Ethylene Application for Greenhouse Tomatoes


Ethylene is a natural plant hormone, so let it assist in harvesting your last pick!

For many, ethylene is solely linked to the ability to initiate ripening of traditional fruits, like bananas, in 20-40 pallet pressurized ripening rooms. However, ethylene has a multitude of uses including the ripening and degreening of organics, tropical fruits, field-grown tomatoes, tobacco, sprout suppression of potatoes and onions, and even greenhouse tomatoes!

By further exposing greenhouse tomatoes to the natural plant hormone, ethylene, overall uniformity in ripeness will be enhanced. Additionally, accelerating the ripening of final tomatoes saves energy and decreases waste accrued from less mature tomatoes stuck in the mix of more mature harvests. In summary, applying added ethylene results in better color and final quality for greenhouse tomatoes.

This is the goal, isn’t it??

Though the use of Catalytic Generators’ ethylene generators, ethylene can be applied in a safe, easy, and residue-free way. Let’s work together to provide consumers with the best quality greenhouse-grown tomatoes. Catalytic Generators has worked with several greenhouse tomato growers internationally to enhance the quality of their harvest. We can also provide you with ethylene detection and control.  If you’re looking to improve the quality of your greenhouse produce, contact us to take the first step.
[1] Gilli, Céline, et al. “Growing Tomatoes at the End of Cultivation: Ethylene to the Rescue!” Swiss Journal Viticulture, vol. 46, no. 3, 2014, pp. 154–158.

Introducing Safe & Easy Ethylene Application In Australia

Catalytic Generators Australia will be showcasing the revamped Easy-Ripe® ethylene generator at Hort Connections in Melbourne, Australia from June 24-26. As a provider of ethylene ripening solutions globally, Hort Connections offers Catalytic Generators Australia the unique opportunity to meet with both new and current customers located in Australia and demonstrate new ethylene ripening products.



In addition to the new Easy-Ripe®, the ‘Centralised Ripening System’ (CRS) will be on display. Large-scale ripening is made easy with the CRS, as Ethy-Gen® II Concentrate is delivered to each room via a pipe and converted into ethylene as needed.


About the New Easy-Ripe® Generator


Beyond the new white exterior, the redesigned Easy-Ripe® has an improved tank with a cap, which integrates a liquid level indicator, making it easier to know how much Ethy-Gen® II is in the tank. For added convenience, the Easy-Ripe® comes in a wall-mounted version, as well. We’ve integrated new technology which makes a remote connection from a PLC, ethylene controller, or another control panel possible, as well.

With setpoint control of ethylene, ripeners can have more exact ethylene level, as the generator will to react to any changes in the ethylene levels in a room and modify ethylene production to maintain the desired setpoint.


Revolutionizing the Ripening Process in Australia

hort-connectionsWe’ve observed that Australian and New Zealand growers and ripeners have continually expressed interest in new technology to help them deliver excellent fresh produce. From this, Catalytic Generators Australia has developed ripening technology that can assist in the more precise application of ethylene. Catalytic Generators and Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate lead the way in delivering safe and efficient ethylene production with lowered risk, covered by full service and support in Melbourne by Catalytic Generators Australia.


Catalytic Generators will be at Booth #215 at Hort Connections.

How Quality Control for Bananas Begins at the Warehouse

One of the most important steps in any fruit ripening process starts at the very beginning: receiving the fruit as it comes into the warehouse or distribution center. At times it may seem unimportant or easy to overlook, but when this quality control procedure is disregarded, damaged fruit can go unaccounted for and often lead to a preventable loss.


The common practice for ripeners is to have some form of quality control procedure when receiving fruit at the ripening facility. The best practice is to never accept bananas below 58°F (14.4°C) air or trailer temperature.  Check the temperature with data recorders for the load if available.  If bananas are received lower than 58°F, chilling damage may have occurred. Additionally, it is important that for each quality assurance check, multiple bananas are tested from different sections of the load.

2001095-4-Low-Res-PNG-1000p-x-1000p__63640.1475763079.1000.1000Once the fruit has been accepted by the warehouse, the first quality control check is to measure pulp temperature. Check banana pulp temperature using a digital probe thermometer like this one here. Secondly, bananas should be cut and smelled. As funny as this may sound, upon arrival bananas should have a cucumber-like smell when cut into. If the bananas are hard to peel, this indicates that the fruit is at the lower end of the maturity level. The harder to peel, the more latex present in the banana, as well. Conversely, if the bananas are easy to peel, this indicates greater maturity.

Visual quality control checks encompass roundness, length, and overall shape of the banana. If the banana has distinct angles or appears to have edges, then the banana is less mature. As the banana becomes more round with less distinct angles, growth in maturity has occurred. The second visual indicator involves looking for an elongated flowering end; this is the end not attached to the banana hand. If an elongated end is present, this indicates that the banana is not as mature as it could be. Finally, visually analyze the seed and pulp color. By cutting the banana length-wise horizontally, the pulp and seed color should be easily visible. The more yellow the pulp and darker the seeds, the more mature the banana. From this, ripeners can best determine the stage of ripeness or maturity for an entire load of bananas.


Next, ripeners should analyze the latex within banana skins. To do this, utilize a produce knife to cut the banana in half. Grabbing each end in one hand, squeeze the banana tightly until latex is visible. If there is less latex present, this indicates that the banana will ripen faster. Once again looking at the skin for quality assurance, the skin should be peeled open. Once peeled open, warehouse managers should look for browning or spotted vascular damage within the peel. If this is evident, this is an indication of chill damage.

Before ever moving to the next stages of ripening or degreening bananas, these quality checks should be done to determine fruit maturity. The amount of time ethylene is applied to bananas will vary based on fruit maturity levels.  The quality and maturity checks that occur during the receiving process are necessary to create an effective ripening plan for each unique load of fruit a ripener receives. With the information acquired from properly used postharvest tools, equipment, facilities, customized ethylene exposure schedules, temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 management can be used to deliver perfectly ripened pallets of fruit to customers all over the world.




If additional help is needed in establishing or improving your banana ripening program, contact Dennis E. Kihlstadius, a quality control expert for produce:

Dennis E. Kihlstadius
Produce Technical Services
(310) 567-8445

Modified Easy-Ripe® Ethylene Generator At CPMA

The redesigned Easy-Ripe® ethylene generator for customers in North and South America will be showcased at the CPMA Annual Convention & Trade Show in Montréal, Quebec Tuesday, April 2nd to Thursday, April 4th, 2019 at Booth #1910. 


The CPMA Annual Convention & Trade Show is the CPMA’s primary event and Canada’s largest event dedicated to the fruit and vegetable industry. Attendees have the unique opportunity to network with industry leaders and enhance their business in Canada through an exceptional combination of education and networking opportunities. With over 4,000 participants from around the world, Catalytic Generators is elated to present the improved Easy-Ripe®.

Domestic-Easy-Ripe-2019-squareThe Redesigned Easy-Ripe® Generator

The new modified Easy-Ripe® Generator features a specially designed tank which holds the ethylene-creating Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate. As part of this improved tank, a new liquid-indicating cap provides better security and integrates a liquid level indicator, making it easy to know how much Ethy-Gen® II is in the tank.

Another new feature of the ethylene generator is ethylene monitoring and control.  The new Easy-Ripe® can connect to most any PLC that exists in today’s modern ripening rooms.

If the room is equipped with a dependable, calibrated ethylene sensor, then the PLC can be programmed to control the generator’s ethylene production.  The redesigned Easy-Ripe ® will include a connector piece specifically designed for linking PLC systems within a ripening facility.

Features That Ripeners Love Remain Consistent

As always, our Easy-Ripe® produces consistent, non-pressurized and safe ethylene levels for uniform ripening and degreening.  No mixture with inert gas is needed, making the system inherently safe. An adjustable ethylene output allows for adaption to any ethylene PPM requirement or room size. With the specially formulated liquid Ethy-Gen® II, the Easy-Ripe® easily makes only as much ethylene as needed for a target room, eliminating the need to store large quantities of compressed gas on site.


Catalytic Generators at the CPMA

Catalytic Generators has been honored to provide Canadian ripening and produce professionals with our ethylene systems for many years. Exhibiting at the CPMA has allowed our company to strengthen these relationships.  Our company is committed to quality service in Canada; through our logistics hub in London, ON we are able to provide fast and dependable delivery. We look forward to the opportunity to present our newly developed ethylene generators and sensors at the CPMA Annual Convention & Trade Show.



Sister company, QA Supplies will share the exhibit space, as well. They will have many instruments on display, all focused on fresh produce quality measurements.

Easy-Ripe® XT Available To Ripeners Spring of 2019

Catalytic Generators has developed a new version of the Easy-Ripe® Generator that can be permanently installed on the exterior of a ripening room. Called the Easy-Ripe® XT, this model produces ethylene on the room’s exterior and uses a flue system to direct the generator’s ethylene output into the room. Rooms that have little or no convenient space for the generator inside the room will benefit from this exterior mounting of the unit.

Easy-RipeXT---mounted The Easy-Ripe® XT utilizes a sealed, insulated elbow joint which is mounted outside of a ripening room. Inside the room, pipes will be able to connect to the flue, and disperse the ethylene uniformly. This creates added space inside the ripening room so pallets can be more tightly packed.

The specially designed tank that holds the ethylene-creating Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate is another feature of the Easy-Ripe® XT.  As part of this improved tank, a new liquid-indicating cap provides better security, it also integrates a liquid level indicator, making it easy to know how much Ethy-Gen® II is in the tank.

Easy-Ripe-XTThe modifications of the Easy-Ripe® XT add convenience to the daily operations within a ripening facility. Imagine walking amongst the rooms and, to check on ethylene application, instead of opening each room, or trying to peer inside, simply have a quick look of every Easy-Ripe® as you walk by.  Ripeners will be able to easily check the generator operation and Ethy-Gen® II levels as part of their quality control procedures.


The Easy-Ripe® XT will be available to ripeners worldwide later this spring. 

Fruit Ripening & Ethylene Management Workshop Sponsored by Catalytic Generators

Catalytic Generators and sister company, QA Supplies, will be sponsoring the 25th Annual UC Postharvest Technology Center Fruit Ripening & Ethylene Management Workshop at the University of California Postharvest Center April 2-3, 2019.

Fruit Ripening Workshop

Fruit Ripening Workshop Group Photo 2017

The workshop is intended for shippers and fruit handlers (wholesale and retail) and produce managers who are involved in handling and ripening fruits and fruit-vegetables. The focus of this workshop is to increase profits by reducing losses at the receiving end and delivering ready-to-eat, delicious fruits and fruit-vegetables to the consumer.

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to network with ripening professionals, learn and view demonstrations of the most recent technological advances in the industry, and participate in roundtable discussions.

Topics being discussed include the importance of ripening programs, ripening facilities and equipment, temperature management, fruit development, maturity and quality relationships, the biology of ethylene production, and more!


Are you attending the Fruit Ripening & Ethylene Management Workshop? Keep an eye out for our team members attending! 


Russ Holt,   Sales & Marketing Manager at QA Supplies


Katlynn Ketchum, Marketing & Business Development Strategist at Catalytic Generators

Redesigned Easy-Ripe® Generator Improves Ethylene Application Accuracy & Efficiency

Catalytic Generators will be showcasing a newly redesigned Easy-Ripe® Ethylene Generator for fruit ripening and degreening at Fruit Logistica, February 6-8, 2019 at Hall 26/F-01.White Easy-Ripe® Ethylene Generator

The redesigned Easy-Ripe® Generator features a clean, white coating and produces consistent, non-pressurized and safe ethylene levels for uniform ripening and degreening. No mixture with inert gas is needed, making the system inherently safe. An adjustable ethylene output allows for adaption to any ethylene PPM requirement or room size. With the specially formulated liquid Ethy-Gen® II, the Easy-Ripe® easily makes only as much ethylene as needed for a target room, eliminating the need to store large quantities of compressed gas on site.



Ethy-Gen® II is an efficient and clean way to create ethylene. Lot-coded for traceability and tamper-evident sealed for safety and purity, Ethy-Gen® II consists of an all-natural, grain-based, GMO-free active ingredient and is permitted for use on organic tropical fruits, including bananas. When used in the Easy-Ripe®, it will create enough ethylene to ripen thousands of boxes of fruit.

A new feature of the redesigned generator: Ethylene monitoring and control.  “Over the years, our generators have always provided dependable ethylene output in the range required by the user, but we wanted to provide even better accuracy by connecting devices equipped with ethylene sensors and control modules.  So, we’ve given the generator the ability to be connected and controlled by industrial control systems,” stated Greg Akins, President & CEO of Catalytic Generators.

The new Easy-Ripe can connect to most any PLC that exists on today’s modern ripening rooms.  If the room is equipped with a dependable, calibrated ethylene sensor, then the PLC can be programmed to control the generator’s ethylene production.  However, dependable ethylene sensors are hard to find.

“That’s why we partnered with Felix Instruments to develop two revolutionary new products that will provide ripeners with the ability to have exact ethylene control via setpoint.  These products are driven by an ethylene sensing system based on technology that improves sensor accuracy and dependability”, said Akins. The two products are the Ethylene Management Controller and improved SmartRipe® Ethylene Generator Controller, which monitor and control ethylene levels in ripening rooms, degreening rooms, and storage rooms.

901r-SmartRipeThe SmartRipe® Ethylene Generator Controller features a touch screen that can be mounted in or out of ripening rooms and a high range ethylene sensor with a setpoint range from 50-1000ppm. The system works by simply entering a setpoint, and the controller will automatically regulate the ethylene production of our generators. If ripening room doors are opened, the controller senses it and adjusts the ethylene level. Similarly, when the setpoint is reached, the controller takes notice and slows ethylene production to ensure the setpoint is maintained.

The Ethylene Management Controller (EMC) differs from the SmartRipe®; it has a low range ethylene sensor (setpoint range 1-10ppm). Low range sensing ability makes the EMC an excellent choice for tomato greenhouses, citrus degreening, storage areas for ethylene-sensitive produce, and more.New Easy-Ripe Side

Both products feature an automatic zeroing system for better accuracy and easy to replace sensor pods. “The newfound technology of our redesigned Easy-Ripe Ethylene Generator, SmartRipe® Ethylene Generator Controller, and Ethylene Management Controller offer an affordable solution to ripeners looking to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their ethylene application systems,” said Akins.


These products are now available for pre-order and will be on display at Catalytic Generator’s booth at Fruit Logistica in Berlin at Hall 26/F-01, February 6-8, 2019.

Venting Rooms: An Overlooked Necessity

The ripening process for fruits such as bananas, tomatoes, and avocados require close attention to detail given for desired results.  Fruit maturity, grade, and temperature are all factors that affect the way fruit will ripen.   Failure to vent ripening rooms is another factor, often overlooked, which leads to poor ripening results.

As loads of produce further in the ripening cycle, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels increase tremendously.  As a byproduct of the ripening process, the carbon dioxide retards the ripening of most fruits and it can reduce the effectiveness of ethylene that has been applied to the fruit.  In addition, oxygen levels decrease as the ripening fruit takes in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide.

Oxygen is vital to the process and must be replenished.  To ensure this, venting must occur to reduce the carbon dioxide levels and replenish the oxygen within the ripening room.  Proper venting should be done several times during the ripening process or continuously.  The simplest method of ripening room ventilation is by opening the doors and leaving the fans on.  Fresh air then quickly disperses the carbon dioxide, allowing oxygen to be replenished within ten to fifteen minutes.  This procedure should be performed twenty-four hours after the initial ethylene application and then regularly daily thereafter.

dade banana 5Alternatively, “flow-through” ventilation can be used to vent ripening rooms.  This technique is commonly used in many large tomato rooms but also applicable to banana and avocado ripening.  The “flow-through” ventilation process involves placing two openings on opposite ends and sides of the room.  An air intake fan is also mounted in one of the openings; room dimensions determine the fan size.  This method ensures the air in the room is constantly being exchanged, maintaining proper oxygen levels and continuously removing carbon dioxide.

Many ripening rooms are now vented automatically, controlled by a CO2 sensor, either inherent in the ripening rooms build or by adding a sensor.   CO2 sensors can be purchased at QA Supplies here. The optimal ripening room level should be below 1% or 10,000ppm.

If venting is not part of your company’s ripening procedures, consideration should be given to its many benefits.  Venting is a valuable tool, used by ripeners worldwide, helping to ensure the proper ripening of valuable fruit.


Contact Catalytic Generators for more information on “flow-through” ventilation.

Catalytic Generators at Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference

SE-Regional-2015-LOGO-01Catalytic Generators and sister company, QA Supplies, will be exhibiting at the Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference January 10-13, 2019 in Savannah, GA, Booth 548.

Easy-Ripe web

Catalytic Generator’s Easy-Ripe® Ethylene Generator will be on display at Booth 548.

The Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference is the largest educational conference and trade show in the southeastern United States that unites growers, vendors, and suppliers. As the world leader in ethylene ripening technology, Catalytic Generators looks forward to the opportunity to connect with current and future customers involved in the ripening process of fresh produce.

Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with our staff and learn about our variety of ethylene application systems for fruit ripening & degreening, each with its own unique advantage, as well as generators made specifically for curing tobacco.



See us at Booth 548, January 10-13 at Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference.

Auto Ripe® Generators Provide Narrow Ethylene Application Solution

We often hear ripeners across the industry describe the limited space available within some ripening rooms.  To solve this issue, Catalytic Generators has specifically engineered a compact ethylene application system, the Auto Ripe® Generator.

Auto-RipeAuto Ripe® Generators provide a narrow ethylene application solution for ripening rooms worldwide. Reliable, effective, and easy to use, the Auto Ripe® Generator can hold enough Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate to perform up to four ripening cycles in a one or two load ripening room.

This generator has the ability to be wall-mounted and works with computerized ripening room control systems, as well. The minimum room size for an Auto Ripe® Generator is 2,000 ft3 (57 m3). Reservoirs of the Auto Ripe® Generator are capable of storing four quarts (about four liters) with conversion rate settings as followed:

# 1: 1 Quart of Ethy-Gen® II every 48 hours; 2,000 to 2,499 ft³ (57 – 70 m³)

# 2: 1 Quart of Ethy-Gen® II every 36 hours; 2,499 to 4,999 ft³ (71 – 141 m³)

# 3: 1 Quart of Ethy-Gen® II every 24 hours; 5,000 to 7,499 ft³ (142 – 212 m³)

# 4: 1 Quart of Ethy-Gen® II every 12 hours; 7,500 to 12,000 ft³ and larger (213 – 340 m³+)

*Note that it may be possible to use just one generator for a room that is larger than 12,000 ft³ (LxWxH, 340 m³); it depends upon how tight the room is.


How It Works:

  • Just pour one to four quarts of Ethy-Gen® II and ethylene production quickly begins.
  • Provides non-pressurized and safe ethylene on a continuous basis for uniform ripening & degreening.
  • Ethylene output is adjustable for multiple room sizes, which means the Auto-Ripe® can adapt to any ethylene PPM requirements. For larger rooms, additional units easily achieve proper ethylene levels.

The Auto Ripe® Generator provides safe ethylene application to a variety of fruits including bananas, apples, pears, mangos, and more. When following the simple operating directions, this device makes fruit ripening and degreening possible without the risk of explosion. From this, you can run the device without safety concerns for your fresh produce.

Ripening Solutions & Instrumentation at the New York Produce Show

Gen pour 12-2017 croppedCatalytic Generators and sister company, QA Supplies will be showcasing a variety of ethylene application solutions and postharvest equipment and instrumentation at the New York Produce Show, Booth 539 December 10-13th. Together, these companies make safety and quality a priority in the produce industry.

As the only ethylene generator company with products certified by both UL and TÜV, the efficient and dependable Ethylene Application Systems of Catalytic Generators allows fruit companies to make and control the amount of ethylene produced in ripening rooms for a safe and easy application. Through the utilization of this process, small, uniform amounts of ethylene result in uniform fruit ripening with better color. At this event, Catalytic Generators will have several types of ethylene generators on display all designed for fruit ripening and degreening, each with its own unique advantage.


QA Supplies will have both handheld and benchtop penetrometers, refractometers, and a variety of digital probe thermometers on display at the tradeshow. The instrumentation offered by this company is economical and quality assured, making QA Supplies the one-stop-shop for tools that monitor, control, or evaluate quality and freshness in the produce industry. Monitor and store data more efficiently with tools for harvesting, quality inspection, water, food and soil analysis, temperature measurement, and firmness testing.  See the full selection of instrumentation here.

Catalytic Generators and QA Supplies exist to empower fresh produce companies with the tools properly ripen assure the quality of avocados, bananas, mangoes, pears, tomatoes, and other fruits so that the world can enjoy fresh fruit throughout the year.


See us at the New York Produce Show, Booth 539 December 10-13th.

Catalytic Generators & QA Supplies are Gold Sponsors at Mango Industry Reception

Helping the Mango Industry Provide Ripened Fruit


Russ Holt (QA Supplies), Leonard Felix (Felix Instruments), Greg Akins (Catalytic Generators), Michael Landry (Catalytic Generators), Steve Page (Catalytic Generators), and Anna Zegveld (Interko)

The National Mango Board, in conjunction with the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, hosted the Annual Mango Industry Reception during PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Expo in Orlando, FL.

Catalytic Generators and sister company, QA Supplies served as a Gold Sponsor for this event where the National Mango Board announced the 2018 Retailer of the Year. This award honors retailers who offer strong and consistent support to the mango industry and deliver outstanding mango promotion results.

Catalytic Generators is eager to help the mango industry provide ripened fruit. To talk about how to start a mango ripening program, contact us! Through QA Supplies, we also provide firmness testers, BRIX meters and more to ensure that your mangoes are at peak quality.

Catalytic Generators Showcases Ripening Products At The PMA

Catalytic Generators will be showcasing our ethylene generators and Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Convention & Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida October 18-20th at Booth 2335.

As the only ethylene generator company with products certified by both UL and TÜV, our efficient and dependable Ethylene Application Systems allows fruit companies to make and control the amount of ethylene produced in ripening rooms for a safe and easy application. Through the utilization of this process, small, uniform amounts of ethylene result in uniform fruit ripening with better color. We offer several types of ethylene generators designed for fruit ripening and degreening, each with its own unique advantage, as well as generators made specifically for curing tobacco.

The world-renowned flagship generator of Catalytic Easy AvosGenerators is the Easy Ripe® Ethylene Generator. Portable, efficient, and easy to use, the Easy Ripe® works by simply placing it in the ripening room, plugging into a properly grounded electrical outlet, selecting a conversion rate, and pouring in Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate. A highly visible green light indicates the operation status of the generator while safe, non-pressurized ethylene is provided on a continuous basis. Ethylene output can be adjusted for multiple size rooms, meaning the Easy Ripe® can adapt to any ethylene PPM requirements. Our company has developed the Easy Ripe® to work with a computerized ripening room control system and have wall-mounting options.

The Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate used in our ethylene generators features a hermetic, leak-proof, and tamper-evident seal to assure our customers that the contents haven’t been tampered with and that the original purity remains unchanged. Our company has invested in a lot coding process, as well, which places an identifying code on each bottle. Should a customer be involved in a recall of a ripened fruit product, Catalytic Generators could rapidly trace a complete history of the Ethy-Gen® II used to ripen the fruit, from manufacture date to bottle date.

We will have the Easy Ripe® Ethylene Generator, Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate, and additional ripening solutions at our booth at PMA Orlando. Greg Akins, President & CEO of Catalytic Generators, shared, “For over 30 years we’ve exhibited at PMA and continue to do so, for we get to connect with so many customers. It’s a valuable part of our global business and we’re excited to show how we make fruit ripe.”

Avocado Ripening & Handling


For consumers, choosing a ripe avocado involves picking up and putting down multiple avocados, squeezing and pressing them, and deciding which will be good for tomorrow and which will be ready to eat at the end of the week. This raises the question, should longer lasting fruit or fruit ready for immediate use be the goal? Distributors go through a similar process as they decide the degree of ripeness to purchase and then sell fruit. Is longer shelf life or ready to go fruit ideal?

Avocado ripening and handling is a process that has been continuously developed by various industry experts. The pre-conditioning process for avocados is advocated by these experts for the following reasons:

• Pre-conditioning results in more consistent, controlled, and uniform ripening within the box, pallet, or lot of fruit, leading to better control of quality and ripeness
• The ripening time is cut in half, assisting in better inventory control and turnover
• Stores are able to offer consumers ready-to-eat fruit, resulting in the highest impulse purchases, increased overall sales, and improved customer satisfaction


Pre-conditioning is the process of initiating the natural ripening process of avocados through the application of ethylene in a controlled environment such as a ripening room. This process takes place in a variety of locations including the avocado packing house, wholesale receiver warehouse, or chain store distribution center. The importance of location is that it must be done where fruit will ripen in a predictable fashion to be ready to sell when reaching consumers.

The most common indicator of a pre-conditioned avocado is the “button” on the stem end. This end pops off with gentle pressure once the avocado has begun the ripening process, but is still firm. From this point, it is fairly easy to reach the ready-to-eat stage with temperature control and proper storage. Avocados with proper quality and maturity will remain firm for up to two weeks after preconditioning.
Controversially, ripening avocados in a box, pallet, or lot without an external source of ethylene will result in uneven ripeness or “checkerboarding.” Uneven ripeness can cause problems, as some of the fruit may be too ripe or too green for a customer who buys it.

Additionally, letting the fruit ripen naturally without an external source of ethylene takes more than double the time, depending on the season. Pre-conditioning is so widely used because it eliminates a lengthy ripening period and yields even and consistent ripening through the application of an external source of ethylene. The ethylene produced by a Catalytic Generator triggers the fruit to release natural ethylene and begin the ripening process.


Not only does pre-conditioning provide consistent, uniform ripening and cut ripening time in half, it also ensures that retail stores and food service customers will be able to count on receiving avocados that are ripe and ready to eat. In the past, consumers would pick up an avocado only to find it was too firm. Now, avocados can quickly go from the store shelf into a consumer’s shopping cart capturing impulse buyers and those who need fruit that is ready to eat.


With little cost and time involved, pre-conditioning programs should be implemented to ensure even ripening, better quality and inventory control, and increased sales. Catalytic Generators has everything you need to begin this process with fruit ripening ethylene generators and Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate. Transform the way your fruit ripens with our pre-conditioning products here.

To assist you in the avocado ripening process, we’ve summarized ripening tips for the pre-conditioning of avocados below.


Throughout the ripening process, five main aspects should be reviewed: humidity, carbon dioxide, pulp temperature, firmness, and airflow.

Humidity. The optimal humidity avocados should be ripened at is 90-95%.

Carbon Dioxide. During ripening, carbon dioxide will build up. Anything above 1% may slow the ripening process or cause a “checkerboard” ripening within the room. Ensure automatic ventilation is in place or vent approximately every 12 hours by opening the doors for twenty minutes when applying ethylene.

Pulp Temperature. Pulp temperature should be checked at least twice per day to ensure proper ripening is maintained. Ripened fruit may have the stem end become more pliable indicating the softness process has begun. Once the desired degree of firmness has been reached, lower the pulp temperature to 40-42°F.

Firmness. Ripening stages should be determined using a penetrometer. We recommend using QA Supplies’ FT 444 Penetrometer for fruits that measure more than 27lbs. Pressure measurements below ensure better tasting, more flavorful avocados within each ripening stage.

Stage 1: Hard Fruit – Fruit is extremely hard and a brighter green color (25 lbs. of pressure or more).
Stage 2: Pre-Conditioned – Fruit should be ready to eat in about three days if held in room temperature (15-25 lbs of pressure).
Stage 3: Breaking – Fruit will have a very slight give and be ready-to-eat in two days if held at room temperature (10-15 lbs of pressure).
Stage 4: Firm Ripe – Fruit yields to gentle pressure and should be fully ripe the next day if held at room temperature (5-10 lbs of pressure).
Stage 5: Ripe – The stem nub of the fruit should easily fall off by gently rolling a finger over it. Fruit is good for any use at this stage and easily yields to gentle pressure. This condition is maintained for 2-3 days if held at room temperature (5 lbs or less pressure).

Airflow. While many people utilize banana ripening rooms for the ripening of avocados, this is not always adequate. It is best practice to use ripening rooms specially designed to remove the great deal of heat that ripening avocados create. If pressurized ripening rooms are not being used, air stack the boxes (at least two inches between boxes) to have proper air circulation. Leave 1½ feet between walls and pallets and at least six inches between pallets. Remember the importance of monitoring pulp temperature, especially when using non-standard rooms for avocados.

We believe in offering you the best resources for your ripening process. Find additional information on avocado ripening with an external ethylene supply here. If you’re a ripener in need of ripening help, let us connect you with a ripening expert. From ripening tips to ethylene management techniques, our experts can help. Get started by contacting us today!

Contributing Sources:

“Avocado Storing and Handling.” California Avocado, California Avocado Commission, 2014,

“Avocados | Produce Market Guide.” Produce | Produce Market Guide, Farm Journal, Inc., 2018,

Why You Should Be Using The Centralized Ripening System

Across the globe, customers utilize multiple ripening rooms to efficiently ripen produce. Thanks to our Centralized Ripening System®, all your ripening rooms can have continuous ethylene production from one central supply of Ethy-Gen II Ripening Concentrate. Our easy and convenient ethylene source offers peace of mind with complete confidence in your equipment with no fear of explosions and makes your ripening operation safer.



IDENTIFIABLE ETHYLENE VERIFICATION. As a visible liquid, Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate is easy to inventory and reorder as needed. Rather than weigh cylinders or guess amounts, our product does the work for you.

LOW MAINTENANCE. With a system that lasts up to five times longer than competitors, we save you valuable time and money. Quick disconnect fittings and palletized containers of Ethy-Gen® II make swapping out containers a pain-free experience. A simple pallet jack is all you need to move containers into place with the CRS® Pumping System. No longer will you need to deal with awkward, bulky and dangerous ethylene cylinders.

Read more about the CRS pumping and control station here.

GET COMPLETE CONTROL. Experience a control of your ethylene systems like you’ve never experienced before. Rather than transmit ethylene by pipe into each individual room, our system makes ethylene right inside the ripening room. It’s as easy as flipping a switch to turn ethylene on and off in each room. Make adjustments to levels by turning a single knob. Our system takes away the worry of ethylene dissipating in pipes or being wasted in any way.

CONVENIENT LOW FLOW SENSOR. All of the generators produced by Catalytic Generators provide indication of correct operation. The CRS® Pumping Station monitors proper flow of Ethy-Gen® II, additionally. For your convenience, your station will light up red once you’ve run out. Keep your supply current at all times with this system!


Our safe, easy, and convenient ethylene source is one you can trust. To ensure your CRS® is set up and integrated properly, our knowledgeable staff can install the system for you. The installation is typically completed in one day; however, larger facilities may require more time. We begin the process with an analysis of each room to assess your needs. After this has been done, we then set up the generators’ ethylene production to match your required parts per million (ppm) level.



Introducing a continuous, consistent ethylene production system for superior ripening and degreening: The Centralized Ripening System® Generator. Adapting to any ethylene requirement, this generator is wall mounted and narrow, saving you space in your ripening rooms. Easily connect to the supply line with quick disconnect fittings on the side of the generator.

CRS 2016 webOnce the generator has been mounted in the ripening room, the process is simple. Plug into a grounded electrical outlet, select the conversion rate, connect to the Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate supply line, and switch the power on. The ethylene production will begin minutes later. It’s as easy as that!



Catalytic Generators has been installing these systems since 1998. With years of experience, we offer a track record of consistently producing quality products for ripening and degreening. Our compliance with international testing standards is further proof that we take the ripening business seriously:

  • Our generators are certified by two third-party testing laboratories, UL® & TÜV
  • Our Ethy-Gen II meets the strict requirements of & is registered with US-EPA and UK Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD)



Having been in business for over 40 years, recognizable industry names across the world trust Catalytic Generators to provide the best tools for ethylene application. The dependability and quality of our products and services is what we strive to continually innovate and improve.

Contact our team today to see how we can make your ripening operation safer, more efficient, and easier to manage!

Virtual Tour Shows How We Help Make Fruit Ripe

Catalytic Generators has produced and released a virtual tour of the company’s office and production facility in Norfolk, Virginia.

In order to give our customers, and prospective clients, a better vision of who we are and how we create the world’s finest ethylene application systems, we decided to commission a filming at our facility. The short tour shows the production and testing of our generators and the liquid that converts into ethylene, called Ethy-Gen® II Ripening Concentrate.

We take quality seriously, as it is the hallmark of our company, and the video explains how we manufacture reliable products.

The video also shows the flagship Easy-Ripe® Generator in use at a tropical fruit ripening center and explains how to set up and operate the user-friendly system.

The virtual tour can be accessed on our web site at here.


Due to snow in the Norfolk area, our offices in Virginia are closed as of 3:30 pm EST.  All freight shipped out today as scheduled, but the inclement weather may delay shipments.  We hope to reopen Thursday, 18 January.

Norfolk Office Reopens Monday, 8th January

snow building

We’ve endured what is a lot of snow for Norfolk and the surrounding area, plus brutally cold temperatures, but we will reopen Monday, January 8th.  Hopefully all freight and parcel services will run so that our shipping schedules will be normal.

Norfolk Office Closed on January 5, 2018

Due to continued difficult driving conditions in the areas around our Norfolk office, we will be closed on Friday, January 5, 2018.  Freight lines are unable to run, and parcel services status is very limited.

A “bomb cyclone?”  Who has ever heard of such a thing?  Whatever you want to call it, it certainly dumped a lot of snow on us, more than we can handle.  Here’s a news article on it for our region.


Norfolk Office Closed January 4, 2018

Due to heavy snow and poor road conditions, Catalytic Generators in Norfolk, VA is closed Thursday, 4th of January.  It’s quite nasty here, especially for a city not used to so much snow.  9+” have fallen and as of 9 am EST Thursday 4th Jan, it’s still coming down.


Holiday Schedule 2017-8

Monday, 25th of December: CLOSED

Tuesday, 26th of December: CLOSED

Monday, 1st of January: CLOSED

Ethylene Measurement Solutions

960We’ve recently added a page to our Postharvest tools section that links to the extensive line of ways to measure ethylene.  Ethylene is not the easiest molecule to measure and there are not many methods out there that are affordable or accurate.

Here are their recommended solutions: Ethylene Measurement Solutions

Australia loves Catalytic Generators!


A couple of years ago Catalytic Generators Australia began operations.  Ripeners there have started to see the advantages of our system and many are adapting this safer and easier alternative to antiquated forms of ethylene application. Click below for more info.

Successful PMA

Catalytic Generators & sister company QA Supplies were Gold Sponsors of the Mango Industry Reception during PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Expo in New Orleans, LA. We were glad to see customers and the potential of how ethylene application can help to ripen and sell more mangoes!

PMA Mango 2017fix

36 Years at PMA Fresh Summit!

PMA QA 2017

It is hard to believe that this was our 36th year of exhibiting! As usual, it was a great convention and an amazing show of the power of the fresh produce industry. To the many clients that stopped by, great to see you all again. To those inquiring about doing business with us, we appreciate your visit and the opportunity to supply you with our ethylene application products.

Please contact us ( when we can be of service.