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White Spots In Mango – Is It Safe To Eat?

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When you cut a mango, you will sometimes see white spots on its flesh that may make it seem like the pit is taking over.

What are the white spots in mango and when should you throw them out? The white spots in the mango are starchy mango tissue with air pockets. You can eat them, but their texture won’t be the best. It is best to eat around them as the rest of the mango will be perfectly fine.

Read on to find out what the white spots in mango are, whether they are safe to eat, when you should throw them out, and much more:

What Are The White Spots In Mango?

From green to yellow, red, orange, and even purple, mangoes come in a wide range of colors depending on their type.

variety of mangoes on cutting board
Variety of freshly washed mangoes

Mangoes mostly have varying shades of yellow and orange, based on how ripe and sweet it is.

As mentioned above, you may sometimes come across white spots that look like little holes inside the mango. What is this weird stuff and is it okay to eat?

Before we explain what they are, let’s go back a little and discuss the mango tree and how mangoes are grown.

Mangoes are harvested when they mature and start to ripen. Most of the time, the signs of a ripe mango are very evident.

Other times, pickers can only make an educated guess and hope the mangoes are ripe when they are pulled off the tree.

During this process, some of the immature mangoes may wind up in the harvest crate. As mangoes ripen from the pit outward, the innermost part of the mango could be mature and ripening, while the fleshy part close to the skin may still be immature and starchy.

This might be a good time to clear the fact that maturing and ripening are two different processes. Mangoes must fully mature before they can begin to ripen.

Unripe mangoes are harder and have lighter flesh. When they ripen, the hard, acidic, and starchy tissue turns soft, sweet, and flavorful.

What Causes White Spots In Mango?

Mango cut in half on a cutting board
Starchy mango

Coming back to picking mangoes; once that is done, the mangoes are submerged in a pool of water at a temperature of 115°F to kill any fruit fly eggs or larvae.

If the mango isn’t mature enough, a number of things can go wrong at this point. The high temperature of the water confuses the growth of the mango and causes its metabolism to speed up.

Now, since the mango cannot take in any oxygen underwater, it starts to ferment and generates carbon dioxide and alcohol.

With no escape for the carbon dioxide, it builds up and starts creating white holes in the mango. The hot water prevents the starch-to-sugar reaction and the mango never reaches its full ripening potential.

Are The White Spots In Mango Safe To Eat?

Despite how it may appear, the white spots in mango have nothing to do with the pit, so they are perfectly safe to eat. 

If you want, you can eat around it as the rest of the fruit will be perfectly fine. It may be less flavorful compared to other mangoes since the fruit was probably harvested too early and didn’t get a chance to fully ripen.

If you notice any signs of spoilage along with the white spots, we suggest discarding the fruit entirely.

How To Tell If A Mango Is Bad

While it is okay to eat mangoes with white spots, there are a few signs that indicate that the fruit has gone bad. If any of the following signs appear, it is best to discard the mango as not only will it taste bad but may also make you sick.

Here are some of the most common ways to tell if a mango is bad.

If the mango is mushy

A ripe mango is a bit soft to the touch. You can check its texture by gripping the fruit at the top near the stem using your fingers and applying light pressure to see how soft it is.

If you feel the flesh is mushy and has gone too far in terms of softness, it is probably best to discard it.

The same should be done for any large, sunken spots. When a mango gets too old, its flesh will start to darken and soften near the rind.

Depending on how much of the mango is mushy, you can cut out the discolored and mushy areas and eat the rest.

If the mango is oozing liquid

That just sounds bad, doesn’t it? A few brown spots are normal in mangoes and you can cut them out and enjoy the rest of the fruit.

The issue arises when these spots go deep down to the extent that they start oozing liquid out of the damaged skin.

If the mango has a bitter smell

Mangoes have a strong, fruity smell that is very distinctive. It is often a great indicator of how ripe the fruit is.

The best way to smell a mango is near the stem area, as that is where the smell is the strongest. If the smell is sweet, chances are that the mango is fully ripe and ready to eat.

If it gives off a bitter smell, it is a clear indicator of the mango being overripe and possibly rotting.

If the mango has mold growth

This is a pretty obvious one and mold growth on any type of food is a big no. Mold growing on mangoes typically appears to be gray and white on the outer skin and grayish-green on the inside.

Eating a bit of moldy mango shouldn’t be a problem, but in certain cases, it could be dangerous.

If you are particularly sensitive, you may develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea, and an elevated temperature.

Can You Eat Mangoes With Black Spots?

Mangoes often develop black spots on their skin during the ripening process. If these spots are only on the surface, there is no harm in eating such mangoes after removing the skin.

If the dark spots run much deeper, you can remove and discard the blackened part with a knife and safely eat the rest of the mango.

If it is unsuitable for consumption, it will have a pungent smell and turn mushy, as mentioned earlier. 

How To Store Mangoes

mangoes and bananas in a fruit basket
Mangoes stored in a fruit basket

Mangoes, like other types of fruit, are perishable and don’t last much longer. You need to store them properly to make sure they don’t spoil prematurely.

When it comes to storing fresh mangoes, you need to check their ripeness level to determine the best route to take.

If you have unripe mangoes at home, keep them at room temperature where they will continue to ripen and become sweeter and softer over a couple of days. 

To speed up the ripening process, place the mangoes in a paper bag. Once ripe, you can transfer them to the refrigerator where they can last up to 6 days.

How To Freeze Mangoes

If you wish to store mangoes for the long term, you can put them in the freezer where, if kept in the right conditions, they should be good for up to 6 months.

Here are step-by-step instructions for freezing mangoes:

  • Wash and peel the mangoes using a knife, potato cutter, or apple peeler.
  • Cut the mangoes into small cubes or slices for easy packaging. The pieces should be small enough to fit inside a freezer-safe bag.
  • Put the mango pieces in a freezer-safe bag and seal it shut. Make sure the pieces aren’t overlapping much.
  • Push as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing it.
  • Place the freezer-safe bag horizontally in the freezer. The bag should not stand up against the freezer wall or the mangoes will not freeze evenly.
  • Make sure the freezer stays at a consistent temperature of 0°.
  • Keep them in the freezer for 6 months. 

When you want to enjoy your frozen mangoes, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge. Once the cubes soften, you can enjoy them any way you like.

Related Questions

Now that you know about those odd-looking white spots on mango and whether you should throw such mangoes out, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:

How do you cut a mango?

You can peel and slice a mango lengthwise until you get to the pit. Repeat the same from all sides. You may dice the slices into cubes and enjoy them with a fork. Alternatively, you may slice the mango slightly off-center from the seed and dig in with a spoon and enjoy.

Why are some mangoes stringy?

There are several varieties of mangoes and they all are somewhat different in terms of their appearance, color, taste, and texture.

Some mangoes can be stringy because they are either under-ripe or simply too big. 

Which mango is the sweetest?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Carabao, also known as the Philippine mango or the Manila mango is the sweetest mango in the world.

Related Article: Mango Sponge Cake Recipe

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