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White Spots On Oranges – Are They Good To Eat?

White Spots On Oranges – Are They Good To Eat?

The orange. It’s practically the perfect fruit. Coming in its own sturdy case, this citrus-y ball of flavor can quench thirst, fill us with its fiber, and satisfy a sweet tooth. It’s loaded with vitamin C to boost our immune system and give energy.

But what happens when you go for your favorite fruit and discover white spots? The horror! Is it bad or good? Will it make you sick? To eat or not to eat? That is the question.

White Spots On Oranges – Are They Good To Eat?

There are 2 answers to this question. Depending on the part of the orange we’re talking about, they’re also very different. Let’s dive in.

White spots on the outside of the orange are NOT good to eat. This is called “sour rot” and it’s mold. This white mold is common in citrus fruits. You need to throw that fruit away.

Even if you peel the orange and it looks fine inside. It’s still a no because the skin is porous and the mold can penetrate it. Mold spores are tiny. It takes a lot of spores to make even a tiny spot.

orange juice

So there’s no way to really see the mold on the inside of the fruit. The mold is not the only thing lurking that could make you sick. Bacteria thrive inside mold.

Now, on to part 2. The white spots on the flesh or meat of the orange are OK to eat. These spots mean that, at some point, the poor guy suffered some frost bite.

Oranges are used to warm climates, so if the temperature in the grove drops below a certain point, the oranges will freeze and develop these spots from the trauma.

Fruit can also fall victim to freezing during transport or storage. It may not look appetizing and may even have a weird texture, but the inside spots are safe to eat.

How To Tell If An Orange Is Bad And Ways To Keep It Good.

The following are tell-tale signs that your orange  is past its prime:

  • the peel/skin has a dull, grayish color
  • spots of green, white, or black (mold)
  • peels that are rough or torn
  • squishy, mushy, or leaky
  • dented or bruised
  • smells like alcohol or rancid

Maybe you want to buy a bunch of oranges to save money. Or maybe you’re on a kick where you’ve pledged to eat 2 oranges a day. In either case, it’s best not to buy in bulk.

First, you won’t be able to see if there’s a bad orange in the middle of a bag. If one is moldy, it probably infected the others and the whole thing will need  to be tossed out.

orange with mold

Second, you probably won’t eat all of them before one goes bad and, again, ruins the rest. It’s best to buy loose oranges so you can inspect them. Also, only buy what you know you will eat in the next few days.

This way, you keep the oranges good and reduce food waste.

Keep Your Oranges Safe And Fresh

  • separate them from meat, cheese, and anything that may leak on them.
  • put oranges in the vegetable bin or crisper
  • wash unpeeled oranges with water only, no detergent or soap

What Is The White Powder On Oranges?

Sometimes, oranges will be covered in a white powdery substance. You may be concerned that it’s more mold. But, no worries, it’s not white mold.

It is more than likely that sugars that have come to the surface from the fruit baking in the sun.

The ooze dries and turns into a powder. Another reason for the white powder could be a substance called “kaolin”.

This is a clay and water mixture that is sprayed onto citrus trees to offer protection against bugs and the sun. Either way, the powder will not harm you. Just rinse it off.

What About The White “Fuzz” Inside My Orange?

Seeing white fuzz on the inside of your fruit could send you into a panic. After being told that white fuzz is mold, it can all be very confusing. Calm down. It’s not mold, and it’s completely harmless.

In fact, it has a lovely name, albedo, and it’s often seen in citrus fruits. It’s like nature’s bubble wrap, keeping the fruit protected in case of a fall or accident. If it bothers you, just peel it off.


What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Oranges?

There are many different types of oranges. Some of the more popular are:

  • naval
  • seveille
  • mandarin
  • cara cara
  • valencia
  • jaffa
  • blood

No matter what the type, oranges are great for our bodies. The basic orange has only 60 calories, so it’s a tasty, low calorie treat.

There’s also 70 milligrams of vitamin C, 227 milligrams of potassium, and 6% of the daily value of calcium.

Oranges can also help:

  • protect cells from damage
  • absorb iron to fight blood conditions like anemia
  • skin to heal wounds and smooth wrinkles
  • inflammation
  • aid digestion
  • promote bone health
  • lower blood pressure


1. What happens if you eat a moldy orange?

If you’ve eaten a moldy orange, chances are you’ll be fine, unless you are allergic to mold. You may experience some nausea, gas, diarrhea, or vomiting.

If you realize you’ve ingested moldy fruit, eat some yogurt or drink some pomegranate juice. This will help protect your gut health.

2. How long does it take for an orange to go bad?

Oranges will last about a week at room temperature and up to a month in the refrigerator.

3. What are the white spots on an orange peel?

The white spots on the orange peel are mold.

4. How can I stop white spots from forming?

The best way to keep mold from forming on your oranges is to keep them in the crisper of the refrigerator.