Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Activated Charcoal Sacs

Small sac of activated charcoal prevents food from premature ripening
  [vote for,

This is a little sac like the ones that contain silica gel desiccant, but it contains a little bit of activated charcoal to adsorb the ethylene gas that fruit produces as it ripens.

Supermarkets stick these in high-priced fruits that are often sold in sealed containers (e.g., berries) to increase shelf-life. After you take the package home, you eat the fruit and throw out the packet.

Cuit_au_Four, Apr 14 2012

http://www.y-carbon...kRef=food_packaging [ytk, Apr 17 2012]

Ethylene http://plantphys.in...logy/ethylene.shtml
Mentions activated charcoal and potassium permanganate as ethylene removers. [spidermother, Apr 19 2012]


       Or eat the packet, to alleviate poisoning / overindulgence in alcohol / etc.
UnaBubba, Apr 17 2012

       It would be slightly cooler for your fruit bowl to have a flare stack, like oil rigs do, to burn off the unwanted ethylene.
hippo, Apr 17 2012

       The gas that bananas give off is ethyl ethanoate, from memory. Going back to the late 1970s for possibly dodgy memory... I'll check.
UnaBubba, Apr 17 2012

       Nope, 3-methylbutyl acetate. Sorry.   

       Ethyl ethanoate has applications as a solvent for decaffeinating tea and coffee. Didn't know that.
UnaBubba, Apr 17 2012

       [UnaBubba] You're thinking of the ester that (largely) gives bananas their smell. They _also_ give off ethylene.
spidermother, Apr 17 2012

       Yep. It was 1979 when we looked at esters in chemistry and I've not really had any need to use the information again. Please excuse my faulty memory.
UnaBubba, Apr 17 2012

       hmmm... just thinkin' 'bout that ethylene gas... couldn't you bubble it through some chlorinated water to produce ethylene oxide? That seems sufficiently useful, toxic, and explosive that it ought to be a standard part of a halfbaker's armamentarium.
lurch, Apr 17 2012

       Exploding bananas?
Ling, Apr 19 2012

       This is a slick idea and easily testable for a science fair project, ideally using time lapse photography. Two cake dishes with bananas, one with several packets of charcoal and one without. Do they ripen at different speeds?
bungston, Apr 19 2012


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