If you’ve just bought pomegranates for the first time, you might have a couple of questions. Questions like: how to store pomegranates, and how long do they last?
If that’s the case, you’re in the right place. In this article, I cover everything you need to know about storing pomegranates. Let’s go.
How To Store Pomegranates
Pomegranates are harvested when they’re ripe. That means you don’t have to wonder if you need to let them ripen at room temperature or not (like it’s often the case with mango).
When it comes to whole pomegranates, you should store them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, away from sunlight ([UOF]). The best place that meets all those requirements is the fridge.
Avoid storing pomegranates in the crisper drawer, where it’s typically more humid than on the shelves. And leave them unwrapped.
If you only need the fruits to last for a couple of days, leaving them at room temperature is okay. Just make sure you don’t leave it on the counter in direct sunlight.
When it comes to pomegranate seeds, they require refrigeration. Put them in a food-safe container, possibly airtight. That last part is so that the pomegranate arils don’t pick up any smells from the refrigerator.
How Long Do Pomegranates Last
Pomegranates are one of the longer-lasting fruits. In that regard, people often compare them to apples.
Whole pomegranates can last for even up to two months in the fridge. ([UOF]). Of course, if they already sat unrefrigerated for a couple of days in the produce section in the supermarket, they probably won’t retain quality for that long.
For best results, try not to keep pomegranates in the fridge for longer than a month.
If you leave pomegranates on the counter instead (e.g., your fridge is full, like it’s often the case with mine), they should keep for a week or two. Again, try to stick with the lower end of the spectrum for safety.
Last but not least, pomegranate seeds. Once you’ve removed them from the pith and put them in a container, they should last for about a week.
If the mentioned periods aren’t quite long enough for your needs, you can always freeze them. Here’s our guide on the topic titled “Can you freeze pomegranate seeds?“.
|Pomegranate (whole)||1 – 2 weeks||1 – 2 months|
|Pomegranate seeds||1 week|
Please note that the periods in the table are only estimates, and stick to the lower ends for best results.
How To Tell If a Pomegranate Is Bad?
Telling if a pomegranate is spoiled or not is simple, and usually you’ll know right away if yours is or not. Nevertheless, here’s a list of the most frequent symptoms of pomegranates that have gone bad:
- Weight. The fruit should feel heavy for its size ([UOF]). If it feels light, it’s probably dried out. It’s still worth opening it to make sure, though.
- Dark or soft spots. Some small ones are okay (see my photo below), especially if they aren’t mushy or sunken. If that’s the case, cut-open the fruit and assess the situation. Large sunken spots mean the pomegranate is past its prime.
When it comes to pomegranate seeds and the inside of the fruit, look for the following:
- Mold. If there’s any inside, discard the seeds.
- Black spores. When you see those, it’s obvious that the fruit isn’t fit for consumption.
- Seeds turned brown or black. Pomegranate seeds are usually ruby red. If the color has changed and they look like in the photo below (or similar), it’s apparent that something bad happened here. If only some seeds turned brown or black, in theory, you could eat the healthy ones. Unless there are only a couple of brown ones and the rest is okay, I just throw away the whole thing.
The last three symptoms don’t show up that often. Usually, if the whole fruit seems okay, the seeds are okay too.
If something about the seeds seems off, like they smell funny or don’t quite taste like they should, discard them.