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Israel Agricultural Center Announces Method to Speed Fruit Ripening

The Rehovoth Agricultural Research Center today announced the development of a chemical method to speed ripening of fruits by about three weeks.

The new process spurred hopes of Israel export farmers of gaining an important overseas market by being able to ship fruit, particularly plums, ahead of competitors. However, similar experiments were reported underway in countries in warm areas of South America and South Africa.

The Rehovoth method is based on spraying of trees early in the spring with Dinitrocressol, used medically to raise temperatures, Applied to trees, the chemical stimulates early growth of dormant fruit buds.

The objective of more rapid ripening of various fruits has been an important goal for Israeli fruit growers. Such processes are needed not only for ripening plums, but also for plantations specializing in bananas, apples and various subtropical fruits.

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