Can you eat pineapple with mold on the outside? (+3 storage tips)

In this brief study, we will answer the question, “Can you eat pineapple with mold on the outside?” We will also discuss what causes pineapples to get moldy, how to tell if they have spoiled, how to store them, and what happens if you consume pineapples with mold.

Can you eat pineapple with mold on the outside?

No, you should not consume pineapple with mold on the outside. Consuming pineapples with mold is not recommended due to potential health risks. Besides, mold on the surface of the fruit can extend its root-like structures (mycelium) into the flesh, making it difficult to assess the full extent of contamination (1,2,14).

Some mold can produce mycotoxins, which are toxic compounds harmful to humans when ingested. Because of that, you should discard any pineapple with mold on the outside and not consume (13).

What causes pineapple to get moldy?

Pineapples can develop mold due to the growth and colonization of various fungal species, primarily belonging to the genera Penicillium and Aspergillus (2).

Mold formation on pineapples is facilitated by the presence of conducive conditions, including warm temperatures, high humidity, and limited air circulation, allowing airborne fungal spores to land on the fruit’s surface and subsequently germinate and grow (3,4,5).

These fungi thrive by breaking down the pineapple’s organic matter through enzymatic degradation, leading to the characteristic appearance of mold growth, often observed as fuzzy patches or spots (6).     

How to tell if a pineapple has gone bad?

To tell if a pineapple has gone bad, the following are some of the unmistakable indications that a full pineapple has begun to decay (1,2,7):

  • Mold may start developing on the plant’s leaves or body, typically appearing as white patches on the foliage. Mold can have a fuzzy or powdery appearance, and is often raised above the fruit surface.

  • If you touch the pineapple and find flexible or soft areas, that’s an indicator of spoilage.

  • If you take a whiff and detect a vinegary, fermented, or sour scent, especially around the base, be cautious and do not consume it.  

  • Check the bottom of the pineapple, if it feels mushy, moist, or has a white secretion, it’s another sign that the fruit is spoiled. 

  • Also, look at the rind color, which should be green or yellow. If it’s orange, dark gold, or brown, the fruit has passed its prime. 

What is the shelf life of pineapples?

Uncut, fresh pineapple can last at room temperature for 2 or 3 days without the fruit ripening or becoming sweeter; but, if the peel is still green, the fruit will become soft and juicier (2,8).

Pineapples stored in the fridge can last for up to 14-20 days, but the ripeness process will be slowed as a result (2).

Pineapples that have been cut or sliced have a shorter shelf life, they can last only for about 2 hours at room temperature, for about 3–5 days in the fridge, and 4–6 months when stored in the freezer (8).

How can you properly store pineapples?

The optimum temperature to store pineapples is 7 to 12 °C, and the relative humidity of 85 to 95%, which makes them last for about 20 days. If the pineapple is ripe, it can be held at 7 °C for about 10 days (2).

Pineapples can also be stored for weeks at 0 to 4 °C, however after removing from this condition pineapples may fail to continue ripening and may show severe chilling injury (2).

If pineapples are sliced, they will start to brown gradually when exposed to air, due to the natural enzymatic process caused by polyphenol oxidase, which is present in the fruit’s cells. To minimize this, you can squirt some citrus juice over them, to help to delay the process (9).

If you wish to extend the shelf life of pineapples by freezing, it is not recommended to freeze a fully ripe pineapple. The fruit’s high moisture content can lead to the formation of ice crystals, causing cellular damage and affecting overall texture and flavor (10). 

In this case, it’s better to slice the pineapple into your desired pieces. Then partially freeze the pieces on a baking sheet for 1–2 hours and transfer them to an airtight freezer bag, ensuring to remove excess air. Finally, store in the freezer at -18 °C or lower (9,10).

What happens if you consume pineapples with mold?

Consuming pineapples with mold can be harmful to your health, since some species of fungi can produce mycotoxins, such as fumonisins produced by Fusarium species, which were already found to cause diseases in pineapples. Mycotoxins can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and other health issues, like cancer (11,12).

To avoid these risks, it’s crucial to discard and not consume any part of the pineapple with mold, because its mycelium can spread and contaminate below the fruit’s surface, especially in fruits with high moisture content (14).


In this brief study, we answered the question, “Can you eat pineapple with mold on the outside?” We also discussed what causes pineapples to get moldy, how to tell if they have spoiled, how to store them, and what happens if you consume pineapples with mold. 


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Garden-Robinson J. Food Storage Guide Answers the Question: How long can I store. North Dakota State University Extension Service, 2013. 


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