Whether you’re looking to stock up your pantry or want a quick snack on hand, knowing how to store papaya can be essential. The fruit is known for its sweet, juicy flesh and its numerous health benefits — but does papaya go bad?
Read on to learn more about when to use up your supply of papayas and why it’s important to store this tropical fruit properly.
Does Papaya Go Bad?
Papayas go bad when they become bruised or overripe. The flesh of the papaya will turn brown and begin to separate from the skin. If you notice that your papaya has gone bad, throw it away immediately.
You should also cut open your papaya before eating it to make sure it is not discolored inside as well. Papayas do not last long after ripening, so eat them quickly once they’re ready to eat!
How Long Does Papaya Last?
The answer to this question depends on the type and ripeness of the papaya you buy. A normal-sized, unripe papaya can usually stay fresh for up to two weeks in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Once it has ripened and is ready to eat, however, most people will consume it within a few days.
If you plan on eating your papayas within 3-5 days after they are picked/purchased, then they should be stored in a cool room at temperatures between 45° F (7° C) and 55° F (13° C).
You can also store them in your pantry at temperatures between 50° F (10° C) and 70° F (21 °C). If you buy organic papayas then make sure that they have not been treated with any pesticides or chemicals before storing them—this is especially important if you plan on keeping them for more than four days.
How To Store Papaya
If you’re wondering how to store papaya properly, there are several ways to do so depending on whether it’s ripe or unripe.
If you plan to eat green papaya (unripe) soon after purchase, store it in the refrigerator. Keep it away from other fruits and vegetables that emit ethylene gas — this will speed up the ripening process of your papaya.
You can also store your unripe papaya at room temperature for up to two days if necessary — just make sure it’s not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat for long periods of time.
Once the papaya is ripe, you can keep it fresh for up to three days by storing it whole in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also slice or dice the fruit into smaller pieces first then place those pieces in an airtight container before refrigerating them as well.
How to Tell When Papaya Goes Bad
Papaya doesn’t last long once it’s picked from the tree, so it’s best to eat it within a few days of purchasing it.
Here are some tips for telling when papayas go bad:
Look for Signs of Browning
Papayas turn brown when they go bad. If you see brown spots on the papaya, then it’s past its prime.
If your papaya smells like vinegar or has an unpleasant odor, you should throw it away immediately. This is an indicator that the fruit has gone bad and is unsafe to eat.
Check for Rots
You can tell if your papaya is rotting by cracking open one end of the fruit and looking inside at its fleshy insides. If there are holes or soft spots in the flesh, then toss out the whole thing because it will be mushy and spoiled by this point.
How To Keep Papaya Fresh Longer
Papaya is known to go bad quickly once it’s picked. After you’ve picked them, there are several ways to keep them fresh longer.
Below are some of the ways:
- Store papaya in the refrigerator.
- Keep papaya away from ethylene producers like apples, bananas, and pineapples.
- Keep papaya away from heat and light.
- Use papaya soon after purchasing it to keep it fresh longer.
- Use a few days after purchase for best results if you have to store your papayas at room temperature or outside of the fridge for a bit longer than usual.
As you can see, papaya will go bad eventually after it’s picked. Most of the time, papaya is harvested when it’s unripe. Then it’s left at room temperature to ripen. It will take a couple of days to ripen and if you don’t store them in the fridge or eat them, they’ll go bad.
Kate has been in the food business for over 20 years. Worked as a cook at several buffets which include Old Country Buffet, Five Star Buffet, and Ichiban Buffet. Now, I’m mostly at home cooking for my family, caring for chickens and ducks, and tending the garden.