Mangos contain many beneficial nutrients, like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and potassium.
So, you may be understandably reluctant to toss a mango that looks darker than usual inside.
Mango fruit that is turning brown or purple is still safe to eat, but tastes bad.
Mango fruit that has turned black has gone rotten.
Mango Dark Inside
It’s a bad sign when a mango is brown or black inside, even if you just opened the fruit up. The fruit is rotting from the inside because of how mangos need to be processed to kill insects. Brown or purple mango fruit is unlikely to get you sick, but will taste bad. Other signs of a bad mango include black patches on the skin, leaking liquid, a change in odor, and feeling very soft.
How Mangos are Processed And What That Has to Do with Dark Spots
A lot happens to a mango when it’s harvested from a tree and then lands on your store shelves.
Part of the processing can cause brown or purple patches inside of your freshly-cut mango.
Mangos have to undergo this processing in order to be legally imported to America and sold.
Only 2% of mangos sold in America is grown in America.
Invasive species are a huge problem all around the world.
This is when a species from another country comes in and takes over the country, often decimating the native wildlife.
Just look at the Burmese python population in the Florida everglades, the spread of the Africanized honeybee or killer bee, and just about every other species now living in Australia.
One of the major sources of invasive insects has been from food crops.
Bugs like hitching a ride on fruit because they are sweet.
Mangos need to have a 90 – 120-minute bath in 115 to 120 degrees F water in order to kill any tiny passengers.
Non-organic mangos can be irradiated instead of undergoing this bath.
After the bath, the mangos are allowed to cool to room temperature for an hour, then put into refrigeration.
They undergo more processing, but it’s the hot water bath that causes those dark patches in the mango.
Some mangos begin to rot on the inside after their bath.
The dark color is caused by chemicals leaking from damaged cell membranes that react with the minute traces of oxygen inside of the mango.
Safe Storage of Mangos
By the time a mango gets to your house, it’s already been weeks off of the tree.
The clock is ticking for how long it will be until it rots. That being said, many mangos still arrive at the store unripe.
A ripe mango is slightly soft, but not squishy.
The color of a ripe mango differs depending on the variety, so concentrate more on the feel rather than color, except for one color – black.
Black indicates rot, no matter what the variety.
If your mango is still unripe, the National Mango Board advises putting it in a paper bag and closing the bag.
Let it sit on your counter at room temperature until it is ripe.
Only then should the mango be refrigerated.
Uncut mangos last for up to five days in the refrigerator.
Once a mango is cut, it spoils very rapidly.
It should be used within five days, as long as you store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Cut mango fruit can spoil within a few hours if left at room temperature.
Mangos can be frozen, but they need to be cut up first before freezing.
The thawing process affects the taste.
Frozen mangos can last up to one year, but they have a tendency to clump.
To avoid this, New Idea Magazine suggests arranging the cut mango fruit in a single layer in a pan or shallow dish and place it in the freezer for a few hours.
This makes the mango chunks firm enough to not stick to their neighbors.
You can then place the chunks into a plastic freezer bag or another container.
After thawing, mango fruit will rot as quickly as fresh fruit, so only thaw what you need, so you don’t have to bang your head against the wall after going through the process of cutting and freezing a mango, only for it to go bad, anyway.
Signs of a Bad Mango
Dark spots inside of a mango are signs that the mango is starting to rot.
Dark spots in mango will not get you sick, but won’t taste nice, either.
Signs that a mango will get you sick if you eat it include:
- A bad smell, including a sour or alcohol smell. You can smell mangos best at their stems.
- Black patches, which indicate rot.
- Mold. It’s usually white, light green, or light blue.
- Although ripe mangos have a slight give to them, they should not be squishy.
- Mangos that ooze or leak juice.
Unfortunately, there have been cases where mangos have looked, smelled, felt, and tasted just fine and yet gave people salmonella.
This was such a problem that in 2012, the Federal Drug Administration labelled mangos as “high risk fruit.”
Salmonella only happened to people who bought whole fruits.
Salmonella outbreaks linked to mangos have gone down since the cause of the outbreaks was discovered – the hot water washes required to de-bug mangos.
Chlorine has been found to kill salmonella in mangos, even though it does not work for any other kinds of fruits and vegetables.
Work to make mangos salmonella-free is still ongoing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mango Dark Inside
What are the Signs of a Bad Mango?
Uncut mangos that off have black patches, leak fluid, are squishy to the touch, and usually smell like something other than mangos. Cut fruit changes color, changes smell, starts turning to liquid, and grows mold.
Can Mangos That Look and Smell Okay Still Get You Sick?
Mangos contain fiber, so if you eat a lot, it may give you diarrhea. Mangos are also one of the most naturally sweet fruits you can buy, which may cause blood sugar spikes in diabetics. Mangos have also been linked to salmonella outbreaks when they have not been processed properly.
The Least You Need to Know
Any dark spots inside of a mango are a sign that the mango is starting to rot.
Although the mango is safe to eat, it will taste bad. It’s best to just trash it.
The dark spots are caused by a soaking in hot water to remove insects that all mangos have to go through in order to be sold in America.