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.