How to Tell if Jicama is Bad [Definitive Guide]

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Jicama, or Pachyrhizus erosus, is a Mexican yam bean. Jicama is very similar to a turnip or potato. It is a very sweet, starchy carbohydrate. Jicama is a great alternative to a potato or a sweet potato as it is low in sugar and calories. 

You can swap jicama into any of your favourite potato or turnip recipes. Jicama can be made into fries, it can be thrown into a stew, roasted, or eaten fresh in a salad. The opportunities are endless.

This article will cover how to tell if jicama is bad and other common questions surrounding its storage.

Signs That Jicama is Bad

These are the main signs that jicama has gone bad.

Sour Smell

Jicama starts to smell sour and rotten when it goes bad. Jicama should have a fresh, slightly sweet smell. Once jicama has started to smell bad it should be immediately disposed of. Any unusual smell is a key sign of deterioration. 

Slimy Texture

Fresh jicama has a firm texture, with clean, unblemished skin. When jicama starts to spoil it will lose its hard texture and its skin will start to decompose.

Before the jicama completely deteriorates, it will feel slimy. This slime is a key sign the decomposition process is underway. Soon after, the whole vegetable will wilt and deflate.

You should dispose of the jicama before this happens and as soon as you see slime. 


Jicama becomes soggy when it starts to go bad. The delicious firm texture deteriorates when there is extra moisture in the jicama.

This sogginess will eventually erode the entire vegetable. It is best to throw out the jicama as soon as it becomes soggy as it will just continue to worsen over time. 

Brown Color

Jicama should be a light, creamy white color inside. Jicama can become discolored when it deteriorates or when it has expired. If you notice any color that is not the standard pale white, then you should throw out the jicama.  


Mould is perhaps the most obvious sign the jicama has gone bad. Mould will grow on the vegetable when it has been left for too long in the cupboard or the fridge.

Mould will often grow on the exterior of the jicama. You will see fuzzy green or white spots on the surface of the jicama if it has grown mould.

If mould has grown inside the vegetable, the stem will turn from brown to green. You should dispose of the jicama at the first sign of mould. 

Why is My Jicama Brown Inside?

Jicama should be a light, creamy white colour inside. Jicama turns brown when it starts to spoil. The brown colour may be a result of mould, dehydration, or expiry. As soon as you notice any kind of discoloration you should dispose of the whole vegetable. 

If you really want to keep the jicama for a couple of days, you can cut out the brown spots. However, this does just delay the inevitable. Brown jicama will continue to get worse. Once it has gone brown, eventually the whole vegetable will completely deteriorate. 

What Does Good Jicama Look like?

Fresh, good jicama is a light, creamy white colour inside. Outside, it has semi-furry brown skin. The skin should be clean and unblemished.

Good jicama is hard and firm to the touch. Jicama looks almost exactly like a potato.

Jicama is the same shape and even has a similar texture. Any change to this appearance is a sign the jicama has gone bad or is in the process of going bad.  

What Happens if You Eat Bad Jicama?

Eating bad jicama can lead to sickness. Like any other vegetable, it is not advised to eat something that has expired. Expired jicama carries bacteria and other nasty things.

These things can make you unwell if they are consumed. However, it is unlikely eating bad jicama will cause anything particularly serious. Even so, it is best to avoid eating bad jicama. Throw it out as soon as you notice signs of spoilage. 

How to Store Jicama Once Cut

In the Cupboard

Jicama can be stored at room temperature in the cupboard for up to 2 weeks. Like potatoes, jicama has  a high content of starch. This means they can stay fresh for a prolonged period of time.

If jicama is in a cool, dry, dark place (like the cupboard) they won’t spoil. You may even find your jicama is so comfortable they begin to grow sprouts! Once the jicama has been cut, it will expire quicker.

You can leave chopped jicama in the cupboard for just under a week. It’s better to chop the jicama into segments just before you start cooking, as this way you can enjoy it super fresh. 

In the Fridge

Cut jicama can be stored in the fridge for around a week. This is the best way of preserving chopped jicama.

The fridge keeps the jicama segments fresh and prevents mould from growing. Jicama – whether cut or whole – will start to replace starch with sugar when it is stored in the fridge.

The sugar will start to erode the jicama. If stored in the fridge for longer than a week, you will notice the jicama has become soft and deflated. You should dispose of the jicama as soon as it has lost its normal texture. 

In the Freezer

Sliced jicama can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months. However, the freezer will change the texture of the jicama once it has been defrosted.

You will notice that the jicama is softer and a bit squishier. It’s still edible, but it won’t be the same as fresh.

Jicama can become susceptible to freezer burn if it is stored for longer than 4 months.

To delay the effects of freezer burn, thoroughly wrap the jicama in clingfilm and then place in an airtight container.

How Long Does Jicama Last?

Whole jicama will last in the cupboard for 2 weeks. In the fridge, jicama will be okay for up to a week.

Jicama is a root vegetable which means it lasts better in cool, dry, dark places. The fridge is a cool, wet environment which can be too overwhelming for the jicama. The cupboard is definitely its favourite place! 

Sliced jicama will last for around a week in either the cupboard or the fridge. The jicama will begin to deteriorate whether or not it is refrigerated.

This is because the fridge will speed up the production of sugars in the jicama. Whereas in the cupboard the jicama can succumb to mould or other bacteria. 

Jicama will last for up to 4 months in the freezer. However, it is best to eat it within the first couple of months as the jicama will begin to break down in the freezer. 

Can You Store Jicama in Water?

Yes! Sliced jicama can be stored in a bowl of water  (with a dash of lemon juice) in the fridge to keep it fresh. Submerging jicama in water will keep it moist and healthy.

This is because the citric acid from the lemon will help prevent deterioration. This is the best way to ensure jicama remains crunchy while refrigerated.

If you want to refrigerate extra jicama make sure you store it in water! There’s no point doing this with whole jicama as it keeps really well in the cupboard!.

What Part of Jicama is Toxic?

The skin, stem, leaves, and seed of jicama are all poisonous.

You can only eat the interior flesh of the jicama. It is very uncommon to see jicama at the shops with the toxic parts attached.

However, it is still important to be cautious when preparing and cooking with jicama. Jicama does have the potential to cause harm to animals and humans if the toxins are consumed. 

To Sum Up

Jicama is a fantastic, nutritious vegetable. It is a great alternative to a potato or a turnip. Jicama can be used in exactly the same way as the humble potato. It’s a healthier alternative that can be used in all your favourite potato recipes!

These are the main signs that jicama has gone bad; 

  • Sour smell. 
  • Slimy texture
  • Sogginess
  • Discolouration 
  • Mould 

Jicama can last in the cupboard for up to 3 weeks, in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for 4 months. 

Now you know the basics of storing and preserving jicama, it’s time for the fun part. Find some jicama and start experimenting with this amazing vegetable.