A lot of people love jackfruit, but if you have just cut one open and discovered that the insides have turned brown, you might not be sure whether to eat it or not.
A small amount of browning inside a jackfruit may not be an issue, but you should be wary if the fruit has a lot of brown spots inside it, or if the yellow flesh has lost its color or texture. It may have started decaying, in which case it will no longer be safe to eat.
In this article, we’ll explore what can cause brown spots inside jackfruit and how to check whether these fruits are still safe to eat. This should help you avoid food waste without taking unnecessary risks with your food.
What Causes Jackfruit To Go Brown Inside?
A few different things might make the yellow flesh inside a jackfruit turn brown, and it isn’t always easy to tell what has gone wrong. Like most fruits with soft pulp inside, jackfruit is vulnerable to browning, and some of the things that can cause issues include:
- The fruit being too ripe
- The fruit getting damaged during transport
- The tree that grew the jackfruit being stressed or sick
- High humidity levels when the fruit is growing
- The fruit decaying
- The fruit getting frozen
Let’s explore each of these reasons in a little more detail!
If your jackfruit has gone past the point of optimum ripeness, it is quite likely that it will develop a few small brown spots inside its flesh. These should usually be quite localized, but they may be significant enough that you notice them.
You might also notice that the fruit has a sweeter smell than usual, and that the flesh is a little mushier. This indicates that it is very ready to eat, and it will go off soon if you don’t consume it.
Sometimes, browning is an indication that the jackfruit got damaged when it was being transported, and these bruises do not always show up on the fruit’s skin (although they can).
The browning happens when the bump causes some of the cell walls inside the fruit to break. This allows chemicals to flow out of the cells and interact with each other, which causes the color of the fruit to change.
Sometimes, browning inside a jackfruit has happened before the fruit is even picked – and it is thought that this occurs when something is wrong with the fruit’s growing conditions. If a jackfruit tree is stressed due to a poor environment or if the tree is sick, there is a high chance that it will produce fruits that have brown inside them.
This will often mean that the fruit isn’t as pleasant to eat, because it will lack some of the nutrients that the tree would usually put into its fruits if it was healthy. However, the jackfruit should still be safe to eat.
Sometimes, being grown in high humidity will also cause browning in the fruit. This may again be because of stress, and it usually creates rust-like speckles inside the jackfruit. These will usually be spread throughout the fruit, and they are normally very small. The core of the fruit will often be particularly dark, spreading down from the stem.
Again, the jackfruit may be okay to eat, but it won’t be as nutritious or pleasant. Jackfruits with this kind of damage will often go off more quickly.
Of course, sometimes browning is the result of decay, and it may occur due to damage or the fruit being overripe. Again, the discoloration is because the cell walls begin to break down as the fruit ages, and this allows different chemicals to mix together and react.
If the fruit is decaying, you shouldn’t eat it – and we’ll cover this in more detail in the next section.
Jackfruits do not do well in cold climates, and they are usually grown in hot conditions. However, for transportation, they need to be chilled, because this stops them from becoming overripe too quickly. Normally, this isn’t a problem, but sometimes a jackfruit will get too cold.
When this happens, it often causes large brown blotches inside the fruit, and ruins the flavor. The cell walls get damaged by the chill, and these brown spots tend to be mushy and unpleasant. They will usually be spread throughout the whole jackfruit.
How Do You Know If The Fruit Is Still Safe To Eat?
With all the different potential explanations for brown spots appearing in your jackfruit, it can be difficult to tell whether or not it is safe to eat. You should check for a few different signs in order to determine this.
The first sign is the texture. If the jackfruit has gone slimy and the inside of the fruit is mushy, it is no longer safe to eat. This is a sure indication that bacteria have begun breaking down the tissues, and the bacteria may make you sick if you consume the fruit.
Similarly, if the jackfruit has a strong, unpleasant, vinegary, or alcoholic smell, it is starting to decay and you should not eat it. When you cut into the jackfruit and discover brown spots, hold a piece up to your face and sniff deeply to see whether the aroma indicates that it has gone off.
If you still aren’t sure, taste a small piece of the jackfruit. Again, a sour or alcoholic flavor indicates that the fruit is no longer safe to eat and it needs to be thrown away. Don’t consume jackfruit that tastes odd, especially if it has brown spots in the flesh.
Jackfruit may turn brown inside for a whole range of reasons, and it isn’t always easy to tell what has caused the browning. This means you need to check carefully to see whether it smells, feels, and tastes okay before you can determine whether it is safe to eat. If the fruit seems off, throw it away rather than consuming it.