Can you eat an overripe mango?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Can you eat an overripe mango?” and discuss how to tell if a mango has gone bad. We will also discuss how to tell if a mango is overripe and how to properly store mangoes and if you can freeze them. 

Can you eat an overripe mango?

Yes, you can eat an overripe mango but it is better to throw it out as overripe mangoes tend to go bad very quickly (1,2). Mangoes become very soft and mushy when they are overripe and become susceptible to mold (3). If your mango does not have any signs of spoilage then you can eat them.

If the mushy texture is bothering you, then you can cut off the overripe parts and enjoy the rest of the fruit. Similarly, you can use overripe mangoes to make desserts, for baking purposes or in smoothies (4). 

How can you tell if a mango is overripe?

Mangoes that are overripe and mangoes that have gone bad are two different things. We will tell you how you can tell if your mangoes have gone bad or are just overripe.

To check if the mango is overripe, follow the following steps (5,6,7,8).

  • Take a mango and hold it with your hand in an upright position.
  • Apply some pressure around the top stem part of the mango and see if it gives in. If it is a little soft then it is ripe but if it is too mushy to the point its juice starts oozing out, then it is overripe. Mangoes that have no give and are firm are not ripe and would not be enjoyable to eat.
  • Sniff it from the top and see how it smells. Ripe mangoes smell sweet and overripe mangoes smell overly sweet.
  • Cut it open and see if the flesh is too mushy. Mushy texture is a sign that the mango is overripe.
  • Ripe fresh mangoes appear bright yellow, green, red or orange in color. Overripe mangoes or spoiled mangoes may be brown.

How to tell if mangoes have gone bad?

Here’s how you can tell if mangoes have gone bad (8,9,10,11).

  • If there are any spots on the skin or bruises then the mango has gone bad.
  • If there is any liquid oozing out of the mango then it has gone bad.
  • Overly mushy mango is also a sign that it has gone bad.
  • You should also look for mold because mold can grow on mangoes.
  • If the mango smells bad then it has gone bad.

How to properly store mangoes?

The optimal temperature for mango proper storage is between 10 and 13 °C (50 and 55 °F) with a relative humidity of 85 to 90%. For mature green fruit, this may give a shelf-life of 2 to 3 weeks, although it may also depend on the variety (8).

Ripe mango can be kept at a temperature of 7 to 8 Celsius (45 to 46 Fahrenheit). Disease is the principal factor reducing storage life. 20 to 23 °C (68 to 73 °F) is the ideal ripening temperature for the best appearance, flavor, and decay prevention (8).

However, keep in mind that chilling harm might occur when mangoes are stored at low temperatures. Mangos frequently suffer damage below 10 °C (50 °F), particularly if they are young, as their tolerance to freezing increases as they develop (8,12). 

Mangoes can be stored in the pantry, countertop or in the fridge depending on whether they are ripe or not. 

Unripe mangoes need to be placed at room temperature so that they can ripen. You can pace them in a paper bag with bananas or apples to speed up the ripening process. These fruits produce ethylene gas which helps in ripening them (8).

You can also place them in your pantry or in a fruit basket on the countertop.

Can you freeze mangoes?

Yes, you can freeze mangoes. In fact it is a great way to extend their shelf life. To freeze the mangoes, follow the following steps (13,14).

  • Wash the mangoes and peel them.
  • Next dice them up into small cubes or wedges, however you like.
  • Line a baking sheet with butter paper and place these cubes on it.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let them completely freeze.
  • Once they are completely frozen. Transfer them to a ziploc bag or a freezer safe bag and then put them back into the freezer.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat an overripe mango?” and discussed how to tell if a mango has gone bad. We also discussed how to tell if a mango is overripe and how to properly store mangoes and if you can freeze them.


1. Palejwala, V. A. Some factors responsible for the spoilage of mangoes by Penicillium cyclopium. Food Microbiology, 1984, 255-262.

2. AAl-Najada, A. R., Al-Suabeyl, M.S. Isolation and classification of fungi associated with spoilage of post-harvest mango (Mangifera indica L.) in Saudi Arabia. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 2014, 8, 685-688.

3. Nelson, S.C. Mango anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). Plant Disease, 2008.

4. Willis, W.O, Ambuko, J. Mango Fruit Processing: Options for Small-Scale Processors in Developing Countries. Agriculture, 2021, 11(11):1105.

5. Mango Handling and Ripening Protocol. Foreign Agricultural Service & National Mango Board, 2009.

6. Zu, J. Identification of odors from overripe mango. Journal of Chemical Ecology. Vol,. 29, No. 4, April 2003.

7. Mango Handling Practices. National Mango Board.

8. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Agricultural Research Service Agriculture, Handbook Number 66, 2016, 408.

9. Rahi, M.S., et al. Isolation, characterization and control of a fungus responsible for post-harvest mango spoilage from northern region of Bangladesh. International Journal of Biosciences, 2017.

10. Nelson, S.C. Mango anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). Plant Disease, 2008.

11.  M. Barth et al. Microbiological Spoilage of Fruits and Vegetables. USDA, 2009.

12. A. A. Lo’ay. Chilling injury in mangoes. Wageningen Agricultural University Papers. 2005.

13. Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.

14. Preserving Fruits Mangoes. Oregon State University Extension Service, 2020.

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