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White Spots on Canned Mandarin Oranges – The #1 Truth

White Spots on Canned Mandarin Oranges – Are they safe to eat?

When it comes to peeling fresh mandarin oranges, you may end up with white spots. The white part of an orange is called the pith. While this is natural in fresh mandarin oranges if you have canned mandarin oranges and notice that there are white spots, this is not the same thing.

White Spot on Canned Mandarin Oranges

More than often if you notice white spots on your canned mandarin oranges, it is a sign of mold. If you notice thin white lines, it is possible that the pith has gone in with the mandarin oranges before canning, but this is rare. You should not eat canned mandarin oranges that have white spots on them. Eating mandarin oranges with white spots on them can put you at risk for food-borne illnesses.

White Spots on Canned Mandarin Oranges
White Spots on Canned Mandarin Oranges

Does Canned Fruit Go Bad?

While many people think that the canning process protects food from spoiling, that isn’t the case. When done correctly canning prolongs the life of food. Certain factors can affect the quality of your canned food.

When canning you need to reach a certain temperature to kill off bacteria. If this temperature isn’t reached. you may find that your canned food is molding.

The sealing process is also important. The reason that canned food lasts for so long is that it is sealed to prevent oxygen from coming in. This makes it so that bacteria can’t grow. If your can lid has been damaged, punctured, or put on improperly it is more than likely that your canned fruit is bad.

A damaged lid can lead canned mandarin oranges to go bad
A damaged lid can lead canned mandarin oranges to go bad

How Long Do Canned Mandarin Oranges Last?

Contrary to popular belief, canned mandarin oranges do in fact have an expiration date. Typically, unopened canned mandarin oranges are good for 18 months after their best by date. While this doesn’t mean that they will mold, you will notice a change in flavor and texture.

If your canned mandarin oranges have been opened, they can only last for seven days in the refrigerator. You should never store opened canned mandarin oranges at room temperature.

While it is unlikely that you will see a dramatic change in your refrigerated mandarin oranges after seven days, they will lose texture. Rather than risking a food-borne illness, it’s better just to toss then after seven days.

If you’ve opened your mandarin oranges and have them at room temperature the window where they are safe to eat is even shorter. If you’ve already opened your mandarin oranges, the rule of thumb is to toss them after one hour at room temperature.

You risk a food-borne illness when eating canned mandarines with white spots on them
You risk a food-borne illness when eating canned mandarines with white spots on them

How to Tell if Your Canned Madrarin Oranges Are Bad

With mandarin oranges, you will notice that they develop a slimy texture. As with all food, the smell can be one of your best indicators. The smell test can let you know if your food has gone bad.

Your mandarin oranges should have a sweet smell, an almost sugary smell. Anything different from this is most likely spoiled.

If you notice white spots on your mandarin oranges, this is typically a sign of mold. Even though they are canned, there are several factors that can cause your canned mandarin oranges to mold.

If you notice white spots on your canned mandarin oranges, it is best to throw them out. Mold can cause a number of food-borne illnesses and can even be fatal. When it comes to canned fruit, unless you canned it yourself, you don’t know when the mold grew. This can be dangerous.

White spots on canned mandarin oranges is a sign of mold
White spots on canned mandarin oranges are a sign of mold

How Long Does it Take for Mold to Grow?

Mold can grow at a surprising rate. When it comes to food that has not been properly stored, mold will begin to grow within 12 to 24 hours. While it is a good rule of thumb to throw out canned mandarin oranges that have been left out this long, you may not notice mold.

This is because the process of making canned mandarin oranges includes a good amount of sugar. While sugar doesn’t have the same effect as other preservatives, such as salt or vinegar, it does prevent the growth of bacteria to a certain level.

If you notice white spots on your canned mandarin oranges, it is a sign that mold has been growing for some time. When it comes to canned fruits, any sign of mold means that you should throw them out.

Conditions Before Canning

If your mandarin oranges were flash-frozen before being canned, you may notice white spots. Unlike other instances where you may notice white spots, these mandarin oranges are safe to eat.

To determine if they are safe, you can check the label. Typically any fruits or vegetables that have been flash-frozen will display on the label.

Canned mandarin oranges should not be eaten if you see white spots
Canned mandarin oranges should not be eaten if you see white spots

Otherwise, the smell and texture test is a good way to tell if your canned mandarin oranges are bad. They should not be slimy. As a general rule, if you’re questioning the quality of your canned food, it’s just best to throw it out.

Frequently Asked Questions About White Spots on Canned Mandarin Oranges

Are canned mandarin oranges safe to eat after their ‘best by’ date?

It is safe for you to eat mandarin oranges past their ‘best by’ date. The general rule of thumb is to throw them out after 18 months. If they have been stored properly you likely won’t face issues with mold, but you will notice that the taste and texture will be altered.

What conditions cause mold to grow?

Mold thrives in warm and damp conditions. If you leave your canned mandarin oranges out for an extended period of time, both the liquid that they are in and the temperatures will contribute to the growth of mold.

Conclusion About White Spots on Canned Mandarin Oranges

If you notice white spots on your canned mandarin oranges it is most likely mold. While canned fruits have a long shelf life, they aren’t immune to spoiling. Mold on canned mandarin oranges can grow if the canned fruit is well past its ‘best by’ date, if it was improperly canned, or if it has been opened.

Mold stems from bacteria, which can grow far quicker than we often think. When you see white spots on your canned mandarin oranges, throw them out to avoid any risk of food-borne illnesses.