How to tell if an orange is bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to tell if an orange is bad” with an in-depth analysis of different ways to spot a bad orange. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of oranges in different mediums and the proper way to store oranges.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How to tell if an orange is bad?

There are a couple of indications that point out that your oranges have gone bad. You should consider the appearance, texture, and smell of the oranges to give the final verdict about whether or not the oranges have gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or some organic growth on your orange, then the best thing you can do in this scenario is to get rid of it. 

If you see a mold on the orange then you should never smell such an orange. Molds can produce mycotoxins and if you smell a moldy orange the mycotoxins can enter your body via inhalation and once they come into your body, they disrupt your natural microflora and weaken your immune system. 

Moreover, if you spot some discoloration, especially brown specks on your orange, that is an indication that your oranges are past their prime age.

Texture

It is worth mentioning that fresh raw oranges are firm to touch. So if you feel something slimy, gooey, or if the oranges are mushy, limp, or very soft then it is an indication of a bad orange and you should discard it.

Smell

If you smell something that does not quite feel like the orange itself or if the tangy smell of the orange has weakened then it is the indication of a bad orange and you should get rid of it.

If you consume a bad orange, it can cause many foodborne illnesses including food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes even fever.

What is the shelf life of oranges?

Whole oranges

Raw whole oranges last for about a month (3-4 weeks) when they are properly stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. What you gotta do is store the fresh raw oranges in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge to protect them from water loss. 

The raw fresh whole oranges last for about 10-14 days if they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. It is worth mentioning that you should store oranges in a well-ventilated place and you should never store oranges in a humid environment as excessive moisture can mess up the quality and freshness of orange.

Cut/sliced oranges

Cut/sliced oranges last for about 2-3 days when they are properly stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the oranges and oranges can even last longer than this, provided that they are stored properly.

You can read how to make fresh orange syrup here.

How long oranges last in the freezer?

Oranges last for a long time when they are stored in the freezer properly. They can even last for about 10-12 months when kept in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer.

So what you gotta do is to wash the oranges thoroughly in a bowl of water or under running water. Peel the oranges and try to remove as much pith as you can. Divide oranges into portions or what you can do is to separate all the slices of the oranges.

Now here are two options for you, on one hand, you can just put them in the freezer bag at this point, remove the excess air from it and freeze it or the other thing that you can do is to take a knife and remove the membrane and seeds of oranges. Once you are done with removing the membrane and seed, now put the slices in a plastic zipper bag and remove the excess air from it. 

Another way that you can use to freeze oranges is that after peeling and removing the seeds and membranes from the orange slices, place them in a large bowl. Now in a saucepan add 2 ¾ cups of sugar and 4 cups of water and bring this mixture to boil. Let it cool and afterward pour it onto the peeled orange slices. Now you can freeze the orange slices along with the syrup in the plastic freezer bag.

How to properly store oranges?

  1. Fresh raw oranges can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry but if you want to prolong their shelf life then it is recommended to store them properly in the fridge.
  2. In case you have already peeled the oranges, it is better to keep them in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. You can even store your cut/sliced oranges in the freezer in a plastic freezer bag and eliminate the excess air from the bag so that the chilled air won’t make your oranges dry.
  4. In the case of the frozen oranges, if they are thawed in the fridge they can be refrozen within a day or two but if you have thawed the frown oranges by leaving them on the counter or in a bowl of cold water then it is recommended to use them immediately.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to tell if an orange is bad” with an in-depth analysis of different ways to spot a bad orange. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of oranges in different mediums and the proper way to store oranges.

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/do-oranges-go-bad/

https://www.doesitgobad.com/freeze-oranges/

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17845

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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