How to know if a papaya is ripe

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How to know if a papaya is ripe” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not how you can know that papaya is ripe. Moreover, we are going to discuss the storing of papayas.

How to know if a papaya is ripe?

There are four simple things to look for when selecting the perfect papaya.

  • Color
  • Give
  • Bruising
  • Smell


Ripe papaya should be turning from a bright green to a nice golden yellow. Some papayas have an orangey-red hue to their skin. For optimal ripeness, it should be about 80% yellow. Some green spots are fine; they will continue to ripen at home – I’ll go over this further later.


Ripe papaya, like ripe avocado, should give slightly when you press your thumb into it. Check the softness of the papaya by applying gentle pressure to the larger end. Again, as with avocados, too soft indicates overripeness. Avoid the fruit if it is too soft at the stem end of the papaya.


Examine for bruises and sore spots. Just-ripe papaya may have a few small spots as it softens, but the skin should be soft and smooth overall.


If you’re still unsure about which papaya to choose, try smelling it near the stem. It should have a mildly sweet aroma. No smell indicates that it is not yet ripe, whereas an unpleasant, strong odor indicates that it is overripe and is likely to ferment.

How to ripen papaya in two or three days?

Of course, you can leave your papaya to ripen naturally on the counter at room temperature. But if you need the fruit for a recipe or simply can’t wait to dig into the creamy, orange flesh, you have options. 

The best method is similar to other fruit ripening methods and requires only one piece of equipment: a paper bag. Simply placing your papaya in a paper bag and folding or rolling it closed will allow it to ripen in two to three days, depending on how green it was, to begin with.

How to ripen papaya quickly?

  • This is where the papaya instructions come in handy. If you have green papayas that you need to use right away, grab a paring knife in addition to the paper bag.
  • Score the papaya skin vertically along with the fruit with a knife. Score lightly and avoid piercing the flesh of the fruit, only the skin, or your papaya will rot before it is ripe enough to eat.
  • The scoring causes the papaya to release more ethylene and ripen faster, resulting in exceptionally sweet fruit. You don’t need to add another piece of fruit to the bag if you use this method because the papaya produces its own ethylene.

Is it possible that papaya has gone bad?

The following are the reason that papaya has gone bad;

  • Dark Stains and Spots
  • Mold
  • Papaya with unusually soft and sunken skin
  • Fermented Smell
  • Bitter Taste

Dark Stains and Spots: 

A few dark spots are fine, but if they cover the entire Papaya Skin, you should be concerned.


Consuming moldy papaya can cause food poisoning. If mold appears inside a chopped piece of papaya, discard the fruit. Mold can also form on cut pieces of fruit stored in the refrigerator.

Papaya with unusually soft and sunken skin: 

Papaya with a soft, melting cover indicates that the papaya should be discarded.

Fermented Smell: 

When the papaya becomes completely rotten, it emits a fermented, strange odor. If your papaya has a bad odor, you should throw it away.

Bitter Taste: 

You may notice that your papaya tastes bitter. It means the papaya has gone bad and cannot be eaten. Do not attempt to eat it by sprinkling sugar on top.

How to keep papaya fresher for longer?

The following are the ways to store papaya fresh for longer;

  • When you are not in a hurry to eat your papaya, leave it on the counter. If the temperature in the room is comfortable, your papaya will be fine. This storage method is only applicable to partially yellow vegetables.
  • Another simple method for ripening papaya is to place it in a straight, clean paper bag. In this manner, your papaya will ripen faster than you can imagine. Don’t forget to check it on a regular basis; otherwise, it may become overly mature.
  • One of the simplest ways to ripen papaya is to keep it in the same container as a ripe banana. The banana will also cause the papaya to mature. Bananas secrete a powerful enzyme that allows raw fruits to ripen quickly.
  • Defrosted papayas may not always taste good, so choose a partially defrosted or thawed papaya instead. Avoid freezing your papaya; instead, refrigerate it and eat the thawed one.
  • The fact that papaya secretes papain, a type of enzyme, is significant. Excessive secretion of this enzyme can cause your papaya to stink. To avoid this, rub some lime juice on your papaya. Rubbing lime juice on the skin prevents papain from producing an unpleasant odor.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to know if a papaya is ripe” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not how you can know that papaya is ripe. Moreover, we discussed the storing ways of papayas.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.