California pear farmers have united as an industry to grow the best tasting pears. We are committed to growing pears with the most flavor and best texture. To achieve this, pears must ripen naturally.
1-MCP is a product that slows fruit ripening. Producers in many growing regions outside of California use 1-MCP to extend a pear’s storage life. Unfortunately, a 1-MCP treated pear may not ever ripen properly, meaning no flavor. The pear may turn yellow and appear to be ripe but never become soft and juicy.
At the University of California, Davis, pears were tested with 1-MCP. Dr. Beth Mitcham’s postharvest research lab found in repeated experiments that pears treated with 1-MCP take as long as three weeks to ripen after taken out of storage, and, in fact, they often never get soft and juicy.
image courtesy of Dr. Beth Mitcham, UC Davis post-harvest researcher.
Bartlett pears actually won’t ripen on the tree. This means they can be shipped without damaging the fruit because they are naturally very firm when harvested. California pear farmers take care to pick pears at a point when they have plenty of sugar, but they’re still green. Because California Bartletts are not treated with 1-MCP, they will ripen naturally when removed from cold storage. Rest assured, once you bring home a California pear, you can expect to enjoy a ripe, juicy pear within a few days.