How long does Lychee last?

If you live in the warm subtropical parts of the US, you will definitely see a glut of Lychee from May to July. This delicious tropical fruit is tiny but packs a nutritional punch. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy lifestyle. Is there a way of making Lychee last for a few days?

Did you know the Lychee is also known as the royal fruit in Asia? When Chinese dynasties ruled queens, princesses would ask for this fruit daily. It was thought to enhance beauty. Many people confuse Lychee with rambutan. The fruit looks similar, but the outer skins are very different, with Rambuat having a hairy outer skin.

This article uncovers how long Lyshee lasts and how it can be stirred to increase the shelf life of the delicious fruit. We answer many frequently asked questions and provide factual information that can be relied upon.

Let’s get into it.

Does Lychee expire?

Yes, it does. Lychee can have a short shelf life. This delicate fruit may be abundant during the harvesting season, but sitting out in a fruit bowl, this delicious, nutritious fruit will only last for a few days, depending on how ripe the fruit is.

If you have Lychee in a fruit bowl, it’s best to store it separately from fruit like bananas that emit ethylene gas. The Lychee will ripen fast if sitting with bananas.

Lychee does not continue to ripen when picked. As it becomes softer, it’s part of the decaying process. In general, the life of the Lychee will correlate to its ripeness when picked. 

When selecting Lychee from the grocery store, select the firm and pink ones. The Lychee should have a delicate floral aroma and be firm. If the Lychee is darker and softer to the touch, the shelf life is likely less than a day if it is not already past the shelf life date.

Keeping Lychee stored in an open plastic bag rather than just placed in a fruit bowl is recommended. The polythene bag will protect the fruit, but an open bag will prevent condensation from building up.

If you have a lot of Lychees, then it is advisable to place them in the fridge. The fridge will extend the life of the Lychee for up to a week. You may have so many that you need to find alternative storage options to preserve the Lychee further.

Fresh Lychee may not have been available to you if you are of a certain age and you know the fruit from eating canned Lychees. Canned Lychees are equally nutritious and have a healthy shelf life of years in an undamaged can.

Does Lychee need to be refrigerated?

It depends on how many you have and how ripe they are. If you have enough Lychee to snack on for a couple of days, there will be no need to put them in the fridge, but they taste awesome when cold, so try chilled Lychee.

Here is the truth. Your Lychees are going to gain extra shelf life in the fridge. Lychee in the fridge will last for up to a week, depending on how ripe they are, which is a significant benefit and extended shelf life of delicate subtropical fruit.

Store Lychee in the fridge in an open polythene bag or open container. The container doesn’t do anything for the fruit but keeps the fruit from spreading all over the fridge.

If the skins of the Lychee become darker is ok. If the fruit is a little softer than you might like, it will be perfect for a smoothie.

An open can of Lychee transferred to a container with a sealable lid will last three days in the fridge.

Does the Lychee have to be covered, and does it make a difference?

It is not advisable to cover the Lychees. They will sweat in the polythene bag or container, and there is no advantage to covering these tiny fruits in the fridge apart from keeping the fruit together where, if separate, you could find one hiding when you come to clean your fridge.

Can you put warm Lychee in the fridge?

Many of you will eat Lychee as a fruit, but there are many recipes for cooking with Lychee, from simple grilling on a skewer to baking the sweet fruit as part of a cake recipe.

Answering the question thoroughly, you would have to say no.

Let the Lychee recipe cool to room temperature before placing them in the fridge. Once you introduce heat into the fridge, the interior temperature could rise. For food safety reasons, warm food should not be placed in the fridge.

Your fridge temperature hovers just below 4℉. Temperatures above this are considered to be the food danger zone. The food danger zone is a temperature range from 40 to 140℉.

In this temperature range, bacterial growth accelerates. After just two hours, the bacteria will have reached significant levels, potentially making any other food stored in the fridge inedible due to its risk of causing food poisoning.

How long can Lychee sit out?

Two days. It depends on how ripe the Lychee is, but it does not ripen once picked. They go soft and change color as part of the decaying process. They are still perfectly ok to consume if they are not squishy or have an unfamiliar odor.

Keep Lychee together in a bag with an open top to allow the fruit airflow. A sealed bag may increase the rate of Lychee spoiling or turning bad.

Fresh uncooked, skin removed, and cooked Lychee should not sit out at room temperature.

Peeled or cooked Lychee in a recipe should not sit out any longer than two hours. They are classified as perishable food, and according to the USDA, they can only sit out for two hours.

At room temperature, the bacteria growth in the skinless Lychee will accelerate exponentially, making the fruit potentially dangerous to eat. If you eat skinless Lychee sitting out for two hours, you risk contracting food poisoning.

Never place warm foods in the fridge.

How long does an unopened Lychee last?

Canned Lychee will last a long time. The expiration date on the can is a prediction from the seller as to when the peak quality of the fruit will last, and after that date, the fruit will deteriorate.

Some say if the can of Lychee is in good condition, such as no dents, leakage, or swelling, the Lychee could be good for as long as 4 to 5 years.

Eighteen months is a good assessment.

How long does Lychee last in the fridge?

Seven days. When you consider this delicate subtropical fruit only has a two-day shelf life sitting out at room temperature, they gain an extra five days when placed in the fridge. It’s a remarkable extension of shelf life that allows this delicate fruit to be eaten at leisure.

However, the fridge must be cool at sub 40℉ to achieve the best results, and the Lychee should be contained together in an open space so they can breathe and not generate moisture that will cause them to rot.

Canned Lychee unopened does not need to be refrigerated. It can sit in a cool pantry for 18 months before expiration.

Once a can of Lychee is open, it should be refrigerated and placed in an airtight container, and they have a short shelf life of just three days.

Do frozen Lychees go bad?

Technically anything stored at 0℉ or below should have an indefinite shelf life. But in reality, delicate fruits will degrade over time with changes to the texture, and the flavor profile diminishes with extended freezing.

However, the good news is that Lychees freeze exceptionally well, and in the freezer, you can expect them to last perfectly for up to 6 months.

You can freeze Lychee in two ways. Skins on and with skins off. How you freeze them will depend on what you intend to do with the fruit when retrieved from the freezer.

Skins on. Eat the fruit whole, which will still be delicious, and it can be used in recipes if you wish.

Skinned Lychees are great for desserts and smoothies.

Freezing Lychee is so easy you will always do it. You do not have to prepare the fruit if you are freezing with the skins on and seed in.

Freezing Lychee skins on

  • Remove any debris from the fruit, such as stems and leaves. Check the fruit is not damaged. If they are, discard them at this point.
  • Place the Lychee in a colander and wash, leaving it to drip dry for ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Once the Lychee is dry, place it in a freezer bag.
  • Remove as much air from the freezer bags as possible and seal them tightly.
  • Mark the bags with the freezing date and expiry date. Place in the freezer.

Freezing the Lychee fruit only.

  • Peel the fruit and remove the skin.
  • Place the Lychee flesh in an airtight container.
  • Remove as much air from the freezer bags as possible and seal them tightly.
  • Mark the bags with the freezing date and expiry date. Place in the freezer.

Final thoughts

Lychee is a tremendous fruit packed with vitamins and nutrients.  It has a short shelf life sitting out but lasts an s week in the fridge, which is comparable with other delicate fruits.

Lychee is so easy to freeze you can get your kids to it. If the freeze Lychee is good for six months.

You should take caution when eating a lot of Lychees. It is said to lower your blood sugar significantly.

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