due to the lack of sunlight, the production of lycopene is affected to a certain extent, and during storage, vitamin C will be oxidized and reduced.

However, the nutritional value of other light-colored fruits and vegetables that are ripened with ethylene will not be reduced. Studies have shown that the use of ethylene during the germination process of mung bean seeds can increase the soluble protein, soluble sugar and vitamin C contents of mung bean sprouts by 25.1%, 66.07% and 163.9% respectively; in studies on lychees and pears, it was found that the use of ethylene to accelerate ripening The total sugar content of the fruit has increased, and at the same time, the vitamin C content can be better maintained, and the nutritional value has an increasing trend.

Generally speaking, for those dark-colored fruits, some nutrients will indeed be reduced after ripening. However, for those fruits with little color in the pulp, ripening agents will actually increase their nutrients.

When eating fruits and vegetables, if you are worried about the residue of ripening agents, you may wish to rinse them with water for a few minutes.