How long does eggplant last? (5 health benefits)

In this brief article, we will answer the question how long does eggplant last, we will also discuss what affects the shelf life of eggplants, explain its health benefits, how to store it and what happens if you consume spoiled eggplant.

How long does eggplant last?

On average, when properly stored in a cool and dry place, an eggplant can last for about 5 to 7 days and almost two to 3 weeks in a refrigerator.

If eggplant is cut in slices, they remain safe for only 30 minutes in an open environment before browning happens.

However, if you have cooked or sliced eggplant, it will generally last for about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. It’s worth noting that the texture and flavor of the eggplant may deteriorate over time, so it’s best to consume it as soon as possible for the best taste and quality.

Eggplant is a brinjal plant species which is known for its characteristic taste and flavor. It is edible in nature and used as a vegetable in cooking. It is actually a berry fruit but used as a vegetable, when consuming it make sure it is free from blemishes and bumps (1,2)

What is the shelf life of eggplant?

Eggplants don’t have a shelf life of months or years but they are like any other fresh vegetable. If stored properly the shelf life of eggplant is as long as three to four weeks. Fresh eggplant stays safe for five to six days on the counter.

A whole eggplant when stored in the fridge stays safe for seven to ten days. Cut eggplant when left open on the kitchen counter and turn brown after half an hour. But if it is placed in the fridge the shelf life increases to three to four days in proper storage conditions (2).

What affects the shelf life of eggplant?


One of the primary factors contributing to the deterioration of fruits after harvest is dehydration, which occurs when they are not stored at suitable temperature and relative humidity (RH) conditions. 

Eggplants exhibit noticeable signs of dehydration, characterized by weight losses exceeding 5%. This loss of water diminishes the turgor pressure in the peel and results in a decrease in fruit gloss (2,3).

Postharvest diseases

Quality deterioration of eggplants can be predominantly attributed to fruit decay. The development of Phomopsis rots is characterized by depressed circular spots accompanied by light-brown patches. Over time, these lesions may merge and progress into soft rots. 

While the infection typically initiates beneath the calyx, it can also affect various parts of the fruit’s surface (2,4,5).

Chilling-injured fruits may be susceptible to attack by Alternaria tenuis. In such cases, circular depressions with black mycelia form, which may penetrate the flesh. 

Anthracnose, caused by Colletotrichum melongenae, manifests as circular dark brown spots, while watery soft rots may arise from infections by Erwinia carotovora (2,5). 

Enzymatic Browning

The main cause of eggplant deterioration during processing is enzymatic browning. The key enzymes involved in eggplant browning are polyphenoloxidases (PPOs) and peroxidases (PODs). 

Both enzymes oxidize phenolic chemicals to quinones, which are then polymerized to produce brown pigments. Browning affects consumer appeal and reduces the quantity of phenolic antioxidants (2,5).  

How to tell if eggplant has spoiled?


If the eggplant’s skin appears to be excessively brown, dull, or has dark spots, it may be an indication of spoilage caused by molds. Fresh eggplants typically have a shiny and vibrant skin color (1,5).


A spoiled eggplant may have a wrinkled or shriveled appearance. If it feels excessively soft, mushy, or has a slimy texture, it is likely past its prime and should be discarded (1,5).

Mold growth

Visible mold growth is a clear sign that the eggplant has spoiled. Mold can appear as fuzzy spots or patches of different colors, such as green, white, or black. If you see mold, it’s best to dispose of the eggplant entirely (1,5).

Unpleasant odor

Fresh eggplants have a mild, earthy scent. However, if an eggplant emits a strong, unpleasant odor, it may indicate decomposition or bacterial growth caused by bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum, indicating spoilage (1,5,6).

What is the optimum temperature to store eggplant?

The optimum temperature to store eggplant is at temperatures ranging from 10 to 12 °C (50 to 54 °F) with a relative humidity (RH) of 90 to 95% to mitigate the adverse effects of chilling. However, if subjected to chilling conditions during storage, the visual and sensory attributes of the fruits deteriorate rapidly after approximately 14 days (1,2).

Although lower temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F) may be employed for short-term storage or transportation to minimize weight loss, they can lead to chilling injury when the fruits are subsequently transferred to retail conditions (1,2).

Eggplants are susceptible to chilling harm if stored at a temperature of 5 °C (41 °F) for 6 to 8 days. Externally, this condition appears as surface pitting and scald, which refers to the production of brown spots or areas that are initially level with the surface but may become buried with time. 

Internally, cooling harm is visible as browning of the meat and seeds, which is frequently accompanied by Alternaria sp. degradation (1,2,5).

It’s worth mentioning that chilling injury can build up and possibly start in the field before harvest. To delay the onset of symptoms, store eggplants in plastic bags or use polymeric film overwraps. However, it is critical to be aware of the increase of decay from Botrytis in such storage conditions (1,2).

How to store eggplant?

The way to store an eggplant properly are (1,2):

Storage place:

The best place to store eggplant is a cool, dark and dry place. A kitchen pantry or counter is the best place to store fresh eggplants. You can also store it at room temperature or in a fridge.

Storage conditions:

Make sure to keep eggplant in a well ventilated place with no direct exposure to sunlight. As it has tendency to ripen even after harvesting make sure to keep it away from ethylene producing food like bananas


Freezing eggplant is another option if you want to preserve it for a long time. The best way to freeze eggplant is by freezing it as a whole in an airtight container. Some ways to freeze eggplant are:

  • Blanching the pieces of eggplant and freezing them in freezer bags or airtight containers. In this case flash freezing is needed and eggplant is placed in the freezer after that.
  • Another way is to freeze cooked eggplant with other ingredients. This is the easiest method as it does not require any extra effort. You just have to place the whole dish in an airtight container and freeze it.

What are the benefits of consuming eggplant?

Some benefits of consuming eggplant are:

  • Eggplant is a great source of many vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B. It also provides a significant amount of potassium, magnesium, niacin, thiamin, phosphorus, copper, fiber, folic acid and manganese (1,7).
  • Many studies show that the eggplant extracts have superb healing effects on different disorders like burns, warts, inflammatory infections, gastritis, stomatitis and arthritis (8,9).
  • Eggplant produces a vast range of secondary metabolites, as well as other substances such as glycol-alkaloids, antioxidant compounds, and vitamins, all of which play an important role in maintaining good health. For example, chlorogenic acid, found in fruit skin, is a significant phenolic component that serves as an anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and cardio-protective agent (8,10).
  • Extracts from eggplant have an extra toxic result on cancer cells than on normal cells. Eggplant also showed an effective action against various bacteria like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas sp. and B. cereus (11, 12)
  • Eggplant is important in the treatment of several conditions, including asthma, dysuria, dysentery, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, bronchitis, heart disease and stroke (8,13). 

What happens if you consume spoiled eggplant?

Eating spoiled eggplant can pose risks to your well-being. Spoiled eggplant could harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, or E. coli, leading to the potential for foodborne illnesses. These bacteria can cause symptoms such as (14,15):

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • fever

Consuming spoiled eggplant has the potential to result in foodborne intoxication, which can range in severity depending on the variety and quantity of microorganisms present especially in individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnants, young children, and the elderly. (15).

Moreover, rotten eggplant could potentially harbor fungi like Aspergillus niger, capable of generating mycotoxins that pose risks upon ingestion. Mycotoxins have the potential to induce allergic responses, respiratory complications, and various health ailments. Aflatoxins, produced by Aspergillus species, rank among the most potent naturally occurring carcinogens (15,16,17).

It is critical to prioritize your health and safety by avoiding eating spoiled eggplant. If you believe you ate spoiled eggplant and are experiencing any worrying symptoms, seek medical attention and notify your healthcare provider.


In this brief article, we answered the question how long does eggplant last, we also discussed what affects the shelf life of eggplants, explain its health benefits, how to store it and what happens if you consume spoiled eggplant.


1. Zaro. M.J. Eggplant. In book: Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing. CRC, 2015, 2, 21.

2. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Agri. Res. Serv. Agri, Handbook Number 66, 2016.

3. Singh, S., et al. Carnauba wax- based edible coating increase the shelf-life and retain quality of egg plant (Solanum melongena) fruits. LWT Food Sci Technol. 2016, 74, 420–426.

4. Manda, R.R., et al. Phomopsis blight of Solanum melongena – Brinjal/Eggplant. Plant Cell Biotech. and Mol. Biol., 2020, 21(55-56):7-12.

5. Maithani, D., Sharma, A. Identification of fungal pathogens associated with fruit rot of Solanum melongena L. in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand). The Pharma Innovation Journal, 2021, 10(7), 05-09. 

6. Manda, R.R. et al. Bacterial wilt of solanaceous crops. Inter. J. Chemical Studies, 2020, 8(6),1048-1057.

7. Cardoso, M.O. et al. Growth, nutrition and yield of eggplant as affected by doses of cattle manure and magnesium thermophosphate plus cow urine. Horticultura Brasileira, 2009, 27, 307-313.

8. Naeem, M.Y., Ugur,S. Nutritional Content and Health Benefits of Eggplant. Turkish Journal of Agriculture – Food Science and Technology, 2019, 7, 31-36, 2019.

9. Im, K., et al. In Vitro antioxidative and anti-inflammatoryactivities of the ethanol extract of eggplant (Solanum melongena) stalks in macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. Food Agr. Immunol., 2016, 27, 758-771. 

10. Plazas M., et al. Diversity and relationships in key traits 38 for functional and apparent quality in a collection of eggplant: fruit phenolics content, antioxidant activity, polyphenol oxidase activity, and browning. J Agr Food Chem., 2013, 61, 8871-8879 

11. Afshari, F. et al. The cytotoxic effects of eggplant peel extract on human gastric adenocarcinoma cells and normal cells. Mod Med Lab J., 2016, 1, 42-48 

12. Ahmed F. A. et al. Phytoconstituents,bioactivity and antioxidant potential of some commercial brinjal (Solanum melongena L.) cultivars of Bangladesh. Jahangirnagar University Journal of Biological Sciences, 2016, 5, 41-50 

13. Quamruzzaman, A.K.M. et al. Nutritional Content and Health Benefits of Bangladeshi Eggplant Cultivars. Euro. J. Agri. and Food Sci., 2020, 2(4), 1-7.

14. What You Need to Know about Foodborne Illnesses. FDA, 2022.

15. Bintsis T. Foodborne pathogens. AIMS Microbiol. 2017, 3(3), 529-563.

16. What are Mycotoxins? USDA, 2018. 

17. Jidda, M.B., Musa, A. Fungal Deterioration of Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) Fruits. African Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 2016, 8(6), 309-313.

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