Getting enough fruit into your diet is imperative to a healthy lifestyle, but if you open the fridge and your produce is giving off funky vibes, we’d definitely be reconsidering eating it.
Pineapple is a fruit that can easily be detected as spoiled once it’s past its prime. When pineapple is good, it’s fresh, vibrant and sweet. In this state, pineapple is extremely healthy and full of nutrients, including vitamin C and manganese. It is even known to help with digestion as well as aid with inflammation.
Unfortunately, when pineapple goes bad, all of these health benefits disappear and you are left with nothing but spoiled food.
Which, when it comes to pineapple, is extremely disappointing.
For most of us in the West, pineapple is a special treat that reminds us of sandy beaches and relaxation.
It’s a fruit typically enjoyed during the warmer seasons that, don’t mind us saying, looks wonderful on the rim of our favorite summer cocktail.
Now, can you imagine how sad it would be if you were all ready to indulge in some tropical goodness only to discover it has gone bad?
Talk about a day spoiler (hehe).
Although there are obvious signs of spoilage, when pineapple initially goes bad it might be difficult to identify whether or not it has actually expired.
In today’s fast-paced society, life is too busy to have to worry about possibly eating rotten food (not to mention the ailments you may contract post-eating), which is exactly why we are here to share with you 5 foolproof ways of being able to recognize spoiled pineapple.
If your pineapple passes any of the following texture, smell, color, mold or taste tests, it has likely gone bad and we would highly recommend not consuming it.
Read below for the details!
How To Tell If Your Pineapple Is Bad: Texture
When determining whether or not your pineapple is bad, a great indicator is the texture.
Different parts of the pineapple will show different signs of spoilage, so it’s important to examine the entire fruit.
|Skin/leaves||When the skin of the pineapple is healthy, its texture will be very crisp and firm. This, however, changes as it starts to go bad. |
As the skin of the pineapple begins to spoil, it will lose its firm texture and become soft and squishy. When it’s significantly past its prime, it may be watery and soggy.
The bottom of the pineapple will be evidence of this decaying process in particular, so make sure you look at this part as well.
Once the pineapple has become soggy, it’s very important that you throw it away.
Keep in mind that some moisture is totally normal. It’s when it becomes excessive and is accompanied by other indicators, such as a bad odor or mold that it may be dangerous to eat.
|Leaves||The leaves of a pineapple will be vibrant green when they are in their best state. |
As this fruit goes bad, the leaves will begin to dry up and wilt.
As soon as you notice the leaves drooping or falling out or you can remove them easily, avoid eating your pineapple.
|Flesh||When pineapple goes bad, a similar process to the skin, will occur to the flesh of the pineapple. |
In its prime, the flesh will be crisp in texture.
After an extended period of time, it will become mushy and inedible.
How To Tell If Your Pineapple Is Bad: Smell
When it comes to identifying whether or not food has gone bad, the most common indicator is smell.
Have you ever opened your fridge and almost got knocked over by an extremely unpleasant odor?
If this happens, it’s a good idea to find the root cause of it. If you suspect it might be your pineapple, take a look at the following indicators.
|Bad Odor||When pineapple is fresh, it possesses a deliciously sweet and tangy smell. |
If you take a whiff of your pineapple and are greeted by a pungent, sour or bitter odor, this is definitely an indication that it has gone bad.
The sour aroma you are experiencing is a result of the natural fermentation processes that occur when pineapple begins to develop bacteria.
As it ferments, the sugars in the fruit are turned into acids, which causes the pineapple to take on a distinct tart (and unpleasant) smell.
Note: a slightly tart flavor is perfectly safe to eat.
If you’re feeling unsure, look for some of the other indicators, such as the texture, color, whether or not mold is present or the taste.
How To Tell If Your Pineapple Is Bad: Color
After smell, the second most obvious indicator of rotten fruit is appearance.
When you look at your pineapple and your instincts are telling you that something is off visually, you’re probably right.
The color, in particular, will be a sure sign of this.
Remember that pineapple can come in two different colors: yellow (the one that typically comes to mind when you think of this fruit) and red. A change in either of these hues can be a bad sign.
For further reassurance, check out these indicators:
|Skin||In its prime, pineapple will possess a vibrant yellow hue (or red if it’s the other variation). In terms of appearance, it should look healthy, fresh and rich in color. |
Note: while a vibrant yellow hue is a good sign of ripeness, green pineapples can also be ripe and don’t indicate spoilage at all.
When the skin of the pineapple starts to lose its vibrancy, you know it has gone bad.
In addition, if you examine the bottom of the pineapple and see any white patches, your fruit is infected.
The bottom of the pineapple is typically the first part of the fruit to exhibit decaying.
|Leaves||The leaves of a pineapple will possess a vibrant green hue in their best state. |
When this green color turns brown, it’s a good sign your pineapple is going bad.
|Flesh||If you are having trouble determining whether or not your pineapple is spoiled based on the exterior, try cutting it open and examining the flesh. |
In its prime, the flesh will possess a lovely golden hue.
As it begins to spoil, the flesh will turn brown and mushy in color and texture.
Do not eat brown-infected areas.
NOTE: A slight change in color is okay and still safe to eat (as long as it’s not accompanied by mold or white patches, as this can potentially make you sick).
If only a small section of the pineapple has browned, simply cut these areas out and use the rest.
How To Tell If Your Pineapple Is Bad: Mold
Hopefully, your pineapple never reaches this state. If it does, don’t worry. It happens to the best of us- we buy fresh fruit with the intention of “eating more healthily” or “adding a little tropical fun” to our summer holidays and weeks later, we discover we’ve completely forgotten about its existence.
We approach the pineapple with the hopes that at least parts of it are still edible but deep down, we know it’s too late- not to mention the foul odor emitting from it has almost knocked us over.
We get closer and that’s when we see it: a shriveled lump of something that was once vibrant, sweet goodness is now plagued by white fuzzy patches and menacing, black growths.
Mold is extremely unhealthy and, when consumed, can make you very sick. If you’re not sure whether or not the spots on your pineapple are moldy, the indications in the following chart may be able to help you.
|Mold Spots||As mentioned in the previous sections, when it’s fresh, pineapple should be a vibrant yellow. |
When your pineapple begins to go bad, it may start to develop mold.
This will appear in the form of white, fuzzy spots and should not be consumed under any circumstances.
When pineapple has really past its prime, the mold may even become black. When this happens, it’s important to discard it immediately.
NOTE: While it is unsafe to consume areas that are moldy, if only a small part of the pineapple is fuzzy or black, you can simply cut these sections out and consume the rest.
A good rule of thumb is to cut 1-inch around the moldy areas.
If you’re unsure, it’s best not to risk it!
How To Tell If Your Pineapple Is Bad: Taste
If your pineapple doesn’t appear to be significantly past its expiration date and you are brave enough to do the “taste test,” the flavor you experience will definitely be indicative of whether or not it has gone bad.
|Sour Taste||As mentioned in the “smell” section, pineapples begin to ferment as they spoil. This process is what causes the fruit to take on a sour odor or flavor. |
In their prime, pineapples are fresh and sweet.
If you bite into a piece of pineapple and notice that it tastes at all bitter or sour, it’s a good sign that it’s time to toss your fruit.
Note: while a slightly darker yellow shade is safe to consume, do not eat any parts that are brown, black or white! This is bacteria and can make you ill.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Choose A Ripe Pineapple?
In order to extend the shelf life of pineapple as much as possible and avoid it from spoiling, the first step is knowing how to choose the best pineapple at the store.
Whether you’re at your local supermarket or are purchasing it from the farmer’s market, these are the key indicators you should look out for when choosing pineapple.
- Choose fresh looking pineapples.
- The leaves should be a vibrant green.
- The exterior should be firm.
- The pineapple should have a bit of give when you squeeze it (gently).
- The pineapple should feel heavy (as opposed to hollow- heavier pineapples equate to more juice).
- When you smell the base of the fruit, it should smell sweet and tangy.
- While a vibrant yellow hue is a good sign of ripeness, green pineapples can also be ripe (what’s most important is that there is yellow near the base).
How Do You Store Pineapples?
When it comes to pineapple, it can be stored three different ways, depending on when you wish to eat it:
- Room temperature: if you plan on eating your pineapple in the near future, it can be kept in the pantry or on the countertop away from direct sunlight for 2-3 days. After this, it will start to degrade at a quick rate.
- Fridge: ideally, you should store your pineapple in the fridge as it will stay fresh for longer here.
- For an entire pineapple: store it in the crisper drawer in the plastic bag it came in (ensuring it can breathe). It will last for 5-6 days like this.
- For chunks of cut-up pineapple: store in an airtight container or bag in the crisper drawer. Leave them here for up to 3-4 days.
- You may notice the chunks going brown. To avoid this, try storing them in orange juice.
- Freezer: if you wish to freeze your pineapple, cut it up into small pieces and store it in the freezer in freezer-safe bags. Frozen pineapple will last 3-4 months (before the taste and quality begin to diminish). Make sure to label the bag, so you know how long it has been in the freezer for.
Note: When storing fresh pineapple, ensure they are not being covered by other foods as they can easily bruise.
How Do You Cut Pineapple?
Using a knife with teeth, remove the top and bottom of the pineapple.
Then, set the pineapple on the cutting board so that it is standing upward and cut off the skin.
If you have a coring tool, cut the pineapple in vertical cuts, core it and then continue cutting vertically until you have achieved the desired ring size.
For chunks, cut the pineapple horizontally into 8 equal chunks, remove the core by cutting across each chunk and then cut into cubes.
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