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How to Tell if Jackfruit is Bad [Definitive Guide]

The health benefits that jackfruit has to offer make it an excellent addition to meals and an overall great choice of healthy fruit to add to your diet.

Not only that, but its filled with nutrients that are key for your diet and tastes good too. Jackfruit is becoming a more common ingredient in recipes due to its popularity amongst vegan/vegetarian meals, especially as a meat alternative.

That in mind, Jackfruit can end up ruining your meal if it’s gone off, and can actually result in making you quite ill if it’s gone bad. The problem is that it’s not always easy to tell when Jackfruit has gone bad.

Below you will find everything you need to know about how to tell if Jackfruit is bad, as well as other helpful information about using Jackfruit.

Signs That Jackfruit is Bad

Appearance

As with most tropical fruits, colour change is expected in jackfruits when ripening, but it changes colour when it spoils too.

If your Jackfruit seems to be fading in colour, or if it seems to be going a dark brown, then that’s a pretty clear sign that its going bad.

In addition to this, dark spotting on your jackfruit generally indicates fungus or bacteria buildup. In the case of jackfruit, its most likely Rhizopus rot, a fungal disease which results in the jackfruit decaying either on the tree or during transportation.

Alongside dark spots which are most likely due to rot, if your jackfruit has a visible slime layer then it’s definitely for the bin.

There should also be a thick, firm white substance around the pods on the inside when ripe – if this doesn’t look thick then chances are the jackfruit is bad.

Texture

A healthy jackfruit should feel fairly firm and smooth, but not too hard (if it is quite hard, it’s likely unripe).

It should be softer and spongy inside, but if the inside of your jackfruit is somewhat mushy or soggy, then it’s likely spoiled.  As well as this, give it a good feel to see if its watery – watery jackfruit is not good jackfruit!

The white substance around the pods inside of the jackfruit should feel sticky and firm. If they’re watery and feel soggy, then chances are your jackfruit has gone bad.

A key tip with jackfruit is that the inside should have a similar texture to shredded chicken when ripe. This is quite a unique quality, but it’s also the reason why jackfruit can make a great meat substitute for vegan meals!

Smell

Being able to tell if jackfruit has gone bad by simply smelling it can be difficult, primarily because it doesn’t have a great smell even when it’s at its best.

One reason for this is because there are so many aromatic compounds in jackfruit, which is a class of chemicals that are actually known for their unique smells, meaning you can get a number of smells ranging from fruity sweets to gasoline.

An odd smell doesn’t mean its bad, but if your jackfruit gives off a foul odor, then it’s always smart to trust your instincts.

In general, however, like many other fruits ripened jackfruit will have a sugary/sweet aroma due to the breakdown of starch during the ripening process.

If there is no hint of a sugary smell, and instead more foul odors, chances are it has gone bad. Another thing to look out for is if there is no smell at all, as this is usually a sign of overripening/spoiling.

Taste

Before you taste your jackfruit to see if it’s bad, we would highly recommend reading the steps above first to stay on the safe side. Only taste your jackfruit if it looks okay, smells okay and feels okay.

If it does come down to a quick taste test, then expect unripe jackfruit to have little taste and ripe jackfruit to have a fresh, sugary taste.

If your jackfruit tastes slightly vinegary or acidic, then it’s likely spoiled due to fermentation, as this can happen after ripening due to such a high buildup of sugars.

This is the same for many fruits that ripen, but especially jackfruit due to its high sugar content.

Unripe vs Ripe Jackfruit

It’s important to understand that ripe and unripe jackfruit have different characteristics. To clear up the differences and to stop you wondering if your jackfruit looks usable or not, below are the general characteristics of ripe and unripe jackfruit.

Unripe Jackfruit Ripe Jackfruit
Green in colour Yellow/light brown in colour
Sounds hard/heavy Has a hollow sound
Hard and Firm inside and out Softer inside and out, but still slightly firm
No/little smell or taste Sugary aroma/sweet smell
White in colour inside Has a sweet and tropical taste

How Long Does Jackfruit Last?

How long your jackfruit lasts depends on how you store it and if it’s been cut or not too. Generally speaking, a jackfruit that has been left at room temperature for 5 days should be enough time for it to ripen properly.

After this, you have the choice of leaving it as it is at room temperature, freezing it or leaving it in the fridge.

A whole jackfruit will last in the fridge for up to 6 weeks and cut up will last for up to a week in a fridge provided it is sealed in a Tupperware box or sandwich bag with no air. Jackfruit placed in the freezer can last a while, usually being good for up to a month or two.

After ripening, a jackfruit can stay fresh at room temperature for up to a week, but if its cut up and secured in a box/bag, it will probably only last a day or maybe even a few hours, especially if your room is fairly warm.

Cooked jackfruit will last at room temperature for 12-24 hours and in the fridge for 3-5 days.

How to Keep Jackfruit Fresh

Our top tip to keeping jackfruit fresh is to refrigerate it and avoid freezing. Freezing may make it last longer, but it will be soggy upon thawing and will not be at its best. Avoid keeping jackfruit at room temperature for too long too once its ripe, as its likely going to spoil quickly.

Make sure to refrigerate both cooked and uncooked jackfruit, as this will keep it fresh for longer. If you slice your jackfruit into chunks, place it in Tupperware and avoid bags. Bags are okay if all the air is out of them, but it won’t keep your jackfruit overly fresh.

Does Tinned Jackfruit Go Bad?

Once opened, tinned jackfruit can go bad just like regular jackfruit, so you can only keep it for a few days in a fridge or up to a month in the freezer.

If unopened, tinned jackfruit should last 1-2 years, the same amount of time as most tinned fruits.

Can You Keep Raw Jackfruit in the Fridge?

Yes, but make sure it is sealed in a Tupperware box or tightly sealed bag. Press any air out the bag to prevent spoiling. Raw jackfruit in the fridge should last up to a week when cut.

Why is My Canned Jackfruit Pink?

If your Canned Jackfruit is pink, its nothing to worry about. Since its in a tin, its likely that some chemical changes have occurred and the pigments in the jackfruit have been affected.

This can be from a lack of air, oxidation due to the metal or because of change of enzyme activity. Its just the colour, the jackfruit itself is fine!

Jackfruit Recipes

Below are some tasty jackfruit recipes alongside why they are our favorites – there are many more, but these are our personal choices!

Jackfruit Mexican Tacos by Olive Magazine

This Taco recipe is simple and quick, combining the tropical taste of jackfruit with Mexican spices perfectly, not to mention that’s its packed full of veggies too. 

Creamy Jackfruit Curry by The Pesky Vegan

This creamy jackfruit curry is the perfect alternative to a meat based dish and it contains all the good stuff for your diet too. Most of ingredients can usually be found in your kitchen cupboards.

Pulled Jackfruit by BBC Good Food

The beauty about replacing pulled pork/chicken with pulled jackfruit is that it can be used in a range of dishes. Fancy a burger? Or dirty fries? Or even some nachos?

This recipe shows you how to easily make some juicy, flavor-filled pulled jackfruit in less than an hour for you to use as you please. It’s simple, vegan and low in calories too. What’s not to love?

Summary

Jackfruit is a tasty and nutritious food that works great in various dishes.

A fading or browning colour and mushy or soggy inside usually means it is going off. Generally it will last a few hours to a few days depending on where it is stored.

If there are any of the signs mentioned, then it’s best to throw it away.