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Different artificial ripening agents are used in the ripening of climacteric fruits in South-Eastern Nigeria and other locations as well. Nutritional effect of artificial ripening of dessert bananas was investigated. Calcium carbide, torch batteries, wood ash and avocado pear were employed as ripening agents. Changes in nutritional composition were determined comparing artificially ripened with naturally ripened and unripe banana fruits. Fruits ripened using calcium carbide (ARB1) ripened by day 2, while fruits ripened with torch batteries (ARB2) and wood ashes (ARB3) took 4 days to ripen. Avocado pear (ARB4) and naturally ripened bananas (NRB) ripened by day 3 and day 7 respectively. Selected minerals, proximate and vitamin content of these fruit pulp were analyzed. Ash and moisture content of banana pulps increased during ripening in the range 1.0-1.9% and 69.00-74.10% respectively while carbohydrate content reduced (26.52-20.57%). Protein content increased from 1.6-1.8% while fibre content reduced from 1.6-1.05%. Mineral contents as Magnesium, Zinc and Potassium were highest in unripe (7.60mg/100g), naturally ripened (7.80mg/100g) and wood ash ripened (38.43mg/100g) fruits respectively. Vitamins analyzed were high in naturally ripened fruits with B2 at 2.40mg/100g and C at 35.30mg/100g while B6 was higher in avocado pear ripened fruits at 2.60mg/100g. Findings suggest that these artificial ripening agents investigated reduced nutritional quality of bananas.
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