Can grapes go bad in the fridge?
In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “Can grapes go bad in the fridge?”. We will also discuss how long grapes last in the fridge, the factors that contribute to grapes going bad in the fridge, how to tell if grapes are bad and how to properly store grapes in the fridge.
Can grapes go bad in the fridge?
Yes, grapes can go bad in the fridge after a certain period of time and if not stored properly. Grapes are still perishable and can spoil if not handled properly, despite the fact that refrigeration can help them stay fresh longer.
How long do grapes last in the fridge?
Grapes can last in the fridge for up to 14 days. They should be kept in the refrigerator for maximum freshness and shelf life.
The best temperature for storing grapes is 0 °C (32 °F) which avoids the destruction of the fruit texture, since there is no ice-crystal formed under the 0 °C ice-temperature, and high humidity prevents the fruit from dehydration (1,2).
It’s also possible to freeze grapes to extend their shelf life even longer. When you put grapes in the freezer, they can be stored for between 10 to 12 months (3).
This is quite a long time to be able to store grapes so it’s good to consider this if you aren’t sure about what to do with your grapes. Grapes are one fruit that functions well in the freezer to extend the shelf life even further. Grapes of all types can be frozen (3).
What are the factors that contribute to grapes going bad in the fridge?
Grapes can go bad in the fridge for several factors. The main ones are indicated below (2,4):
- Ripeness: if the grapes are already damaged, bruised, or overripe, their shelf life will be shorter since they provide a site for microbial development and hastens rotting.
- Moisture: grape deterioration can also be caused by too much moisture. When grapes are exposed to dampness, they become very perishable and susceptible to mold growth. If you want to avoid moisture buildup, it is crucial to store them in a breathable container or ventilated bag.
- Storage time: last but not least, grapes that have been stored for a long time or past their prime are more likely to degrade and spoil.
How to tell if grapes are bad?
You can tell that grapes are bad if they’re soft to the touch, shriveled, have brown (or discolored) spots or bruises, or are moldy. The same is true if they give off a funny (often vinegar-like) smell (2,4,5,6).
Either of these characteristics alone is good enough to tell that these are bad grapes and should be discarded.
Grapes lose their plumpness as they sit in the fridge or on the kitchen counter. While minor softness in grapes that have been soaking for a few days is acceptable, grapes that are too soft and mushy should be discarded (6).
If grapes have a fermented or vinegary odor, they have begun to rot and should be discarded and not consumed. This odor indicates that the grapes have fermented, which can happen as a result of yeast or bacteria growth. Fermentation results in off-flavors and a loss of freshness and quality (6).
Mold on Grapes in the Fridge
Grapes that have traces of mold on them, it is a clear indication of spoilage and a potential health concern. Grapes may develop mold such as gray mold (Botrytis cinerea), as a result of excessive moisture or skin injury, which creates an ideal habitat for mold spore formation.
Your health could be at risk if you eat moldy grapes because some molds create mycotoxins that can lead to allergic reactions or other negative effects (7,8).
Assessing Grape Quality
Another thing that you should pay attention to is the freshness of the fruit. This way, you know if your grapes can still sit in the fridge or if you should use them as soon as possible (2).
This also helps you with choosing the best grapes in the grocery store.
To check grapes’ quality, look at the following:
- Stems. Green stems that hold the grapes well are optimal. If they’re turning brown and some of the grapes fall off on their own, hurry up.
- Grapes. They should be plump and full of color. If they’re starting to go soft and the color fades, they won’t last much longer.
How to properly store grapes in the fridge?
To properly store grapes in the fridge, follow these next tips and keep them fresh (1,9,10):
- Examine the grapes: start by looking over the grapes and discarding any that are rotten or damaged.
- Do not wash them: Prior to eating, keep them unwashed since moisture encourages the formation of mold.
- Keep grapes in a ventilated container: To promote airflow and prevent excessive moisture buildup, put the grapes in a perforated plastic bag or a ventilated container. This keeps the grapes’ quality intact and hinders the growth of mold.
- Store in the crisper drawer: They should be kept in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator because it has a slightly higher humidity level. Ideally, as we mentioned before, grapes should be stored at a temperature of 0 °C (32 °F).
- Because grapes are sensitive to smells, it is recommended to store them away from meals with strong smells .
In this brief article, we answered the question “Can grapes go bad in the fridge?”. We also discussed how long grapes last in the fridge, the factors that contribute to grapes going bad in the fridge, how to tell if grapes are bad and how to properly store grapes in the fridge.
1. Min, Z. et al. Preservation of fresh grapes at ice-temperature-high-humidity. Int. Agrophysics, 2001, 15, 139-143
2. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Agricultural Research Service Agriculture, Handbook Number 66, 2016, 349-350.
3. Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.
4. Qiu Y, Zhou Y, Chang Y, et al. The Effects of Ventilation, Humidity, and Temperature on Bacterial Growth and Bacterial Genera Distribution. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(22).
5. Kanupuru, P., Uma Reddy, N.V. A Deep Learning Approach to Detect the Spoiled Fruits. WSEAS Transactions on Computer Research, 2022, 10:74-87.
6. Porat, R. Fallik. E. Production of off-flavours in fruit and vegetables under fermentative conditions. Fruit and Vegetable Flavour, 2008, 150-164.
7. Domingues, A.L., et al. Postharvest Techniques to Prevent the Incidence of Botrytis Mold of ‘BRS Vitoria’ Seedless Grape under Cold Storage. Horticulturae, 2018, 4, 17.
8. Brand, A.D.V., Bulder, A.S. An overview of mycotoxins relevant for the food and feed supply chain: using a novel literature screening method. RIVM letter report , 2019, 0223.
9. Watkins, C.B., Nock, J.F. Production Guide for Storage of Organic Fruits and Vegetables. NYS IPM, 2012, 39.
10. Zander, A., Bunning, M. Guide to Washing Fresh Produce. Colorado State University, 2010.