How to know if papaya is spoiled

In this article, we will discuss how to know if papaya is spoiled, this article will also discuss the ways to store papaya fruit which will increase its shelf life. 

How to know if papaya is spoiled?

Dark spots, mushy skin and bacteria molds on the skin of a papaya are some of the obvious signs that papaya has gone bad. It also will smell funny which will further make you sure that it is not edible anymore. 

Papayas don’t last forever, even if you place them in the fridge which will only increase their shelf life. If you buy an unripened papaya, then it will take about three days to become fully ripe, juicy and ready to eat. 

Ripened papaya can stay fresh for about two days in the refrigerator which means that after the third day, it will become over-ripe and not spoiled. You can still consume it after three days but not for long as it starts showing mold or dents on the surface.

Papayas left on the counter top tend to spoil rapidly and easily as compared to the refrigerated ones. Below, we have listed some signs that will help you clearly indicate which papaya has gone bad.

  1. Dark spots on the skin

There are a few dark spots on papaya’s skin which is fine and does not mean that it is spoiled but if your papaya is covered with such black spots then it definitely means that it has gone bad. 

In some cases, you will see white spots on papaya which might seem like fungus but if you can wipe it away with a clean cloth then it is not fungus and you don’t need to worry about it. 

  1. Mold growing 

A lot of times, cut papayas have molds inside them which is because of the moisture content from air. It is best not to eat that papaya at all as it can lead to food poisoning. 

  1. Fermented odor 

Papayas usually have a sweet and fruity smell which is unlike any other fruit but once they start going bad, papayas start to smell like a fermented fruit. This foul smell can be observed if you uncover the food or take it out of the fridge. 

  1. Bitter in taste 

Spoiled papayas have a bitter taste which makes it difficult to even swallow the fruit. The taste makes the fruit very stale and bad to taste.

Storing papayas

On the counter

When you bring a papaya, if it is still yellow, you can place it on the kitchen counter at room temperature for a day so it can ripen.

In a paper bag

To increase the shelf life of your papaya, place it in a clean paper bag after buying it to place it in a cool and dry place. Make sure you check it time and again so it doesn’t over-ripen.

Placing papaya with a banana 

When you place an unripened papaya with a banana, the enzymes produced inside the banana will also help the papaya to ripen. 

Prefer not to freeze papayas 

Freezing papayas will change their taste. Thawing and the process of defrosting will cause the papaya to become bitter and fermented. 

Lime juice on papaya

Papaya is known to secrete an enzyme which speeds up the aging process and hence the symptoms of spoiling. To reduce or slow down the process of aging,lime juice is rubbed on the papaya. 

As compared to other fruits, papayas don’t need a lot of maintenance. They should not be placed underneath heavy fruits or objects as that can destroy the flesh of the fruit and might create cracks through which bacteria can enter. 

Eating spoiled papaya 

You might not even notice any symptoms if you eat a bad papaya. Though the taste, because of mold, will be very bad and will linger on your taste buds for a few hours. Even though it is harmless in most cases, avoid eating spoiled papaya.

When is freezing papaya okay?

Normally, papayas are not frozen but if your papaya has been sitting on the counter top for a few days now, it is fully ripped now. It might be that the coming days will make it over-ripen which can lead to possible spoiling of the fruit.

In this scenario, you should freeze your papaya to increase its shelf life and to save it from completely spoiling. Before freezing it, make sure that you cut the papaya into pieces and store them in an airtight box or container.


In this article, we discussed how to know if papayas are spoiled, this article also discussed the ways to store papaya fruit which would increase its shelf life. 


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.