When it comes to excellent fruit, limes rank high because they are flavorful and versatile. You can add a splash of lime juice to your cocktails, use it in your baking, and add a touch of tang to your salads and dishes. Limes are so great that we always want to have them in the house; however, we might wonder whether limes go bad.
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Do Limes Go Bad?
All fruit go bad at some point, and limes are no exception. You might find that the limes that used to be bright green and plump now seem dull and dried up. The reason for that is that your limes have gone past their best consumption date.
However, the good news is that limes tend to last very well because of their relatively high acidity levels. So you can happily purchase them without having to worry that they will be bad in a day or two. Nevertheless, it is good to know how long limes last and how to spot bad limes so that you won’t end up wasting limes.
How Long Do Limes Last?
It is hard to give fruit a definite shelf life because several factors affect how long fruit lasts. This includes the quality and health of the tree it grew on, the weather, humidity, and the packaging process.
However, we can give a rough estimation of how long limes last. If you purchased your limes fresh, whole, and uncut, they would be suitable for consumption for anything between 4 and 8 weeks. However, this is based on the date that the fruit was picked, which can be tricky to know. If your merchant has a fast turnover, your limes should be fine for that period. However, if you buy limes that have been on the shelf for some time, their shelf life will be shorter.
The minute you cut your limes, their quality decreases dramatically. Cut limes will only last between 2 and 5 days, depending on how well you store them. That is why it is advised that you keep your cut limes in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Cut limes dry out very quickly, and if you want to avoid this, you need to keep your cut limes covered and cool.
How Long Do Limes Last?
|In the pantry||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Whole, uncut limes||4 to 8 weeks||4 to 8 weeks||6 months|
|Cut limes||12 hours||2 to 5 days||2 months|
4 Tips to Tell if Limes have Gone Bad
Limes are an excellent fruit that offers several incredible health benefits. Unfortunately, fresh limes change in appearance as time passes. If you have had your limes for some time and now you aren’t sure that they are still suitable for consumption, you can try these tips to see if your limes have gone bad:
Examine your limes.
Limes are naturally a pretty bright green color with a firm peel. If you find that your limes have become very dull in color, they are probably past their best. If you see spots where discoloration has started to take place, it is too late to enjoy your limes.
In addition, limes with very soft peels are no longer fresh. If you spot any organic growth or mold spots on the peel of the lime, it is best not to use it anymore. If you open your lime and see that the fruit is dried up or colorless, your lime isn’t fresh anymore.
Smell your limes.
Fresh limes have a light and fragrant aroma when you smell them. You can smell the whole lime, and you don’t need to cut into the lime for a smell test. However, limes that have become moldy or rotten have a pretty sour or unpleasant smell.
Feel your limes.
Fresh limes have a pretty solid texture when you hold them, and they can feel rather heavy. On the other hand, limes that have gone past their best won’t have that solid texture anymore, and they will be soft to the touch. The peel might even feel like it is going to tear when you touch it.
If your limes feel oily or sweaty when you touch them, you should not eat them anymore. Lastly, if you can feel any hairs or mold on the peel, it is best to avoid eating the limes.
Taste your limes.
Limes have a sweet and sour taste that is refreshing and revitalizing. If you find that your limes have become rather tasteless or even unpleasant, they have gone past their best date of consumption. It would be best not to eat limes with a rancid or bland taste because you won’t enjoy them anyway.
3 Tips to Store Limes
Storing your limes correctly can make a big difference in how long your limes will stay fresh. Since limes can keep well in your pantry, fridge, and freezer, they offer great flexibility in storing them. Here are a few tips on how to store your limes to ensure they stay fresher for longer:
Keeping your limes in your pantry
Limes can stay fresh in your pantry for up to 8 weeks if they are whole and uncut. Store your limes in a cool spot where they are not exposed to direct sunlight or any heat elements.
If you purchased your limes in a plastic bag, it is recommended that you remove them from the bag since the bag can expose your limes to extra moisture and decrease their quality.
Instead, place them in a plastic container and keep them uncovered. However, once you cut your limes, storing them in your pantry isn’t advised anymore since limes will dry out in a pantry within a few hours.
Keeping your limes in the fridge
Limes keep well in the fridge, too, and you will find that they last just as long in the refrigerator as in the pantry. If your limes are still whole and uncut, you can keep them in the fruit tray if your fridge has one. They should stay fresh for four to eight weeks.
However, after cutting your limes, you need to put them into an airtight container or a ziplock bag to prevent them from drying out quickly. If you do this, you should be able to enjoy them for two to five days, whereas if you keep your cut limes uncovered in the fridge, they will dry out within hours.
Keeping your limes in your freezer
If you are not in a rush to use your limes, you can freeze them. You’ll find that your limes freeze well and remain fresh in the freezer for up to six months if they are whole and uncut.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Limes
It is never advised to consume food that has gone bad. Limes that have passed their date of consumption should be avoided. People with sensitive stomachs might find that they exhibit symptoms of food poisoning after consuming bad limes.
They might experience abdominal bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. It is also imperative that you avoid drinking lime juice that has been standing in your fridge for too long, especially if it has become cloudy.
There could be toxins or bacteria in the rancid juice that will make you feel very uncomfortable. If, however, you have consumed a bad lime by accident, don’t worry since eating a rotten lime isn’t life-threatening.
Be sure to drink lots of water and wait for your symptoms to pass. It should be over within 24 hours. However, if you still experience significant discomfort after 48 hours, you should seek medical help.
In addition, some people have allergies to acidic fruit, and they might get rashes around their mouths. It would be best if they avoided limes altogether.
Can You Freeze Limes?
Yes, you can freeze limes. In fact, limes will remain fresh for months in your freezer. If you have whole limes, you can freeze them as they are. However, if you are dealing with cut limes, it is best to put them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag since they can get freezer-burn if the flesh from the lime gets into contact with the freezer. This will decrease the quality of your limes dramatically.
By placing your cut limes into a container, you always have cold, fresh limes on hand that can be very handy when preparing cocktails. If you plan to cut your limes and freeze them in convenient slices, be sure to wash your limes before slicing and freezing them. If you want to use your limes in baking or cooking, you will need to plan so that you give enough time for your limes to thaw completely.
Limes are a great addition to any kitchen because they pack a powerful tangy punch that can uplift any drink or dish. You can use the peel, zest, and flesh. You can use limes to add a bit of color to your baking or add that excellent sweet and sour taste to your curries and drinks. By knowing how to store your limes and how long they last, you will enjoy your limes without worrying if your limes have gone bad.