Today, Canada consumes 4 billion of lady finger bananas annually and Germany more than 2 billion. According to another research, 100 bananas are consumed per person in England, and this means 5 billion lady finger bananas.
Moreover, Banana is the staple food for the people of Uganda. One Ugandan consumes 400 kilos of sweet and cooking bananas a year in average.
Although there are many varieties of banana, these varieties could not be included in marketing networks. The most commonly traded variety in the world is cloned Cavendish.
While developed countries consume Banana for its flavor and rich content, it is the staple food source in the third world countries where banana is largely produced.
One other member of the banana family is plantain, which can be cooked, but not really widespread around the world, but it is used as main meal in underdeveloped tropical countries.
Babies and children can also consume this nice smelling fruit since it has a special aroma, high nutritional content, easy consumption, and is easily mixed in liquids.
Both raw eaten and cooking bananas are rich sources of vitamins B1, B2, C, E, provitamin A, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphor, sodium and iodine. One banana has 100 calories in average.
Banana is a fruit type that can only be grown in tropical regions and is prone to spoilage. The most advanced method of storing bananas is a type of controlled atmosphere storage, which has high airflow and allows for temperature, humidity and ethylene control. Unlike the general assumption, it is harvested in green color before it is ripened. Bunches of bananas are brought into the necessary size for trading and washed and dipped in fungicide water before they are stored in cold storage set up at +12/+15 °C (53.60–59.00°F) depending on the variety, and with a humidity rate of 85–90%.
Being a climacteric fruit, the respiration speed of bananas is higher than many other fruit types. Since storing temperature of this excited fruit is high, reducing the respiration speed is quite limited. Bananas release ethylene gas during respiration. This gas secretion accelerates its maturing. That is why the most critical factor in storing bananas is the level of ethylene in the storage.
If the ethylene gas cannot be removed through ethylene cleaners, it won’t be possible to store bananas for a long time. Unfortunately, bananas are not suitable for long-term storage. Stored while they are still green, bananas have maximum 6–7 weeks of storage life, and cannot be sent to the market straight after storage. They are given ethylene in a controlled way in special rooms for breaking down the chlorophyll on the skin in order to change its color to yellow in 6–8 days depending on the temperature and then sent to the market.
It’s a small miracle that this fragile and tasty fruit reaches our homes from all the way from the Equator. Those, who perform this miracle, are banana producers who sell a kilo for a few cents, genetic scientists who developed the banana varieties and cold storage experts who achieve storing bananas until they reach the consumer.