How long does onion last in the fridge? How to know if they’ve gone bad

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You’re wondering how long can onion last in the fridge, and you’re not the only one. We researched several health and nutrition studies on onion, as well as data written by relevant authorities about its ideal storage. We have the expertise to answer your questions. How long is onion good for in the fridge? Do onion expire in the fridge?

Let’s get the answers!

How long does onion last in the fridge?

Onions can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks once they are peeled and chopped. However, whole onions should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place, not the fridge, as the cold, damp conditions in the fridge can cause them to become soft and moldy.

How to properly store onion in the fridge and extend its lifespan

Storing onions properly is essential to maintain their freshness and flavor. You might be surprised to learn that the fridge isn’t always the best place for them.

According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, onions are best stored at room temperature. This is because the cold, humid conditions in a fridge can cause onions to become moldy or mushy.

However, if you’ve already cut an onion, it’s a different story. A cut onion should be stored in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.

To do this, simply wrap the cut onion in a plastic wrap or put it in a zip-top bag. Make sure it’s sealed tightly. Then, place it in the vegetable drawer of your fridge.

Remember to use it within 7 to 10 days. After this period, even refrigerated onions may start to spoil.

If you notice any signs of spoilage such as mold, a soft texture, or a bad smell, discard the onion immediately.

Freezing is another option for long-term storage. To freeze an onion, peel and chop it first. Then, spread the pieces out on a tray and freeze them before transferring to a freezer bag. This prevents the pieces from sticking together.

A study in the Journal of Food Science found that frozen onions retain most of their nutrients. However, they may lose some of their crunchiness and flavor.

Proper storage is key to keeping your onions fresh and tasty. So remember these tips next time you buy a bag of onions!

Do onion expire in the fridge?

Yes, onions do expire even when stored in the fridge. Typically, a whole onion can last for 30 to 60 days in the refrigerator. However, once cut, it should be used within 7 to 10 days. Always check for signs of spoilage such as mold, a rotten smell, or a slimy texture.

Onions, like all living organisms, undergo a natural process of decay. This process is primarily driven by enzymes within the onion that break down its cellular structures over time. Additionally, bacteria and fungi present in the environment can contribute to the spoilage process.

When you cut an onion, you expose more of its surface area to these external factors, accelerating the spoilage process. The cut surfaces of the onion provide an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow, leading to faster decay.

Storing onions in the refrigerator can significantly slow down this spoilage process. The cold temperature inside the fridge slows down the activity of enzymes and inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi. This is why refrigeration is a common method used to preserve many types of food.

However, it’s important to note that refrigeration doesn’t stop spoilage entirely, it merely slows it down. Even in the fridge, onions will eventually start to decay. The rate at which this happens depends on several factors including the initial freshness of the onion and the specific conditions inside your fridge.

According to scientific studies, a whole onion can last up to two months in the fridge, while a cut onion can last up to a week if stored properly. To maximize shelf life, store onions in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent moisture loss and exposure to air.

Remember, always check your onions for signs of spoilage before use. If you notice any mold, discoloration, or off smells, it’s best to discard the onion as these are signs that it has started to decay.

When do onion go bad?

We often get that one. It’s hard to answer “when” onion goes bad since it will depend on how you stored your onion and where you are in its expiry life.

The question of “when” something goes bad is inherently tied to too many variables including the conditions in which it was stored, and even the region in which you live. For example, food reacts differently in humid climates than they do in dry ones.

The issue with a “when” question is that it assumes a uniform timeline for all onion, which is just not the case. Asking “when” your onion will go bad is the equivalent of trying to predict exactly when a car will break down or when a light bulb will burn out. It may happen within a general timeframe, but many factors can push that timeframe forward or back.

Instead, a better question to ask can be ‘How to tell if your onion is bad?’ This way, you’ll be able to notice the signs and signals of spoilage.

Signs that your onion has expired

Onions are a staple in many kitchens, but like all fresh produce, they can go bad. Knowing the signs of a spoiled onion can help you avoid unpleasant tastes and potential health risks.

One of the first signs is a change in color. If you notice your onion turning brown or black, it’s a clear indication that it’s starting to spoil. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, this discoloration is due to enzymatic browning, a natural process that occurs when the onion’s cells are damaged.

Another sign is an off smell. Onions have a distinct, pungent aroma. However, if you detect a sour or strange odor, it’s time to toss it out. The American Journal of Potato Research suggests that this smell is caused by bacteria and fungi breaking down the onion.

Soft or mushy texture is also a red flag. Fresh onions should be firm and crisp. If your onion feels soft, squishy, or has visible mold, it’s definitely spoiled. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains that this change in texture is due to the breakdown of the onion’s cell walls by enzymes and microorganisms.

Lastly, if you see sprouts growing from your onion, it’s not necessarily spoiled, but it may not taste as good. Sprouting is a sign that the onion is trying to reproduce. A study in the Journal of Experimental Botany found that sprouted onions have a higher sugar content, which can alter their flavor.

Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. Consuming spoiled onions can lead to foodborne illness. So if you’re unsure about an onion’s freshness, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Did you know? you could eat your onion for a long time if properly stored in the fridge using these simple tips

Interesting facts about onion

Can you eat onion after its expiry?

Yes, you can eat onion after its expiry. The ‘Best By’ date on onion  is a quality indicator provided by the manufacturer. It suggests the time frame within which the product will maintain its optimal taste and texture. It does not mean the product has spoiled yet. However, it would be best if you did your research on how to eat expired onion to do so safely.

How do you define the ‘fridge life’ of onion?

The ‘fridge life’ of food is defined by manufacturers through a series of tests that measure food stability and safety. These tests assess how long a food product can be stored in the fridge without spoiling.

Experimentally, manufacturers conduct microbiological analyses to monitor the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Through the population dynamics of these microorganisms, they can estimate the product’s spoilage timeline.

Moreover, organoleptic evaluations are carried out to study changes in food’s colour, texture, smell, and taste. The moment these characteristics deteriorate, it is a signal that the food’s ‘fridge life’ has ended.

Chemical analyses are also done to identify deteriorative chemical reactions such as lipid oxidation. These reactions are important determinants of the food’s safety and quality over time.

A food’s ‘fridge life’ is predicted by using accelerated shelf-life testing (ASLT). In this method, food is stored at higher-than-normal temperatures to speed up spoilage. Data collected from these conditions helps to predict food’s shelf life under standard refrigeration.

What next:

Now that you know how long can onion last in the fridge and if it expires at all, you might be interested in learning better tips on food storage. We happen to have written a guide on how to properly store and preserve onion to extend its shelf life.

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