What to Look For

Select papayas that are firm with 1/4 to full yellow in colour for a sweeter taste because they do not increase in sweetness after harvest.  Inspect the fruit for any defects such as sunburn, insect injuries, discolouration, and signs of decay.

Papayas ripen from the inside out and will change from dark green to light green with some yellow at the blossom end of the fruit.  The flesh colour will change from green to yellow or red as they ripen.

Ideal Storage

  • 13°C for green to 1/4 yellow 
  • 10°C for partially ripe (1/4 - 1/2 yellow)
  • 7°C for ripe (1/2 yellow or over)
  • 90 - 95% Relative Humidity

Papayas will last from 2 - 4 weeks and 3 - 5 weeks in a controlled atmosphere.  

Chilling injury will occur after 14 days at 5°C for a green papaya and about 21 days for a 60% yellow papaya.  Symptoms of chilling injury include blotchy colouration, uneven ripening, skin scald, water soaking of tissues, and increased susceptibility of decay.  

Response to Etheylene

Papayas are sensitive to ethylene.  100 ppm of ethylene exposure at 20°C to 25°C and 90% - 95% relative humidity for 24 - 48 hours will result in accelerated and more uniform ripening.