TAKE a look in your fruit bowl. You might see bananas, apples, grapes, oranges and maybe an avocado or pineapple.

Supermarkets can supply us with almost every type of fruit, whatever the season.

But if fruit lacks the taste you remember from childhood or holidays abroad, it may be because it has been stored for such a long time, using modern techniques. It could even have been picked last year.

Last week, it emerged that a British company has invented a way to further slow the ripening of bananas so they can be stored for 70 days — which means they can be shipped 4,500 miles from the Caribbean or Latin America to the UK, and now even farther, without any going bad.

Supermarkets insist on bananas arriving still green, so membranes are put in the crates to filter out ethylene, a gas given off by the bananas that triggers ripening.

Other fruit can also travel long-haul using similar technology, and studies have shown that this can affect its taste.

Many supermarkets pick thick-skinned varieties that merely look good after emerging from cold storage, where they may also have lost nutrients and antioxidants.