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  • jordanfanny0
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    During the ripening process, bananas produce the gas ethylene, which acts as a plant hormone and indirectly affects the flavor. Among other things, ethylene stimulates the formation of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar, influencing the taste of bananas. The greener, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and, consequently, have a “starchier” taste. On the other hand, yellow bananas taste sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations. Furthermore, ethylene signals the production of pectinase, an enzyme which breaks down the pectin between the cells of the banana, causing the banana to soften as it ripens. Prior to 1960, almost all commercial banana production centered on “Gros Michel”, which was highly susceptible. Cavendish was chosen as the replacement for Gros Michel because, among resistant cultivars, it produces the highest quality fruit. However, more care is required for shipping the Cavendish, and its quality compared to Gros Michel is debated. The leaves of banana plants are composed of a stalk and a blade . The base of the petiole widens to form a sheath; the tightly packed sheaths make up the pseudostem, which is all that supports the plant. The edges of the sheath meet when it is first produced, making it tubular. As new growth occurs in the centre of the pseudostem the edges are forced apart. Cultivated banana plants vary in height depending on the variety and growing conditions. Most are around 5 m tall, with a range from ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ plants at around 3 m to ‘Gros Michel’ at 7 m or more. Leaves are spirally arranged and may grow 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) long and 60 cm (2.0 ft) wide. They are easily torn by the wind, resulting in the familiar frond look. When a banana plant is mature, the corm stops producing new leaves and begins to form a flower spike or inflorescence. A stem develops which grows up inside the pseudostem, carrying the immature inflorescence until eventually it emerges at the top. Each pseudostem normally produces a single inflorescence, also known as the “banana heart”. In the plantation system of cultivation, only one of the offshoots will be allowed to develop in order to maintain spacing.

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