Accelerating Pineapple Ripening: Efficient Techniques for Home Use

How to ripen pineapple faster at home

Pineapple is a delicious tropical fruit that can take some effort to prepare, but is well worth it when perfectly ripe. However, if you are unable to pick a freshly grown pineapple, it is useful to know how to ripen it at home. In this article, we will explore methods for ripening pineapple quickly and evenly, regardless of where it was purchased.

Ripening Pineapple: The Basics

Once pineapple is harvested, it does not continue to ripen naturally. However, there are techniques you can use to help develop its texture and color. One method is to store the pineapple with other fruits, such as apples and bananas, which produce ethylene gas, which aids in ripening. Another method is to store the pineapple upside down, on its crown. These methods help speed up the ripening process for optimal results.

How to tell if a pineapple is ripe

A pineapple’s appearance does not always indicate its ripeness. Pineapples are often picked while still green, and exposure to ethylene gas can cause them to turn yellow even if the flesh inside is not fully ripe. To determine if a pineapple is ripe, it is important to consider factors such as color, texture, and aroma.


While color can be an indicator of ripeness, it is not the only determining factor. Some pineapples remain green when ripe. However, ripe pineapples typically have a golden color with shades of yellow that deepen to orange around the edges of each segment. The base of the fruit tends to be a deeper golden color, closer to orange than yellow, with less green near the crown. If a pineapple is too orange or is turning brown, it is overripe and may be on the verge of rotting.


Texture is another reliable indicator of ripeness. A ripe pineapple should not be too soft, as this can indicate overripeness, bruising, or spoilage. Instead, it should be firm with just a little give when pressed gently. It should not be rock hard, but it should not feel mushy either.


The aroma of a pineapple can provide valuable insight into its ripeness. Immature pineapples have little to no aroma, while ripe pineapples have a hint of sweetness, especially around the base of the fruit where it was picked. A sweet, ready-to-eat pineapple will have a clean, bright scent that is easy to recognize.

Picking a sweet pineapple

A ripe pineapple is a sweet pineapple. The smell of a pineapple is a reliable measure of its sweetness. An unripe pineapple will not have a strong odor, while an overripe or spoiled pineapple will have an almost sickly, syrupy sweet or fermented odor. A sweet pineapple will have a pleasant aroma that matches the desired flavor.

How long does it take for a pineapple to ripen?

When a pineapple is growing on a plant, it can take up to 16 months to reach full maturity. Once harvested, however, a pineapple will not continue to sweeten or technically ripen. It will continue to soften and change color, from green to yellow to golden and finally to a deep orange that turns brown as it rots, but the sweetness will not increase.

Can you ripen a pineapple at home?

Store-bought pineapples are usually as ripe as they will get. However, as they age, their texture becomes softer and the color changes from green to yellow. This process is similar to ripening, although the term is not entirely accurate. If you have been unable to find a ripe pineapple, there are ways to encourage further development of the fruit at home.

Method 1: Ripening with Ethylene Gas

The most common method of ripening pineapples, as well as other unripe fruits, is to expose them to fruits that emit ethylene gas. While grocery stores use this technique to turn green pineapples yellow, they do not want the fruit to overripen before it reaches the consumer. At home, however, you can continue the ripening process until the desired texture and flavor is achieved.
To ripen pineapple quickly using this method, you will need a large paper bag and a whole apple, pear, peach, or banana. These fruits produce a large amount of ethylene gas, which aids in ripening. Place the pineapple and additional fruit side by side in the paper bag, avoiding plastic bags, which can trap moisture and cause rotting. Fold the top of the bag a few times and leave at room temperature.
Check the pineapple after 12 hours. If it is not ripe, reseal the bag and check again after another 12 hours. The ethylene gas released by the other fruit will speed up the ripening process of the pineapple. Once the pineapple has reached the desired degree of ripeness, remove it from the bag and enjoy.

Method 2: Upside-down ripening

Another method of ripening pineapple at home is to place it upside down, on its crown. This technique is based on the idea that the sugars in the pineapple will flow from the bottom to the top, increasing the sweetness of the fruit. To ripen pineapple using this method, follow these steps:

  1. Cut off the pineapple’s leafy crown, making sure to expose a small portion of the flesh.
  2. Stand the pineapple upright and place it on a stable surface.
  3. Leave the pineapple in this position for 1 to 2 days.
  4. After the allotted time, gently press the base of the pineapple to check for ripeness.
  5. If the pineapple is still not ripe, return it to the upside-down position for another day or two.
  6. When the pineapple is ripe enough, remove the crown and enjoy.

Tips for choosing a pineapple

When choosing a pineapple at the grocery store, follow these tips to ensure you get a ripe, flavorful fruit:

  1. Look for a golden color: While color alone is not the only indicator of ripeness, a golden hue with yellow and orange tones around the edges of each segment is a good sign.
  2. Inspect the leaves: The leaves at the crown of the pineapple should be a rich, fresh green color with no brown or dried leaves.
  3. Evaluate texture: Gently squeeze the pineapple to feel for firmness with a slight give. Avoid pineapples that are too soft or mushy as they may be overripe or bruised.
  4. Smell the base: A ripe pineapple has a sweet, fruity aroma, especially around the base where it was picked. Avoid pineapples with little or no aroma.


Ripening pineapples at home can be accomplished with simple techniques such as using ethylene gas from other fruits or using upside-down ripening. By understanding the visual cues of ripeness, assessing texture, and relying on aroma, you can select and ripen a pineapple to enjoy its sweet and juicy flavors. Whether you use it in a tropical fruit salad, a refreshing smoothie, or a flavorful salsa, a perfectly ripe pineapple will elevate your culinary creations.


Can I ripen a pineapple that has already been cut?

While it is possible to continue the ripening process of a cut pineapple, the flavor and texture may not be the same as if it had been allowed to ripen naturally on the plant. It is best to select a ripe pineapple from the store to ensure optimal flavor and quality.

How long does it take to ripen a pineapple using the ethylene gas method?

The time it takes for a pineapple to ripen using the ethylene gas method can vary. Typically, it takes about 24 to 48 hours for the pineapple to reach the desired level of ripeness. However, factors such as the initial ripeness of the pineapple and the ambient temperature can affect the speed of the ripening process.

Are there alternatives to using apples or bananas to ripen pineapple?

Yes, there are other fruits that produce ethylene gas that can be used to ripen pineapple. Some alternatives include pears, peaches, and certain types of plums. These fruits can be placed in a paper bag with the pineapple to speed up the ripening process.

Can I ripen a pineapple faster by putting it in the refrigerator?

Putting a pineapple in the refrigerator may slow down the ripening process rather than speed it up. The cool temperature inhibits the release of ethylene gas and can extend the time it takes for the pineapple to ripen. It is best to allow a pineapple to ripen at room temperature for optimal results.

How do I know if a pineapple is overripe?

An overripe pineapple may have a mushy texture, brown spots, and an unpleasant fermented odor. It is important to check the texture and aroma of the pineapple before eating to make sure it is not overripe or spoiled.

Can I ripen a pineapple by using a ripe fruit from the same plant?

Unfortunately, once a pineapple is harvested, it will not continue to ripen, even if it is paired with another ripe fruit from the same plant. The ripening process of a pineapple is primarily dependent on the ethylene gas released by other fruits, so using a ripe fruit from the same plant will not have a significant effect on ripening.