When a banana fall on the floor or get a certain impact, the impact location gets darker (it bruises) after a certain amount of time. The darkening affects the peel as well as the fruit itself. Why does this happen?

  • $\begingroup$ Related: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/16523/… $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2018 at 10:16
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    $\begingroup$ @LinuxBlanket Thx :) I saw that but, I was wondering what is happening when the banana fall and not only the normal ripening process. From what I have read online, it seems that when a certain pressure is exerted on the peel, the cells are damaged and they release an enzyme that will make the ripening faster. Nevertheless, I am waiting for a technically detailed answer describing the process. $\endgroup$
    Feb 23, 2018 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


Fruit is discolored in the first place because, when certain compounds are altered (oxidized), they turn brown.

In a banana (and most fruit) those compounds are phenolic compounds, and polyphenoloxidase is the thing that oxidizes them.

In an undamaged banana, the phenolic compounds and the polyphenoloxidase (that can turn them brown) are physically separated.

When the banana is crushed/dropped/etc, the structure of the banana is damaged so that the phenolic compounds and the polyphenoloxidase come into contact. The polyphenoloxidase oxidizes the phenolic compounds, and you get that brownish color.

A nice summary (which links to a more detailed reference) can be found here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-bruised-fruit-tu/


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