Papaya is best picked when it is half-ripe, still firm, and has a yellow-green color. The fruit is ripe when it is soft and easily bruised. Some varieties of ripe papaya will have a more pink flesh than others.
Yellow-green fruits ripen at room temperature, but ripe fruits should be kept refrigerated. Papaya flesh can be frozen when cut into cubes or pureed but will become very soft when thawed out (Malolo et al., 2001).
Papaya or pawpaw is a versatile fruit that is abundant throughout the Pacific and even in some atolls. There are a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors of fruits that normally turn from dark green to yellow-orange or pink when ripe (Samson, 1986). There are generally three types of papaya trees: the female, the male, and the hermaphrodite. The female bears fruits when pollinated by the male tree, which does not bear fruit. The hermaphrodite tree has both male and female flowers, and thus can bear fruit independently (Malolo et al., 2001)