There are so many different types of fruit available on the market, some we have never been able to get our hands on before. Whenever we stroll through the aisles, the choices are so wide, that sometimes we over-buy. Or you just don’t want to constantly visit the store.
After a few days, you start to realize that you have way too much fruit. It would be so helpful to know how long your fruits will last.
Of course, you could just store them in the fridge to prevent them from going off too soon, but you have to know how long they last if you don’t want to risk ruining your yummy fruit.
So how long does fruit last in the fridge? Because there are so many types of fruit, their shelf-life in the fridge ranges from a couple of days to a couple of months, and is affected by several factors. Fruits vary individually, but in general, you can determine their approximate lifespan by type of fruit.
Because there are thousands and types of fruits, each will have its own shelf-life that is affected by numerous factors.
In this article, we will take a look at different fruit categories as well as the shelf-life of some of their most popular fruits.
What Affects the Shelf-Life of Fruits?
Some fruits can last 2 days, and others, 2 months. If you are wondering how they have such different timelines, there are a few factors to take into consideration.
- Moisture content plays a big role in any food item. The higher the moisture content, the shorter the shelf-life will be (if there aren’t any preservatives).
- The age of the fruit is another big factor when determining its shelf-life. Most fruits are picked before they have ripened. They are stored at very low temperatures that make them almost dormant and as soon as they are sent to the stores, this ripening process continues at a rapid speed.
- Another factor that affects the shelf-life of any fresh fruit is how long it was kept in storage after being harvested before it reached the supermarket.
So when we talk about shelf-life, we are talking about how long they will last after they have fully matured, not necessarily from the date you bought them.
The best you can do is monitor the fruits, follow the general timeframes, and check for physical changes related to spoilage.
Pome fruits are fruits that are produced by flowering plants. These types of fruit are classified according to their structure; they all have a core filled with seeds that are surrounded by flesh.
The main factor that determines any fruits’ shelf life is how long ago it was harvested, the conditions and the temperatures it was kept in.
Apples are kept in cold storage between 2-12 months before reaching the store. Once you bought the apples, they will last about 1-2 months in the fridge.
Pears, on the other hand, have a shorter shelf-life. They ripen extremely slowly while on the tree, so as soon as they are picked, the clock starts ticking much faster.
The best way to identify whether your pome fruit has gone bad is when their flesh has become soft and grainy, and when their skin has become wrinkled and discolored. If there is any mold or spores on the flesh, the item should be discarded.
Stone Fruit (or Drupes)
Stone fruits, also called drupes, are defined as any fruit that grows from a single seed. The seed is protected by a hard endocarp which makes up what we generally call the hard pit. The whole fruit is covered with juicy flesh and soft skin.
Some well-known examples of drupes include apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums.
This next part may surprise you, but cherries, mangoes, and avocadoes also are classified as drupes. These fruits fall into sub-categories of drupes due to their biological structure.
The reasons these fruits are always placed in other categories are due to their other, more prominent, characteristics. For example, mangoes fit better in the tropical fruit category because of their geographical location and seasonality.
We could go into a very elaborate explanation, but for this article, we will refer to drupes as stone fruits such as apricots and plums.
Most stone fruits have a rapid ripening process, so they are stored and packaged for only a short period of time before reaching the stores, usually 2-4 weeks depending on the variety.
Apricots will last around 7-10 days in the refrigerator. Peaches have a slightly shorter shelf-life, around 4-5 days when whole and 2-3 days when cut. Nectarines and plums have similar shelf-lives to peaches.
The best way to tell if stone fruits have gone bad is to feel their flesh. If it makes an indent when you lightly press it, the fruit has gone past its prime. Another obvious sign is when the skin gets brown patches or mold starts forming on top of it.
Berries are small fruits that usually have bright colors. Different berries have different flavors, shapes, and sizes. The scientific classification for berries is any fruit that is produced from a single flower’s ovary.
Like with drupes, other fruits fall into this category that are much lesser-known. Some examples are bananas, grapes, and chili peppers. Again, because of other, more prominent characteristics, these fruits fit better into other categories.
Berries are seasonal fruits and once they have fully matured (usually when they reach the store), will last between 3-7 days before starting to soften. They are extremely delicate when it comes to storage and it is extremely important to store them in the refrigerator.
Unlike other fruits that can be stored outside (even if it reduced their shelf-life), berries will become softer within a few hours.
Raspberries do not have a long shelf-life (2-3 days) due to their extremely thin skin and juicy nature. Strawberries are slightly heartier, but still last only a few days, a week at most.
Blueberries and gooseberries have a harder, almost leathery skin that protects it for much longer. They can easily last a week in the refrigerator.
Berries become soft and discolored when they start going off, but they also grow mold very quickly, so be careful!
Melons are best defined as a round fleshy fruit with a thick skin. The majority of them are very sweet and should be juicy, yet firm. They come in many different sizes but are distinctively larger than your average fruit.
Melons grow on the ground on sprawling vines. When the stem starts cracking, farmers know this is the perfect time to harvest as the melons are fully matured. This ensures that the fruit will have a well-developed flavor and color.
Common melons include watermelon, cantaloupe, winter melon, canary melons, and honeydew. These are all different sizes, colors, and flavors, which all affect the shelf-life.
Whole melons will also last much longer than cut ones. They have a thick rind that needs to be removed before the flesh is consumed. Unfortunately, due to their size, there is no way to only use a small amount at a time.
The fresher your melon is, the longer you will be able to store whatever you haven’t consumed yet.
In general, melons will last around 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator if whole and around 4-7 days after being cut.
When melons have gone past their prime, their flesh starts to dry out and become gritty. The color on their flesh will start to fade and the thick skin will start becoming softer and some even grow mold.
Citrus fruits are fruits that grow on flowering trees in orchids. They have segments and a very thick rind that have to be peeled before consuming. The rind is usually used as a flavoring ingredient as it has a very concentrated flavor.
There are tons of citrus fruits that are well known and loved. Some include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and pomelos. These are each a category of citrus and have tons of varieties underneath them.
Each of these fruits has a wide variety of flavors ranging from sweet, sour, and tart. This contributes towards the shelf-life as chemically, certain compositions will allow one fruit to last longer than others.
Citrus fruits are very hearty due to their thick skin and can last for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
Once picked from the tree, they have about a 3-4 week shelf-life at room temperature.
Certain climates need to import their citrus and thus they are cooled until they almost don’t mature anymore. Once they are placed back into the store, they will last between 2-3 months.
Many citrus fruits also tend to grow white mold on them, but this does not necessarily mean they have gone off. Simply wipe the white residue with a dry cloth and consume it within a few days.
The number one way to check if citrus has gone off is to feel if their flesh on the inside is soft. When you press the flesh and it easily makes an indent, even if the skin is blemish-free, the fruit has gone past its prime.
Citrus don’t turn another color unless they are far past their expiration date. The skins will dry out and become brown or they will become soft and mushy.
Tropical fruits are all most fruits that are grown in areas with high temperatures. They all have an exotic appearance and that is part of their appeal.
Unlike most other fruit categories, these fruits do not necessarily look like each other at all. Fruits included in this category are pineapples, banana, mangoes, guava, passion fruit, lychee, and many more.
This is a very broad category as each type of fruit has different varieties as well.
These fruits range in size, shape, color, texture, and taste and are more complicated to put a shelf-life on.
We will only discuss the shelf-life of the most common fruits in this category.
Once fully matured, pineapples last around 4-5 days in the fridge, while mangoes and kiwis will last much longer due to their skin type, around 1-3 weeks.
Passion fruit also lasts incredibly long in the fridge. Depending on how ripe they are, they can last between 2–5 weeks.
The best way to check when the fruits are over-ripe is to feel their flesh for softness and check their skin for blemishes.
The Ultimate Fruit Shelf-Life Chart
|Fruit||Category||Shelf-life inside the fridge||Cut inside fridge|
|Bananas||Tropical / Berry||2-9 days||
|Apples||Pomes||1-2 months||3-5 days|
|Oranges||Citrus||3-4 weeks||3-4 days|
|Grapes||Berries / Tropical||1-2 weeks||
|Strawberries||Berries||4-7 days||1-3 days|
|Pineapples||Tropical||4-5 days||3-4 days|
|Watermelon||Melons||1-2 weeks||3-5 days|
|Avocadoes||Berry / Tropical||7-10 days||1-2 days|
|Lemons||Citrus||3-4 weeks||3-4 days|
|Limes||Citrus||3-4 weeks||3-4 days|
|Peaches and nectarines||Drupe/stone fruit||4-5 days||2-3 days|
|Pears||Pomes||5-12 days||1-3 days|
|Mangoes||Tropical||1-2 weeks||4-7 days|
|Grapefruits||Citrus||3-4 weeks||3-4 days|
|Cantaloupe||Melons||10-12 days||4-7 days|
|Papayas||Tropical||6-9 days||2-3 days|
|Plums||Drupe/stone fruit||4-5 days||2-3 days|
|Kiwi fruits||Tropical||2-3 weeks||4-7 days|
|Apricots||Drupe/stone fruit||7-10 days||1-2 days|
|Honeydew||Melons||10-15 days||4-5 days|
|Pomelo||Citrus||3-4 weeks||3-4 days|
|Passion fruit||Tropical||2-5 weeks||7-10 days|