Why Is My Eggplant Brown Inside? Here Are 3 Reasons Why

The last thing you want is to eat a rotten vegetable, but sometimes it can be difficult to know if you should eat or toss an eggplant. After all, this fruit is incredibly fickle, which means there are several possible reasons that your eggplant is brown inside.

Most commonly, your eggplant is brown inside because it has gone bad, is undergoing enzymatic browning, or is experiencing interior shading from exterior trauma. You cannot eat an eggplant that is brown on the inside because it has gone bad, but you can eat an eggplant with any type of shading.

To learn why your eggplant is brown inside, read on. This article gives you clues to help identify the reason why your eggplant is brown. Scroll down for more.

Why Your Eggplant Is Brown Inside Comparison Chart

Reason the Eggplant is Brown On The Inside

Signs 

Toss Or Eat?

It has gone bad

Other signs of spoilage, such as slimy texture, smell, bugs, mold, etc.  

Toss

Enzymatic browning

Turns rusty brown only after letting the fruit be exposed to air (aka after slicing it open)

Eat

Shading

Random patches of slightly darker shading without signs of spoilage  

Eat

3 Reasons Why Eggplants Are Brown Inside

There are three main reasons why eggplants go brown on the inside: the eggplant itself is bad, enzymatic browning, or interior shading. Each one of these possible causes is incredibly normal and common to find. Let’s examine each one of these reasons in more detail.

It’s Gone Bad

The most obvious reason that an eggplant is brown on the inside is that it has gone bad. Just like any other fruit or vegetable, eggplants go bad and turn brown as a result. Eggplants that are brown due to their expiration date are often mushy, smelly, and show other signs of spoilage too. Here are the most common signs that your eggplant is bad:

  • Brown inside
  • Soft
  • Not shiny
  • Slimy
  • Rotting spots and smells
  • Mold
  • Bugs and flies hanging around the fruit

If your brown eggplant is accompanied by one or more of the above symptoms, your eggplant is likely bad. Toss the entire plant out and look for another eggplant instead. You should not eat eggplants after they have spoiled.

Enzymatic browning

Enzymatic browning may sound like a difficult concept to understand, but you have likely encountered it at one point or another. Have you ever noticed that after slicing into a fresh apple, the fruit along the cutline starts to turn brown? This is a perfect example of enzymatic browning.

Enzymatic browning is not the same as a fruit going bad. Instead, enzymatic browning is simply a chemical reaction to the fruit becoming oxidized by the air around it. For those who haven’t taken a chemistry class in a while, oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs from the addition of oxygen.

Your plant is likely brown from enzymatic browning if the eggplant only became brown after you sliced it open and let it sit. If you sliced it open, saw that it looked perfectly ripe, and came back a couple of minutes later to find it was brown, enzymatic browning is definitely the culprit.

If your eggplant is simply a victim of enzymatic browning, you’re in luck! There is absolutely nothing wrong with your eggplant. On the contrary, it responded to oxygen the way that all healthy eggplants do – oxidation! Feel free to cook up your eggplant as usual because it is completely safe for you to eat.

Shading

Sometimes, eggplants can have weird brown shading spots that are uneven even before you cut the eggplant open. Even though enzymatic browning is not necessarily the cause for the brownish coloring inside the eggplant, oxidation still is.

Whenever your plant was growing, the fruit probably experienced some sort of trauma, such as being dropped or exposed to extremely cold temperatures. When this happens, the eggplant may undergo uneven oxidation, resulting in patches of brown shading on its inside.

Just as enzymatic browned eggplants are safe to eat, so too are eggplants with shading from trauma. Simply cook your eggplant up and enjoy it. This browning from trauma does not show that your eggplant has been overcome by bacteria or insects.

Can I Eat Eggplants With Brown Shading?

Unless the brown shading is accompanied by other signs of spoilage or insects, it is completely safe to eat eggplants with brown shading. Because eggplants are so fickle, they can quickly become brown after slicing them open or from being exposed to extremely cold temperatures.

eggplant brown inside

There is absolutely nothing dangerous about eating eggplants with brown shading. They likely won’t taste any different either. They just might not be as pretty as the perfectly rip eggplants you see in pictures.

Eggplants Are Sensitive

It’s important to note that eggplants are highly sensitive, even more sensitive than apples. As a result, you can expect your eggplant to turn brown really fast. This is not a sign that your eggplant is bad. Instead, it just proves how sensitive these fruits are.

With this in mind, don’t get worried if your eggplant turns brown really fast. One thing you should do, however, is wait to chop up your eggplant until the last possible second. That way, the eggplant has minimal exposure to oxidation and looks just as ripe when you eat it as it does the second you cut into it.

Tips For Picking The Perfect Eggplant

Picking out a ripe eggplant is pretty easy. Because of their distinctive appearance, it’s much easier to spot a ripe eggplant than other types of fruits and vegetables. For the most part, all you need to do is look at the eggplant’s appearance and feel its firmness to determine if it is ripe.

Appearance

Ripe eggplants will have a waxy sheen that is smooth and appealing looking. The eggplant will look almost as though it has been waxed to perfection. If the eggplant looks bumpy or less than waxy, it isn’t yet ripe.

Firmness

One of the most important signs that your eggplant is ready to pick is its firmness. Ripe eggplants should feel firm. The skin will even bounce back into place after you put a bit of pressure on it. Overripe eggplants, on the other hand, will not spring back as before and will instead feel mushy.

Final Thoughts

If your eggplant is brown on the inside, there are three possible culprits: the eggplant is bad, experienced enzymatic browning, or experienced regular shading. As you expect, a bad eggplant should be tossed out and not eaten. Eating a spoiling eggplant can be incredibly dangerous.

In comparison, it is completely safe to eat eggplants with any type of browning. Eggplants are simply sensitive fruits that can turn slightly brown from exposure to oxygen or trauma when growing. This browning does not show the eggplant as being bad or under-ripe in any way.

By waiting until the last possible second to slice up your eggplant, you can mitigate some oxidation and browning. Although it’s impossible to avoid browning entirely, being smart with your eggplant timing can help you get the best results. The same goes for picking out the best eggplants. Wait until the best possible moment to pick a ripe eggplant.

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Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three 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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