Israeli scientists say they've found a way to keep bananas from going brown so quickly by tweaking a ripening-related gene, Reuters reports.
Haya Friedman from the Volcani Institute has built on previous work involving tomato ripening to alter the expression of a banana gene that's involved in aging. "Even though there are like 80 genes of the same family, we found the gene that can control … the ripening and we were able to show that it's really similar to what is happening in tomato, we can delay the ripening," she tells Reuters.
These altered bananas, Reuters says, stay fresh for twice as long as normal bananas. Friedman adds that the taste and quality of the bananas are unchanged.
She says that bananas like these could be helpful for farmers and wholesalers and also for people in developing countries where cold transportation or storage is limited.
"[T]hey do not have means of transportation in cold or storage in cold, although the banana should not be stored in cold, but at 12 degrees it can be stored and it can last longer," she says. "But they don't have the facilities. So I think a development like this is a great idea for developing countries. They will have food for a longer time."