Pears are consumed fresh, canned, as juice, and dried. The juice can also be used in jellies and jams, usually in combination with other fruits or berries. Fermented pear juice is called perry or pear cider.
Pears ripen at room temperature. They will ripen faster if placed next to bananas in a fruit bowl. Refrigeration will slow further ripening. Pear Bureau Northwest offers tips on ripening and judging ripeness: Although the skin on Bartlett pears changes from green to yellow as they ripen, most varieties show little color change as they ripen. Because pears ripen from the inside out, the best way to judge ripeness is to "Check the Neck": apply gentle thumb pressure to the neck or stem end of the pear. If it yields to gentle pressure, then the pear is ripe, sweet, and juicy. If it is firm, leave the pear at room temperature and Check the Neck daily for ripeness.
-Pears fruit is packed with health benefiting nutrients such as dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins, which are necessary for optimum health. Total measured antioxidant strength (ORAC value) in the fruit is 2941 µmol TE/100 g.
-Pears are a good source of dietary fiber. 100 g fruit provides 3.1 g or 8% of fiber per 100g. Regular eating of this fruit may offer protection against colon cancer. Most of the fiber in them is non soluble polysaccharide (NSP), which functions as a good bulk laxative in the gut. Additionally, the gritty fiber content binds to cancer-causing toxins and chemicals in the colon, protecting its mucous membrane from contact with these compounds.
-In addition, pear fruit is one of the very low calorie fruits, provides 58 calories per 100g. Just a few sections a day in the diet can bring significant reduction in weight and blood LDL cholesterol levels.
-They contain good quantities of vitamin C. Fresh fruits provide about 7% of RDA per 100 g.
-They are moderate sources of antioxidant flavonoids phyto-nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds, along with vitamin C and A, help the body protected from harmful free radicals.
-The fruit is a good source of minerals such as copper, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6).
-Although not well documented, pears are among the least allergenic of all fruits and are therefore recommended by health practitioners as a safe alternative in the preparation of food products for allergy sufferers.
-Pears have suggested in various traditional medicines being useful in treating colitis, chronic gallbladder disorders, arthritis and gout.