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What fruits/veg spoil the fastest?


Many fruits and vegetables either produce or are sensitive to a natural gas called ethylene, also known as the 'ripening' or 'ageing' hormone. These are therefore much more susceptible to spoiling at a quicker rate than others.

The table below shows a selection of fruits, vegetables and flowers and their relative production and sensitivity rates.

View table (PDF)

Fruits & Vegetables Level of ethylene sensitivity Rate of ethylene production Principal reaction of ethylene gas
Apples 4 5 Scald (a)
Cherrimoya 4 5 Decay
Passion Fruit 4 5 Decay
Apricots 4 4 Decay
Asian Pears 4 4 Decay
Avocados 4 4 Decay
Nectarines 4 4 Decay
Papaya 4 4 Decay
Peaches 4 4 Decay
Bananas 3 4 Decay
Mangoes 4 3 Decay
Melons 4 3 Decay
Plumes, Prunes 4 3 Decay
Tomatoes 4 3 Shrink, decay
Cucumbers 4 2 Yellowing
Kiwifruit 4 2 Decay
Persimmons 4 2 Decay
Quinces 4 2 Decay
Watermelons 4 2 Lose firmness
Broccoli 4 1 Yellowing
Brussle sprouts 4 1 Yellowing
Lettuce (b) 4 1 Russet spotting
Aubergine 3-4 2 Brown spots
Cantaloupe 3 4 Decay
Asparagus 3 1 Toughness
Grapefruit 3 1 Mould
Lemons, Limes 3 1 Mould
Oranges 3 1 Mould (d)
Potatoes (f) 3 1 Sprouting
Berries 2 2 Mould
Carrots 2 1 Bitterness
Cherries 2 1 Softening
Grapes 2 1 Mould
Onions, Garlic 2 1 Odor, sprouting
Carnations - cut 4 1 Sleepiness
Rosese - cut 4 1 Prem. Opening
Flower Bulbs 4 1 Shrink (h)
Nursery Stock 4 1 Slower start
Orchids 4 1 Prem. Opening
Daffodils 3 2 Prem. Opening


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