Mango is a popular fruit, appreciated for its unique flavor and juiciness. You can consume it as whole fruit, in salads, as juice, or jam. The good thing with mango is that it is easy to process and goes well with other fruits.
Like all fruits, mangoes are perishable. To get the best out of it, you should consume it when fresh. As such, you should be keen to avoid a bad mango. Highlighted below are the signs to check on to determine the freshness of this tropical fruit.
Difference between an Overripe and Bad Mango
At times you may confuse an overripe mango with being bad. An overripe fruit still has some freshness to it, and most of the time, it is very juicy. It is excellent for making juices, jams, and puddings.
On the other hand, a bad mango is past its shelf life and is inedible. You cannot use it as most of the time, the taste is off, or in worse situations, infested with worms.
Signs That Mango Has Gone Bad
You can start by feeling the fruit’s texture to tell if it is okay. Typically, a fresh mango will have a smooth texture, which you can feel with your fingers.
If bad, the texture may be wrinkly and rough to the touch. Overripe mangoes are also wrinkly, but the ridges are shallower than those of spoiled fruit.
Some mangoes may have bumps, which if they are firm is not a sign of going bad. The bumps are mainly an anomaly in the fruit, but it is still edible. Also, feel for depressions on the fruit’s surfaces, especially if they appear mushy.
2. The Appearance
On appearance, you perform a sight test to determine if the mango is fresh or go to the trash can. If fresh, it will have uniform coloration. The colors seem to blend in perfectly and maybe a mixture of orange, yellow, green, and red.
If bad, you will notice highly distinguishable patches or spots, which may be brown or black. The skin may not be intact and oozes some fluid. If badly off, you may notice pitting caused by boring insects.
Furthermore, you may notice mold on the skin. It is usually a striking shade of green or grey, with clear borders.
3. The Smell
A smell test will help you sort bad mangoes from those ready for the table or processing. A good fruit has a rich, fruity scent, which is more prominent if overripe.
Bad fruits have different smells, all of which are slightly unbearable. Some may have the smell of alcohol, which comes from the fermentation of the sugars present in the fruit.
In other cases, the smell may be sour and slightly pungent.
Back to appearance, color is an essential freshness indicator. You can check on its skin for any anomalies. You should also cut the fruit and take note of the color of the flesh.
If fresh, the flesh will appear yellow to bright orange. On the contrary, a bad mango may have color variations of brown to black or grey.
What about the Taste?
Taste is the final determinant for a bad mango. If the smell of a rotten mango does not put you off, the taste will have your tongue recoiling. It may be tasteless or have a strong sour essence, similar to its scent.
What is the Shelf Life of Mangoes?
When you get mangoes from a grocery store, a major concern is how long they will last. Their shelf life varies depending on ripeness and storage method.
If unripe, mangoes will take between a day to a week to get ripe. When ready, you can have them in good form for two to three days. Refrigeration will improve the mangoes’ shelf life to five days.
When cut, you should consume the fruit immediately and refrigerate any leftovers. They should last for about 3-4 days.
It is, therefore, advisable to get unripe mangoes if you want to consume them for a long time.
How to Store Mangoes
If you want to prevent your mangoes from going bad, you should store them correctly. If unripe, you may put them in a fruit basket away from direct sunlight.
There are several hacks to try if you want to hasten the ripening process. The target in this scenario is to boost the production of ethylene- a gas responsible for making fruits ripe. You can put the fruits in a polythene bag, which will trap this gas. The mangoes will be juicy in a few days.
You may add a tomato or apple to the bag to produce more of this gas. Optionally, you can immerse the mangoes in a bag of rice, which also does an excellent job of trapping ethylene.
Keep tabs on the fruits regularly to prevent them from over-ripening. If cut, you can put the fruit slices or dices in a bag and refrigerate.
Still, on the slices, you may make fruity ice cubes, which you can use on juices.
Other Ways of Storing Mangoes
Besides refrigeration, there are more ways of storing mangoes to boost their shelf life. One way to go about it is by pickling. Here, you chop up the mango and put it in a sterile jar. You then add other ingredients, mostly spices to help preserve the fruit. You can use mediums like vinegar, wine, or brine for preservation. Also, add cinnamon, chilies, brown sugar, and other preferred additives. You should then seal the jar and store it in the fridge or any other cool place.
Mangoes stored in this way can last for months. You can use this storage method for both raw and ripe mangoes.
The one for raw mangoes is an excellent condiment for savory dishes.
The other way of preventing mangoes from going bad is dehydration. It is a process that does away with the moisture but retains most of the nutrients.
Sun drying is an affordable way of dehydrating mangoes. However, if you want the best outcome, use a dehydrator. You may find the dehydration function on kitchen implements like the air fryer.
How to Deal With Overripe Mangoes
Over ripened mangoes are a mere step away from going bad. If you have such mangoes, you should use them as soon as possible to prevent wastage. They are very juicy, and you can blend them to make mango juice. The other option is to make fruit jam, pudding or fruit shakes.
You Might Ask
Can I Freeze Mangoes?
A reliable way of preserving mangoes is by freezing them. If ripe, you can store them for up to five days. If cut, they will be in perfect shape for 2-4 days. If chopped or diced, put the pieces in a plastic dish or bag before refrigeration.
Note that you should not put them in the freezer as they are prone to freezer burn.
Can Bad Mango Make You Sick?
Eating spoiled food can make you sick due to the presence of disease-causing microorganisms. For instance, if it has mold and you consume it, you may have a stomach upset.
Can I Eat Mango That Is Brown Inside?
There are several causes of a brown-fleshed mango. There is a chance it may be bad or the effect of heat and sun exposure. While you can eat it if the browning is due to sun exposure, it may be tasteless.
If bad, it may be the effect of mold. Please do not eat it, as it may lead to health complications.
How Long Does a Mango Take to be Ripe?
Mangoes take a day to a week to ripen if picked unripe. It depends on their ripening stage when you collect them. Please put them in a polythene bag to make the ripening process fast. The bag traps ethylene gas, which aids fruits in getting ripe.
A bad mango can do away with an anticipated moment of juiciness. Before digging your teeth into a serving that will mess with your taste buds, you have to check if the mango is fresh. In this article, we show you how to confirm the freshness of this tropical fruit.
Start by looking at its appearance, taking note of anything out of the ordinary, like its color. Additionally, check on texture and smell.
You can also rely on the above-recommended storage tips to preserve your fruits.
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