My Dragon Fruit Is Brown Inside: Is It Safe to Eat?

Dragon fruit is one of the more unusual fruits, and this leaves some people feeling uncertain about how to tell when it is safe to eat and when it isn’t. If you have noticed that your dragon fruit is brown inside, you might be feeling even more uncertain about it.

Dragon fruit with a few spots of brown inside the flesh is generally okay to eat, but you may wish to cut these areas out, rather than consume them because they could contain mold, and the texture may not be very good.

In this article, we’re going to explore what signs indicate that dragon fruit has gone off and what to do if your dragon fruit has brown spots inside it.

Is Brownness A Sign That Your Dragon Fruit Has Gone Off?

dragon fruit

Brownness inside a fruit frequently is a sign that it has gone off, or at the very least it is overripe and may not taste very good anymore. It can also be a sign that the fruit has been bruised, but since bruising often leads to faster decay, it may also indicate that the fruit is going off.

There are a few other signs that suggest a dragon fruit is starting to turn, and you should pay attention to all of the below:

  • Black spots on the skin or inside the fruit (not the seeds, which are black too)
  • Brown patches or any other discoloration within the flesh, which should generally be white
  • Darkening on any parts of the skin, which should be bright red
  • Mushiness on the skin or in the flesh
  • A strange, sour, or alcoholic odor, instead of the sweet scent that dragon fruits usually have
  • A sour taste if you put a small piece of the fruit in your mouth
  • Flecks of mold appearing on the flesh

You should be cautious about eating dragon fruits that may have gone off because, like any food, off dragon fruit could contain mold, bacteria, and other unpleasant things that might make you sick. It’s fairly rare to get food poisoning from fruit, but if you do, it could lead to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and worse.

It is important not to eat dragon fruit if you aren’t sure whether it is okay or not. If you can’t tell from the look of the fruit, smell it and consider tasting a small piece. If it smells or tastes bad, throw it away, and spit out the bit you put in your mouth.

What Causes Brownness In Dragon Fruit?

Brownness in dragon fruit can be caused either by the fruit getting overripe or by the fruit getting bumped during transportation. Both of these things will cause the cell walls inside the fruit to break, allowing chemicals that were trapped in the walls to mix with each other and interact with oxygen.

This creates a process known as oxidization, and it will result in a brown color spreading throughout the fruit. It is accompanied by a mushier texture because the structures within the dragon fruit will have started to break down. 

You may notice that the fruit’s flavor temporarily becomes much sweeter (at the point where it is overripe), and then becomes alcoholic or sour as the sugars start to ferment and lose their sweetness. Do not eat the dragon fruit if its taste has begun to change.

Should You Cut Brown Patches Out Of Dragon Fruit?

If you’ve opened up a dragon fruit and found that it has brown areas inside it, you might be wondering whether it is a good idea to cut these out. It depends on how far they have spread and how the rest of the flesh looks.

If the brown areas are very localized and small, they are likely a result of bruising, and it should be okay to use a sharp knife to cut them out, making sure you remove all of the bad flesh.

However, if the brown areas have spread and the fruit has a strange smell, this is a sign that it is no longer safe to eat, and you will need to discard it. Do not consume the dragon fruit if large portions of its flesh have turned brown because it could make you sick.

On the whole, you aren’t likely to get very ill even if you eat dragon fruit that has gone off, but it is better not to take the risk. Throw away dragon fruits that have turned very brown – and if you see any flecks of mold, make absolutely sure you do not eat the flesh.

How Do You Store A Dragon Fruit?

Dragon fruits will keep better if they are stored in the fridge, especially once they are ripe. They should last for about 7 days in the fridge, although they may be nicer if you use them up more quickly. Don’t keep ripe dragon fruits at room temperature.

If your dragon fruit is not yet ripe, you may wish to ripen it on the counter, but be aware that it will last better in the fridge. If the outside of the dragon fruit has been bruised, you should cut it open even if you don’t think it is ripe so you can check whether the bruising has spread to the inner flesh.

If it has and the flesh is still good to eat, use it up quickly. If the bruising hasn’t spread, you can place the cut dragon fruit into an airtight container and store it in the fridge, but you should aim to use it up within a few days. Don’t leave it in the fridge for as long as a week.

Conclusion

Dragon fruits should have pale white flesh with black seeds in them. If you cut open a dragon fruit and find that there is a small amount of browning, this may not be an issue, but you should check for signs of decay, and avoid eating the dragon fruit if you are unsure about it. Cut out any brown areas, as they may be mushy and unpleasant to eat.