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New way to package bananas promises to give them lasting a-peel

Stored under Caption This!GamesMiscellaneousNewsRecipesRelated EBay AuctionsReviewsVideosVisual Stimulation on November 2, 2006

Bananas that stay yellow and fresh until you're ready to eat them.

Chiquita Brands International says it has developed "the perfectly ripened banana," but South Florida shoppers will decide for themselves.

The Cincinnati-based company is packaging bananas in sealed three-serve packs at its Port Everglades ripening plant and testing them in 10 Publix grocery stores in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Chiquita claims the Fresh & Ready packs of bananas will stay fresh up to four days longer than a traditional bunch.

"We're offering consumers perfectly ripe bananas for the week between their shopping pattern," said Mike Mitchell, a Chiquita spokesman.

The packaged bananas hit six Broward County stores Tuesday. Over the next several months, Chiquita will be gauging customers' response to decide whether to roll them out on a large scale next year, Mitchell said. Besides the 10 Publix stores in South Florida, Chiquita will test the product in dozens of grocery stores in other states, he said, declining to be specific.

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