It’s one of the most adored tropical fruits money can buy, and it is so adorable that it is eaten raw and cooked in sweet and savory dishes. It is put on pizzas and is incredibly versatile as fruit. But you will have noticed that pineapple has a short shelf life. Can we eat this adorable, sweet fruit all year round and prevent throwing so much of it in the landfill?
Did you know that pineapples grow slowly? The pineapple in your fruit bowl took three years to reach maturity. Pineapples are full of vitamins and minerals that can positively affect our bodies. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which is responsible for relaxing muscles and reducing inflammation.
This article covers the beloved pineapple. Its sweetness is unrivaled and adds something to any food it is used in. But pineapples have a short shelf life. Can you do anything to make it last longer? We answer many frequently asked questions, providing factual information to extend your culinary horizons.
Let’s get into it.
Do pineapples expire?
Yes, and very quickly if stored at room temperature. At room temperature, you can expect a pineapple to last for two days to three days on the outside before it becomes overripe and starts to decay.
It makes all the difference to choose a decent pineapple at the supermarket. But a lot of waste can be avoided by selecting the best pineapples. If you want to choose a pineapple that is perfectly ripe, take into account the following advice:
- Examine the color. A fully ripe pineapple should have a mainly yellow exterior and a small amount of brown at the top, where the leaves are located. Pick a pineapple that has as much vivid yellow skin as you can. An unripe pineapple is one that is green, whereas an overripe pineapple can be one that is dark golden yellow or orange.
- Get tactile with the pineapple. Fruit must be squeezed. Give a whole pineapple a little squeeze to check its level of maturity. Underripe pineapples will have entirely rigid outer skin, while fully ripe pineapples will have firm outer skin with only a little give.
- Determine the weight. Because the inside flesh of the fruit contains more sweet liquids than the exterior flesh, a ripe pineapple will weigh more than an unripe pineapple.
- To determine how ripe the pineapple is, smell the bottom of the fruit. It should smell nice and fruity, not sour. Your pineapple may be under ripe if there is no smell.
Because the fruit can only ripen with the constant flow of starch, which the plant pumps into the fruit via the bottom, pineapple does not ripen after being picked. That source of starch is no longer present once the pineapple is cut off from the plant.
While you cannot ripen fruit on your own, you can improve the flavor of an underripe pineapple. To soften the fruit and make it more enjoyable to eat, try keeping a whole pineapple at room temperature in a brown paper bag. Placing the pineapple upside down should ripen it faster.
Does pineapple need to be refrigerated?
It depends. You can chill a whole pineapple to increase its shelf life from what you’d get on the countertop. Your full, uncut pineapple should be kept in your refrigerator’s coolest section for six days.
Sliced or chopped pineapple can be kept for up to seven days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The fruit has gone bad if it causes an astringent stinging sensation on your taste buds when you bite into it.
Should pineapple be covered in the fridge?
You can keep the whole pineapple uncovered. After all, it is covered with a protective shell. For-cut pineapple should be stored in an airtight container to prevent oxidation and prevent the fruit from absorbing any strong odors from the fridge, such as sliced onion or garlic.
If you have open canned pineapple, store an airtight container in its canned juice in the fridge.
Can you put warm pineapple in the fridge?
It is not advisable.
You should always avoid placing hot food or warm food in the fridge. It’s bad housekeeping. Placing warm pineapple in the fridge could cause a bigger problem than you might have imagined.
Your fridge temperature will be 40℉ -18℃ or a little lower. Placing warm pineapple in the fridge will elevate its temperature while it radiates heat.
Your fridge may not be as efficient as you might have thought at removing heat. Most fridges take hours to come to 40℉ after being switched on after cleaning.
So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that food sitting at a temperature of 40-140℉ is in the food danger zone. It’s not just your pineapple. It is the contents of the entire fridge.
Above 40℉-18℃ bacterial growth on perishable foods will accelerate exponentially. It should be discarded if the food remains at an elevated temperature above 40℉-18℃ for just two hours.
Seems harsh? According to the USDA, after two hours in the food danger zone, perishable foods contain enough bacteria to cause food poisoning.
Furthermore, the pineapple should be covered in the fridge so there will be no condensation!
How long can warm-cooked pineapple sit out?
Two hours. It’s not a long time, and when sitting around chatting with friends and drinking tea or coffee, the time flies, but the truth is pineapple will become contaminated with bacteria and, after just two hours, could make you sick if eaten.
Remember the food danger zone? According to the USDA, perishable goods sitting out for two hours should be discarded, and the bacteria growth on the food has multiplied rapidly, making the food unfit for consumption.
How long does unopened pineapple last?
A whole pineapple sitting out will last for two days. A whole pineapple in the fridge will last for a week before it is spoiled.
Canned pineapple rings or chunks are a different story. Canned pineapple can last for years when stored in a cool dark environment.
Canned pineapple should last for approximately two years and even longer if stored correctly, but there are always several concerns that should be considered when it comes to canned pineapples.
If the can exhibits signs of leakage, swelling, rust, or has any dents, it’s best to discard the can of pineapple. Any of the signs of damage can mean bacteria has made its way inside the can and affected the pineapple.
How long does pineapple last in the fridge?
Fresh whole pineapple has a reasonable shelf life in the fridge. It can last up to seven days. Once the pineapple is cut and sliced, the shelf life is around 5 days to 7 days if stored in an airtight container.
When compared to other tropical fruits, the shelf life of the pineapple is not so bad.
An open can of pineapple stored in an airtight container in its own juices will last for a week.
Does frozen pineapple go bad?
Pineapple does freeze exceptionally well and will not go bad as it starts to rot. But after a certain amount of time, pineapple will start to change its texture, lose its flavor profile, and even become mushy.
How to freeze pineapple?
Don’t freeze a whole pineapple. It will be a mushy disaster.
You will need the following:
- Sharp knife.
- Parchment paper.
- Baking tray.
- Freezer bags
- To freeze pineapple, it will need to be cut into rings, and you can leave the outer skin if you wish.
- Place parchment on the baking tray and place the pineapple rings, so they are not touching. You can stack using this method but use parchment for each layer.
- Place the baking tray and pineapple rings or chunks in the freezer for two hours or until the pineapple is frozen.
- Once the pinap[ple is frozen, place them into a Ziploc-style freezer bag.
- Expel as much air from the Ziploc bag as possible and seal it tightly. This will help to prevent freezer burn.
- Mark the bag with the contents and the freezing date.
- Place the bag in the freezer.
Using this method to freeze pineapple will extend its shelf life by 12 months.
You can also freeze pineapple puree, it is a beautiful way of freezing pineapple, and when stored in batches, it can make the perfect addition to any smoothie with a little run added.
How do you know if the pineapple is bad?
If your pineapple has a funky taste that almost burns your mouth, it’s bad and should be discarded. Pineapples are susceptible to mold growth. If your pineapple is moldy, toss it in the garbage.
It may start to become black. Ceratocystis paradoxa is an invasive disease that is found throughout the tropics and subtropical areas. It affects pineapples and many other plants, including palm trees.
If your pineapple does not look good and taste good, don’t eat it.
Pineapple lasts longer than you might have thought and has a shelf life that can be longer than bananas. It is a fruit that can be bought and stored easily. In the fridge, it will last for seven days, and once frozen, you can enjoy this gorgeous fruit for a year.