Mangos are a treasured, tropical fruit filled with goodness. They contain potassium and multiple vitamins, which benefits our health. On top of that, they offer a delicious, sweet flavor that goes perfectly in fruit salads and desserts. Or if you’re feeling hungry in between meals, they are a tasty and healthy snack.
But since mangos are a fruit and do go bad, you might be wondering what their shelf life is and how long they maintain ripeness. Below, you’ll find a guide on how to store mangos and tell if they are past their prime.
Signs A Mango Has Gone Bad
It’s never a nice moment when that mango you were looking forward to eating has gone off, but the good news is that at least it’s easy to tell if it’s no longer ripe.
Watch out for texture — if you can feel that the flesh is way too squishy, or is oozing liquid, you know it’s time to throw it in the trash (or a compost bin if you have one).
Remember to look out for other obvious signs such as color and smell. For example, if it smells rotten, that probably means it’s no longer edible. And if the skin has blackened, discard it. Don’t be too disheartened if you see miniature black spots on the skin however; inside, it may still be fine to eat.
Last, a mango that has gone bad will most likely have mold growing on it, a clear sign that it needs to be thrown away immediately.
Signs A Mango Is Ripe
Want to tuck into your mango, but not sure whether it’s ripe yet? First, apply a small amount of pressure with your hand. If it gives a little i.e. it is soft to touch but not mushy, it means it’s ready!
You can also tell by looking at the color. A ripe mango will be a mixture of yellow and red. There should be no dark green (if there is dark green, it means it needs a little longer to mature). If the skin is a lighter green fading to yellow, it should be fine to eat as long as the texture is soft.
Don’t forget to check out the smell as well. Sometimes, it may not smell of much although other times, the mango may emit a pleasant, fruity smell indicating it has ripened.
How Long Is The Shelf Life Of A Mango?
If you have bought a mango when it is unripe, it usually takes anywhere between 1–7 days to ripen, depending on the stage it was at when you purchased it. As mentioned above, if the mango is green all over and is firm to touch, then you can expect it to take a few more days to ripen.
Once it has ripened, it will keep for about five days in the fridge. Bear in mind, this is if it’s the whole fruit. Mangos can also be sold as already-chopped slices or cubes in supermarkets and so won’t last as long as a whole fruit. The package will come with a best-by date, but on average, pre-chopped mango should last about two days in the fridge.
How To Store Mangos
Ensure an unripe mango is stored at room temperature out of direct sunlight. You can simply keep it on the counter, in a paper bag, or place it in a charming fruit bowl where it will ripen after a few days.
Want to know the best part? Mangos produce ethylene gas, which aids the ripening process if stored in the right conditions. If you can’t wait for your mango to be ready to eat, storing it in a paper bag will trap the gas, meaning it ripens faster.
Or if it’s being stored in a fruit bowl, other fruits such as bananas or avocados also produce ethylene gas so placing them together will encourage faster ripening too. Remember to regularly check whether your mango is ripe—if you miss it’s prime, it won’t be edible anymore!
Once ripe, if you haven’t yet eaten it or have some left over, move it to the fridge to prolong its shelf life. An unopened packet of mango slices or cubes will be sealed and airtight. Since these pieces are ripe already, keep it stored in the fridge at all times. Once opened, you might want to move any leftover pieces to an airtight container that can be resealed so you can come back to them later.
The Bottom Line On Mango
Mangos take up to a week to ripen. Once they have, the whole fruit should last up to 5 days in your refrigerator.
Remember to check your mango for changes in appearance, smell, and taste – in that order – before you decide to dive in!