Fruit Ripening

Topics: Fruit, Seed, Plant Pages: 3 (598 words) Published: August 26, 2012
Why are some fruits sweet and some sour, whereas others have no specific taste?

Naturally fruit contains cellulose, proteins, starch, proteins, vitamins, certain acids and fructose (or sugar).
When fruit ripens, a series of chemical changes occur in the fruit that result in either a sweet fruit, sweet and sour fruit, sour fruit or fruit with no specific taste. During these changes, the acids content in fruit becomes less and the fructose content increases thereby resulting in a sweet fruit (Coen, 2011).

The more fructose that is present in a fruit, the sweeter it will be like in apples, mangoes, guavas and watermelon. When fruits have a more sour taste to them, this means that there is a higher level of acid in the fruit. No matter how much it ripens it will never have a sweet taste as with lemons and limes (Gemini Geek, 2011).

For fruits like oranges and grapefruits there is a balance of sweet and sour, therefore an equal presence of acid and fructose in the fruit (Redding, 2010).
Other factors that affect the taste of fruit is its growing conditions. The proper amount of sunshine can make fruit taste sweeter. As the sun shines on the fruit, it heats up the fruit which increases the sugar content in the fruit. In the growing seasons, where there is more rain than sunshine, the fruit will have a watered down taste (Redding, 2010). How does the ripening of fruit affect the process of seed dispersal?

As plants undergo the process of ripening, they produce their own ethylene. Ethylene is a simple gas that is produced when fruit ripens (Nemec, 2008).
When the fruit is ripe it is responsible for seed dispersal by attracting animals to the fruit, who consume it and then the seeds are dispersed in their fecal matter or whatever remains of the uneaten portion of the fruit that is left on the ground will be absorbed into the soil (Mauseth, 2003).

Another means of seed dispersal is the wind or the fruit disperse the seeds themselves. This takes place...

References: Coen, K. (August 11, 2011). Sweet vs. sour fruits. Retrieved from
Gemini Geek. (2011). Why are some fruits sweet where others are sour? Retrieved from
Jirage, R. (November 21, 2011). Steps of seed germination. Retrieved from
Mauseth, James D. (2003). Botany:an introduction to plant biology. pg. 271-273. Jones & Bartlett Publishers: Sudbury, MA
Nemec, J. (May/June 2008). What makes fruit ripen? Retrieved from
Redding, L. (August 4, 2010). Heat makes fruit sweet. Retrieved from
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