While dragon fruit (also known as pitaya) is not an extremely perishable fruit, it will go bad over time. Keeping this tropical delicacy in the fridge helps to store it longer.
Uncut dragon fruit will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge, at an optimal storage temperature of around 40° F (4° C). Once cut, dragon fruit will only last 2 to 3 days in the fridge until it goes bad.
If you wish to keep dragon fruit longer, it is best to freeze cut pieces in small blocks. These should be stored at a temperature of 0° F (-18° C). Dragon fruit can be kept in a freezer for up to 3 months. It is not possible to refreeze the fruit, as it will likely disintegrate.
How Long Does Dragon Fruit Last?
Dragon fruit will last longer depending on the storage method. Here’s how long you can keep the fruit for longer periods of time (on average):
- Uncut at room temperature: 5-7 days
- Uncut in a fridge: up to 2 weeks
- Cut parts in a fridge: 2-3 days
- Cut parts in a freezer: up to 3 months
Please note that the optimal storage temperature of this fresh product is essentially room temperature. It is a tropical fruit species, so the quality and taste might deteriorate if it’s stored in a fridge.
Freezer storage is not recommended for most uses, as defrosting the dragon fruit will cause it to disintegrate. The pulp will become mushy and the flavor will also be negatively affected. Only choose freezer storage for long-term use in e.g. desserts or smoothies.
Ways To Store Dragon Fruit In A Fridge
Always make sure to find the coldest part of the fridge for your fresh fruits. That usually means storing them in the vegetable drawer. You’d always want to find a temperature near 40° F (4° C), if you want to get the most out of cold storage.
An uncut dragon fruit will always last the longest in the fridge, but it is generally fine to cut it in half once. Upon use, you could always go ahead and remove the top layer of half a fruit if it happens to turn brown.
Here are a few more practical tips to make sure your dragon fruit remains fresh in the fridge:
- Use cling film wrap to cover any exposed cut parts;
- Place the fruit inside an air-tight plastic container and remove any excess air;
- Wrap the fruit firmly inside a plastic bag and seal it with some tape.
Best Way To Store Dragon Fruit
That tropical white vitamin bomb in a pink coat is used to a warm climate. As long as it’s not cut yet, it is best to store a whole dragon fruit at room temperature. Always do this in a relatively cool, dry place away from the sun. This will avoid any type of mold or rot.
If you want to keep dragon fruit for longer, wrap it tightly in a plastic bag or foil, and store it in the refrigerator. The optimal long-term storage temperature in the fridge is 40° F (4° C). Place your fruits in the vegetable drawer to create the optimal conditions.
Cut dragon fruit parts should always be kept in the fridge, and should never be stored at room temperature. You can also freeze your cut fruits, but this will cause the flavor and consistency to deteriorate upon defrosting.
Freezing Dragon Fruit
Keeping dragon fruit for multiple months can only be done in the freezer. However, there are some significant downsides to freezing this tropical delicacy. The big problem is unfreezing the white flesh — it loses its consistency and becomes very mushy.
The drawbacks will limit what you can do with the final product.
If you’re planning to use it in a smoothie or dessert, then by all means go ahead. If you were hoping for a complete fruit that looks and tastes as good as new, then we’re going to have to disappoint you.
With this in mind, successfully freezing your dragon fruit requires a few simple steps:
- Cut up the edible flesh into parts or cubes;
- Separate the parts individually;
- Store them in a plastic container at around 0° F (-18° C).
Unfreeze Dragon Fruit
The frozen parts can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When defrosting, increase the temperature as slowly as possible. Make sure to move the frozen container with the parts or cubes into the fridge first.
Once fully defrosted in the fridge, only use the final product for immediate consumption. First, check if it is still edible. The tips around recognizing fruit rot described below will help you do this.
Generally, it’s better to directly use the frozen parts without defrosting them first. That way, you won’t have a lot of spilling and you’ll generally have a better eating experience.
How To Recognize Overripe Dragon Fruit
To protect your own health and that of the people around you, it is important to recognize when fresh produce is no longer edible. Tropical fruits do not have a label with an expiry date on them, you’ll have to rely upon your senses instead.
While we have provided a few indicators for the shelf life of dragon fruit at the beginning of this overview, no single situation will be the same. Your eyes, nose, and tastebuds will always be your first line of defense.
Protect yourself against eating rotten dragon fruit by avoiding any fruits with these characteristics:
- Brown flesh: Edible flesh will turn brown(ish) when overripe or rotten
- Dry stem: The stem of the fruit gets dry and shriveled when it is starting to rot
- Foul smell: Dragon fruit is supposed to smell herbal and fruity
- Excessive softness: Loss of consistency is one of the first indicators of rot
- Weird flavor: Dragon fruit is supposed to taste mildly sweet, a mix of pear and kiwi
Some fruits will have a few brown spots by default. If the majority of the dragon fruit looks healthy and smells fine, simply cut away the spoiled bits. If too many parts of the fruit look, smell, or taste suspicious, make sure to throw it away completely.