Fruits are entering into the dietary of man in this country more largely today than ever before. It therefore becomes important to learn the details of their composition and to ascertain the best conditions under which they can be marketed for use as food. That fruits, like many other plant products, are not suitable for human consumption until they have reached a certain stage in growth, termed ripeness, is known to all. In some cases this corresponds with the period at which the fruit is harvested. It is less well realized, however, that there are many fruits which reach the proper edible stage only after a longer or shorter period of storage following removal from the parent plant.
As a rule this later ripening involves a decrease in acid and starch along with an increase in sugar content. Oxidation processes also go on in the fruit, with the development of