My Pineapple Is Brown Inside: Has It Gone Bad?

Pineapples are delicious tropical fruits that can be enjoyed eaten plain, in a juice, shake, smoothie, or added to your favorite salad. 

It’s one of my favorite fruits, and while I certainly enjoy eating it plain, I do so after having a bulky meal as it facilitates digestion. It contains a digestive enzyme called bromelain that helps your digestive system break down and absorb the proteins in the food you eat. 

Just as any other fruit, pineapples also have a limited life and can go bad if not stored properly; in the worst case, they can even develop mold. 

If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating pineapple before, you may not know how to tell if it’s ripe, overripe, or has gone bad, so seeing brown spots on your pineapple may seem like enough to throw it away.

Do brown spots mean that your pineapple is rotten? Not at all. Even though brown spots on a pineapple may give it an unpleasant look, that’s not necessarily a sign of an overripe or rotten pineapple. 

In this article, I’ll attempt to help you identify when a pineapple has gone bad, and midway explain what those brown spots might indicate. 

Why Do Pineapples Develop Brown Spots?

pineapple with brown spots

While I would love to give you a very simplified explanation of why a pineapple develops brown spots, there are actually a couple of reasons why that may happen. 

Those reasons may include:

  • Being overripe (right before it rots)
  • Bruising (least likely)

Below we will look at each reason separately so that you can have a better idea of what may have caused one of your pineapples to develop brown spots. 

Being Overripe

It’s not always, but sometimes a pineapple may start to develop brown spots thanks to a process called autolysis, or the self-destruction of tissues. 

This is common to every fruit, and it essentially occurs when the tissues begin to break down due to an enzyme that is released by the fruit. 

This enzyme is called polyphenol oxidase, and when the fruit is exposed to oxygen, it can trigger the phenolic compounds in the fruit, converting them to quinones. The quinones react with other compounds present in the pineapple, and that reaction creates melanin, which causes its flesh to become brown. 

This process may occur as a response to damage or it may just mean that the fruit is overripe and close to reaching a state where it’s not good to eat. Nevertheless, you can still choose to eat it, as the brown flesh will not hurt you, however, the taste may not be as good.

If the brown spot is localized, I would suggest you cut it off and eat the rest of the fruit. 

Bruising

Another reason why a pineapple may develop brown spots is that it may have been bruised or damaged, inciting the pineapple to release the polyphenol oxidase enzyme that leads to the browning of the flesh. 

Compared to most fruits, the pineapple has very tough skin, so it may be less affected by bruising.

What you may find out is that the pineapple can be brown in the center even though the skin seems fine— however, if there’s bruising, you should be able to notice it on the skin, though not always.

That sucks because you don’t always know that the fruit is bad before you cut into it, which means you may end up bringing the wrong pineapple home. 

If you see some bruising on the pineapple, that does not indicate it’s rotten. It just means that it’s a bit bruised and you can still eat the brown spots when you cut it open. 

How Long Does A Pineapple Last?

There isn’t a simple answer for this question, and that is because that question largely depends on storage conditions, which means the time a pineapple lasts will vary. 

Whole pineapples, in general, should last 1-2 days if stored at room temperature, but if you’re able to store them in a colder environment like the fridge, you’ll be able to extend that period by 2-3 additional days. 

In other words, if you store a pineapple in a fridge, it will usually last for about 4-5 days.

Another way to store a pineapple is to freeze it, but this means you’ll have to remove the eyes and core, slice it into wedges or sticks, and place it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. A pineapple that is stored in a freezer will last between 10-12 months. 

The cold will keep it fresh for longer, slowing down the rotting process.

What Does A Bad Pineapple Look Like?

Pineapples that have gone bad will turn into a darker gold, orange, or even brown in color, and they will also appear old, withered, and dried out. 

If you notice that most of the surface has an orange or almost brownish color, then it’s likely that the pineapple is beyond overripe and it shouldn’t be consumed. 

Pineapples can also develop mold on their surface and leaves, so if you happen to come across what look like white spots, discard the fruit as it’s rotten. 

Additionally, when spoiled, a pineapple should give out a strong, vinegary smell, which is emanated as a result of a fermentation process that begins to take place. 

If you’re in a supermarket or grocery store searching for a good pineapple and you come across one with wilting or falling leaves, that is a sign of a rotten pineapple. 

Can You Eat An Overripe Pineapple?

Fortunately, you can still enjoy a pineapple, even if it’s overripe.

Even though a pineapple may look slightly orange or brownish, that’s not necessarily the sign of a spoiled pineapple— it could be that it’s just overripe. 

An overripe pineapple will still have the characteristic sweet taste with a hint of tartness, as well as a slight coconut-ty flavor.

The issue for some folk is that it might look a bit ugly, but I assure you that is not synonymous with rot unless the smell and flavor of the fruit are compromised. 

Brownish spots are not always indicative of a rotten pineapple, so be sure to pay attention to other signals and enjoy your pineapples!

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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