Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blue banana

Banana peels show a blue fluorescence under UV light. It is produced by some chemicals that originate from chlorophyll transformation. The breakdown of chlorophyll leads to a change in colors from green to yellow and brown. By decomposition of the chlorophyll, fluorescent chemicals (FCCs, fluorescent catabolites of chlorophyll) become concentrated in the peels. Especially around brown spots by old bananas, a strong fluorescence can be observed.
It looks strange and can be easily observed with a UV flashlight.
The effect was discovered and described by:
Moser S; Müller T; Ebert M-O; Jockusch S; Turro NJ; Kräutler B 2008. Blue luminescence of ripening bananas. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 47: 8954 –8957. 

Bananas in UV light:

banana fluorescence

And in visible light:

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