how to tell if a blood orange is bad

Are you wondering – How to tell if a blood orange is bad? Blood Oranges are a fan favorite for their complex flavors.

They are set apart from the rest of the citrus family due to their distinct bitter aftertaste akin to raspberries and cranberries.

Blood oranges are so delicious that they usually won’t last in your kitchen very long. You can use them in juices, cocktails, cakes, preserved in jams, or even candied.

Some even say that the best way to enjoy a blood orange is simply slicing it in half and eating with a spoon. Blood oranges are also incredibly good for your health!

Occasionally, though, we may forget that we had one set aside in our fruit basket or possibly in the back of the crisper. In that case, how to tell if a blood orange is bad?

The best way to tell if a blood orange is bad is by checking how it looks, feels, smells, and tastes.

How to Tell If a Blood Orange is Bad?

blood orange is bad

If you’ve had a blood orange for a while, how can you tell if a blood orange is bad?

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You can assess whether it’s edible or not by checking with your senses. So, check how it looks, feels, smells, and tastes.

Looks

Ripe blood oranges have a deep orange skin that sometimes has a slight purple tint.

If the color of the rind has dulled or has spots and dents, that’s an indication that it may not be fresh.

Check for any signs of mold that look like white or bluish patches. If it doesn’t show any signs of mold, you can slice it into it and check the inside.

A blood orange, when sliced, has a deep red color that, as the name suggests, looks a bit like blood. Check around the seeds when you’re inspecting for ripeness versus rottenness, and look for any slime.

If you find either of these, your blood orange is no longer safe for consumption.

Note: Oranges have a high liquid content. As such, rotten or bruised parts of the fruit are quick to spread to the fruit as a whole. 

There is a chance, although slim, that if you reach the orange in time, the rest of the fruit won’t be affected, and you can cut off the affected part.

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Feels

test the feels

When picking up, does the orange feel squishy?

It may have soft spots throughout the rind, making it soggy and no longer firm to the touch. If that’s the case, the orange has probably passed its ripened stage.

It may be on the other end of the spectrum, where it’s too firm to the touch, which is an indication that it may have dried out.

The outside will feel dry and hard, and it won’t have any give when squeezing it.

Tip: Ripe blood oranges are hefty and firm when picked up. If they feel a bit heavier than they look, you know you’ve chosen one that is good to eat.

Smells

Citrus fruits have a very distinct fresh smell to them when peeling or slicing them, releasing the oils contained within the peel.

Blood oranges, in particular, beyond the normal sweetness of oranges, have an herbal scent paired with hints of raspberry-like tanginess.

Your blood orange has passed when it no longer smells like fresh citrus. It will smell sour, “funky,” like mold or fermented food.

Unfortunately, this means it’s no longer edible.

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Tastes

taste of bloody orange

If your blood orange has passed the various tests suggested beforehand, you’re clear to give it a taste.

Blood oranges are known for their deep flavor and slightly bitter aftertaste.

You’ll know that your orange isn’t edible if it tastes more sour and bitter than it does tangy and sweet.

On the flip side, it may be flavorless.

When taking a bite, be sure to evaluate the texture as well. Although it may not look slimy, it can potentially taste and feel like that.

Can Spoiled Blood Oranges Make You Sick?

can it make you sick

If you happen to eat a blood orange that doesn’t taste right, immediately stop eating it.

A couple of bites shouldn’t make you sick, but you run the risk of ingesting bacteria and viruses.

Knowing how long your blood oranges are edible will give you a good indication as to whether they are about to go bad.

How to Store Blood Oranges

storage of bloody orange

To begin, it’s crucial to clean your oranges well before preparing them to eat or store.

Harmful bacteria on the peel can cause sickness and possibly food poisoning, according to Dr. Niket Sonpal.

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The oranges should be cleaned off to remove any bacteria that could cause them to rot prematurely.

It’s also necessary to start with very fresh and ripe blood oranges, which will ensure their shelf life in your home will be as long as possible.

You can store your blood oranges on the countertop, in your fridge, and in the freezer.

Countertop

When keeping your oranges on the counter, it’s critical to store them in a mesh bag of some sort to ensure airflow. 

You can also store them in a fruit basket or some other open-air method of organizing your fruits.

If stored in an enclosed plastic bag, your oranges will rot much faster than they should.

Also, make sure to keep them away from sunlight and heat sources because both of these will decrease the shelf life of your oranges.

One study shows that storing your blood oranges in a higher heat setting greatly decreases vitamin C availability.

Your blood oranges will only last about a week when storing them at room temperature.

Tip: A study shows that storing your blood oranges in a higher heat setting greatly decreases Vitamin C availability in your fruits.

Fridge

store it in fridge

Storing your oranges in the fridge is your best option to maximize their shelf-life while having immediate access to consume them.

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Citrus fruits keep very well at lower temperatures increasing their longevity quite a bit.

Whole blood oranges with the peel still on can be kept in the crisper for 3 to 4 weeks. If you prepare your oranges, they should be stored in an airtight container, whether you’ve sliced or diced them.

Stored in this way, they should be eaten within a week.

Tip: If you know that you won't be able to eat them all in time, consider freezing them!

Freezer

store in freezer

Blood oranges should be frozen in a way that will allow them to be defrosted or consumed quickly.

You can peel and slice them to store them in a freezer bag. Before sealing, push out all the air from the bag so that there is no excess.

You may consider freezing them on top of a pan so that they freeze flat and can be stored more efficiently. 

Some enjoy dicing them and freezing them in smaller packs to allow them to add to smoothies quickly. You could also reserve the juice of your blood oranges to freeze in ice cube trays. 

Then you can either add them to a drink like ice cubes, add them to a smoothie, or defrost them to enjoy as juice again.

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Conclusion

Blood oranges are very popular for many reasons. They are very versatile in their applications in the kitchen and have a complex flavor profile.

Depending on how you’ve stored your blood oranges, you can have a shelf-life of up to 4 weeks.

Occasionally though, we don’t get to them as fast as we thought we could, leaving us to question whether our blood orange is good or not.

The main ways to tell are by testing how they look, feel smell, and taste. These methods give a very good indication of how to tell if a blood orange is bad.

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