Originating in Asia, mandarin oranges have made their way through the rest of the world and become extremely popular. They can be used to make orange juice and their flavoring is also used in a variety of other dishes. Their long shelf life has also made them a popular food since they do not require refrigeration to stay fresh.
Mandarin oranges will stay fresh for approximately 1-2 weeks outside of the refrigerator. Inside the refrigerator, they will stay fresh for about one month, sometimes even longer depending on how ripe the orange was when picked.
In this article, you will learn about how long mandarin oranges stay fresh, both in the fridge and the pantry. You will also learn how to select the best mandarin oranges and how to handle them properly.
How Long Do Mandarin Oranges Last In the Fridge?
How long mandarin oranges will last depends on how they are stored. The first storage method that you will be learning about today is storing mandarin oranges in the fridge.
If the mandarin orange is unpeeled and stored in the produce drawer of the refrigerator, it will stay fresh for anywhere from two weeks to one month. The exact length of time will depend on the temperature of your refrigerator, the humidity levels, and how old the orange was when you purchased it.
When you refrigerate food and keep it out of the temperature “danger zone” you prevent bacterial growth. This along with the intact peel of a mandarin orange allows it to stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to one month. This is much longer than many other fruits and vegetables that will only last a maximum of two weeks before spoiling.
How Long Will My Mandarin Oranges Stay Fresh
Outside of the refrigerator, the shelf-life of mandarin oranges is much shorter. If they are stored in a warm, sunny place, they may last for less than a week before they begin to rot. However, there are some tricks that will help you to extend their shelf-life.
The best way to store a mandarin orange out of the refrigerator is in a cool, dry place like a pantry. You should also avoid stacking the oranges on top of each other as this can increase the rate of spoiling.
Moisture creates a breeding ground for bacteria. This is why it is important to store mandarin oranges away from any moisture sources or places where water may accumulate.
If stored correctly, mandarin oranges can last for one to two weeks outside of the refrigerator.
How To Select Oranges
The first step to make sure your mandarin oranges stay fresh as long as possible is picking good oranges from the supermarket. This can be tricky, but fortunately, there are a couple of tips and tricks that can make this process easier.
The first thing that you will want to look out for is the color of the orange. The whole orange should be a relatively even orange color with limited bruising or discoloration.
If there are multiple grayish patches or bruises it is best to pick another orange. These changes could mean that the orange is older and has already begun to deteriorate.
Firm vs. Soft
The second factor that you will want to check for is the firmness of the orange. Ideally, your mandarin orange should be firm with just a slight give. If the orange is any softer than this it likely means that the orange has begun to rot.
If the orange is rock hard with absolutely no give, then the orange was likely picked too soon and may be sour when you eat it. However, this orange is likely to last longer than the completely ripe orange which is something to consider if you won’t be eating the orange for a week or longer.
Shelf Life of Mandarins
Mandarin oranges that are still in the peel have a relatively long shelf life. On average, outside of the refrigerator, they can last for around two weeks before you’ll see signs of spoiling like mold or brown spots. In the refrigerator, they will usually last an entire month before they start to mold and rot.
However, all of this changes once you cut the orange. The orange peel acts as a protective layer that keeps bacteria out of the orange. This helps to keep the orange from spoiling and prevents the fruit itself from being damaged.
Once you cut the orange it will usually only last for around 2-3 days maximum and should always be stored in the refrigerator. If they are left outside of the refrigerator they will spoil and grow mold very quickly. The same goes for canned mandarin oranges. Once opened they should be refrigerated and consumed within 2-3 days.
How to Handle Mandarins
Before handling mandarin oranges you should always make sure to have clean hands. This will prevent bacteria from transferring to the oranges.
You should also be gentle to avoid damaging the skin if you are not ready to eat the orange. The skin protects the orange and prevents bacteria from affecting the fruit. If you puncture the peel of the orange bacteria can enter and cause the mandarin orange to spoil more quickly.
Mandarin oranges are an incredibly useful fruit that is used in many dishes all around the world. Not only are they full of vitamin C and other important nutrients, they can also last for several weeks, even without refrigeration. This makes them a very popular fruit as you don’t have to worry about them spoiling within a few days of purchasing them.
To make sure that your mandarin oranges last as long as possible you will always want to store them in a cool, dry place. This helps to prevent bacteria growth and slow down the spoiling process. To extend their shelf life even further you can store them in the fridge for up to one month.
To learn about some other popular types of oranges and whether or not mandarins have seeds, click here.