Have you ever pulled a mango out of your fridge or fruit bowl and realized that it is a lot riper than you thought? You might be wondering whether it is safe to eat in this case, since any food that is past its best could potentially make you sick.
Eating an overripe mango is almost always fine, although it may not be as enjoyable as a mango at its peak ripeness. Overripe mangoes tend to be a little mushy and their flavor may be sweeter than is ideal. They are still safe to consume, however.
Many people are uncertain when it comes to fruit, which is why this article is going to explore “can you eat an overripe mango?” We’ll look at the reasons to eat them, the reasons not to, and the warning signs to be aware of.
Are Overripe Mangoes Safe To Eat?
We all know that we shouldn’t eat fruit that has started to rot, but there is a period between ripe and rotting, and we usually refer to this as overripe. At this time, the fruit should still be perfectly safe to eat. Overripe fruit is usually:
- Softer than ideal
- A bit too sweet
- Rather squashy and very easy to bruise
- Starting to shrivel a little
- Very juicy
It may also have a strong fruity scent, and you will probably be able to tell that it won’t last much longer. In some cases, overripe mangoes will change color, but as color can be so varied in these fruits anyway, this may not help you very much.
Overripe mangoes are usually perfectly safe to eat, as the fruit has not yet started to mold – it has just gone past the point at which we most enjoy it. While you may not want to buy an overripe mango from the store, it is fine to take one from your fruit bowl and cut it open to eat.
Some people even enjoy slightly overripe mangoes, as they tend to be sweet and juicy, and they may have more flavor than a ripe mango. This varies from fruit to fruit, but there is certainly nothing wrong with eating a mango that is slightly past the ripe point. It shouldn’t hurt you, and it’s a good way to reduce food waste.
Why Would You Eat An Overripe Mango?
There are a few different reasons that you might eat an overripe mango, but the top two are to avoid food waste and to avoid monetary waste. If you throw the mango away, you have wasted your money, and all the resources that went into growing, picking, packing, shipping, and displaying the mango before you bought it.
Additionally, many people are becoming increasingly aware that putting food into landfill sites is causing significant problems because the food can’t break down properly and is contributing to the buildup of methane. If you compost foods at home, you can avoid this issue, but throwing away an overripe mango is still wasteful.
Overripe mangoes still have plenty of nutrients and vitamins in them, and you will get a lot of benefits from eating them. It is therefore much better to eat an overripe mango than to throw it away, even if it isn’t quite as enjoyable as a mango that is perfectly ripe.
You will have to decide for yourself whether you are happy to eat the mango once it has gone past its best, but it’s better for the planet and for your wallet if you do so. You can also use overripe mango in smoothies or desserts if the texture is challenging for you once it has gone soft.
Why Might You Avoid Overripe Mangoes?
Some people choose to avoid overripe mangoes because they are concerned about the fruit starting to rot. However, this is fairly easy to overcome if you know what warning signs to look out for, which we will cover in the next section.
Other people avoid overripe mangoes because they dislike the flavor or the texture. This is something that only individuals can decide, and you might prefer to get rid of the mango than eat it.
If you find the texture hard to handle, consider whether you could process the mango into something else, rather than waste it – but ultimately, you may have to throw it away if not.
What Signs Of Rotting Should You Look Out For?
There are a few key things to check for if you aren’t sure whether a mango is still good to eat. These include:
- Oozing liquid: a bit of juiciness is fine, but thick, sticky liquid coming out of the fruit indicates that it has gone bad.
- A lot of bruising: it’s fine to cut out small bruised areas, but if a lot of the fruit’s flesh has started to blacken, the whole mango should be discarded.
- Mushy flesh: an overripe mango is often a little soft, but if the flesh has gone very mushy, the cell walls have started to break down and the fruit may not be good to eat anymore. You can cut off small mushy areas, but again, if the whole mango is mushy, compost it.
- Mold: if in doubt about a mango, inspect its surface thoroughly before you eat it. If you can see any specks of mold growing on the surface, the fruit is no longer safe for consumption and needs to be discarded.
- An alcoholic smell or taste: this indicates that your mango has started to ferment, and it shouldn’t be eaten if this has happened.
If your mango shows any of these signs, it may be safest to discard it. However, if it is just a bit softer and sweeter than you would usually eat your mango, it should be fine to consume.
You certainly can eat overripe mangoes, yes. They will not hurt you just because they have gone a little further along in the ripening process, and some people actually prefer their mangoes at this point – so give them a try!