Do Carrots Go Bad? Here’s why and What you can do


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Carrots are a common vegetable in many American kitchens which will go bad as time passes. However, the shelflife can vary depending on the way they are stored.

Carrots will quickly go bad if they are not stored properly. A carrot will last 3 to 5 weeks in cold storage and up to a week in a pantry. Without harvesting, carrots can be wintered and harvested in spring. Keeping carrots in close proximity with other fruits will cause them to go bad faster due to the release of ethylene gas.

This article will outline everything you can do to prolong the life and freshness of carrots as well as how to properly identify a bad carrot that can make you ill.

What can Cause Carrots to Go Bad?

Do carrots go bad

Darkness

Darkness is a significant consideration when storing carrots. Carrots are being stored in a dark and cool place. 

Carrots are crispy, but when not stored in a cold place, they become soft and limp. Carrot’s top doesn’t affect the rottenness of a carrot. They can be left or cut off before storage.

Bad Storage 

When storing, you should remove carrots from a plastic package to avoid mold formation when sweating. They should be stored loose in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. Rubbed or shriveled carrots can be revitalized by soaking in cold water.

Heat

Bacteria increase in the range of 40 and 140 degrees. This range is the Danger Zone. 

Thus it is advisable to never leave food out of a refrigerator for more than 2 hours without consumption.

Fun Facts about Carrots

  • The longest carrot measures 6.245 m (20 ft 5.86 in) and was grown by Joe Atherton (UK)
  • The heaviest carrot weighed, 10.17 kg (22.44 lb) 
  • In 2006, the number of carrots available for U.S. consumption stood at 12.0 pounds per person—8.7 pounds of fresh carrots and 3.3 pounds in canned [source]

How Long Do Carrots Last

In a refrigerator

A carrot will last 3 – 5 weeks in a refrigerator.

The refrigerator can store carrots much longer than in the open air. A refrigerator tends to create a dry condition which causes dehydration in food. When storing in a refrigerator, one should keep them in an airtight or vacuumed-sealed bag for more efficiency. 

The bag control humidity. Long-term storage can go up to a month if correctly stored. Wrapping carrots with a paper towel, placing them in a bag inside the refrigerator, or using a perforated plastic bag prevents condensation. The excessive moisture contributes to fastening the rotting process.

In a Pantry

Carrots will last up to a week in a pantry.

A pantry, a cold cellar, or a kitchen cabinet are decent storage locations. They can’t be stored for an extended period. At room temperature, the probability of the carrot turning soft and mushy is low. Make sure to store your carrots in a dry and away from any source of heat. 

There are several ways of storing carrots that do not revolve around a refrigerator. One way to store carrots is by burying them understand though it is not efficient for most people. You can also store carrots in a kitchen cabinet when refrigerator space is insufficient. 

When you store carrots in a kitchen cabinet, it only takes a few days before they grow mold and darken. When storing carrots, you should make sure you separate them from other veggies such as apples, Tomatoes, bananas, and pears. 

These veggies produce a lot of ethylene gas which acts as a hormone in plants. It accelerates the ripening of fruits and in the case of carrots, it will cause them to deteriorate and make them taste bitter by producing a substance called terpenoids. 

When storing carrots in a pantry, make sure to store them in a cool and dry place and breathe.

In the Ground

Carrots are ready for harvest 60 to 90 days after sowing depending upon the variety; they will continue to grow and enlarge if you leave them in the ground–but they usually do not get tastier and may get bitter.

Carrots can be left in the ground all winter long, but you’ll want to harvest all of them before early spring. During winter, the carrot flowers and become inedible when carrots are left on the ground. 

They can overwinter. However, at freezing temperatures, they can taste bitter

Carrot gone bad

How to Prevent Carrots from Going Bad 

Make other foods 

For fresh, unpeeled carrots to stay fresh. You need to store them in the best way possible to place the carrots with water in the refrigerator. It would be advisable if you also closed the container with a lid or plastic wrap.

It would help if you did not rinse or wash carrots before storage. Also, keep carrot roots cellar for long-term storage. Avoid storing carrots together with apples and bananas. Fresh cut carrots are very delicate and can spoil quickly if not stored properly. 

To avoid fresh-cut carrots from going wrong, you should keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To prevent them from perishing, you should wrap them in moist paper or store them in cold water. To make sure no wastes get into the water, you should cover the water loosely. 

Limiting Air Ingress

The air we breathe consists of 20.8% oxygen. When cut carrots are exposed to open air for lengthy periods the oxygen in the air will continuously react with the carrot causing it to go bad.

It is advisable not to use a tight container. This limits its exposure to air hence prolonging the shelf life of the carrot.

Recipes 

Carrots are used as a recipe. You can make carrot soup or bake a carrot cake. In the most recent episode of Bake it Up a Notch, I wanted to explore all the beautiful treats you can assemble without much equipment, combined in a bowl, likewise by hand or with a hand mixer. But a few special schemes can take even the most straightforward recipe to the next level.

Store Separately

Fruits and veggies as mentioned before, produce ethylene gas which accelerates the ripening process. This also shortens the shelf life of the carrots.

By having the carrots stored in a separate space or in an air-tight container the shelf life will be greatly increased.

Prevent Carrots from Going Bad with Proper Storage

Cold Storage

In cold storage, we take advantage of the plant’s natural inactive stage between seasons. Success outlay is also raised by following proven directions. 

Harvesting in dry, cool weather is pleasant since cold weather whip up the vegetables to reserve sugars and starches, preferably water in the roots. Dismiss the dirt gently, but cleaning isn’t obligated. Don’t mark the produce. 

A lesion, broken, or nicked vegetables are used soon. Store the fresh carrots. Tops are clipped right away; if left on, they draw moisture from the root. Tops are suitable for consumption; chop some and dehydrate to add to soups later. 

When following the successive cold storage review, you can determine the planting and harvesting date. You can also identify the correct time for your area and store it under the best condition. 

A successful cold storage review first requires you to select a good cultivator, plant at the right time, harvest at the right time, and store correctly. Place carrots in the cold place in your refrigerator. 

The tops can also be used for salads or as herbs to other dishes that only last up to a week, familiar to arugula. Wrap the carrots after you have cleaned them in moist paper towels. Store fresh carrots this way can last for a month.

Freezing

Carrots can be stored for up to 9 months in a “Ziploc” bag in a regular freezer.

Fourteen months in a deep freezer in a vacuum-packed bag.

After that, the carrots won’t cause sickness; they won’t taste as good. It takes around 2 to 5 minutes to blanch the carrots, then immediately plunges into ice water. 

Freezing Carrots Without blanching them First? It is possible and still not advised—blanching aids in retaining vitamins and nutrients and preserves the color of your carrots. 

Yes, you can. However, it is proposed that you blanch them before freezing them. If you call off not to blanch your carrots, you can use them within 2-3 months of freezing them.

Preserving 

Fresh, delaminated carrots need to stay moist, so the best way to store them is to place them with water in the refrigerator. Place carrots are in a sealed bag or large container and then cover them thoroughly with water. 

The container must be tightly closed with a lid or plastic wrap. Cut the greens part, but don’t wash the carrots. 

Box the carrots into boxes or containers neighboring with damp sand, sawdust, or straw. Keep them just above freezing (33-35 degrees) with enough humidity. They can last for 4-6 months this way.

Carrots Freshness After Being Cut

Unpeeled carrots are refrigerated in an unsealed zip-top bag in the crisper drawer.

Trimmed carrots (such as baby-cut carrots or carrot sticks) will last longer when kept submerged in a tightly covered container filled with water. Change the water frequently, Deering advises.

How to Know if Carrots are Good for Consumption

Expired carrots are consumable, but it is not approved. Carrot is usually slimy, flexible, and often winky or moldy, with visible spots when they lose their moisture. In this condition, it is highly recommended not to eat the carrot to avoid issues health-wise. 

The government, together with food professionals, have pointed out proper guidelines to promote better hygiene. Carrots that are long in an appearance last longer than other carrots since they have extra protective skin. 

A significant portion of the carrot’s protective skin includes all nutrients in them. Baby carrots lack protective skin collapses soon in comparison to lengthy carrots. Baby carrots rot faster in the presence of moisture in the bags they are stored. 

It is essential to know when your carrots are safe to eat. How long does organic carrot last. When you have a lousy carrot, you end up eating a poor carrot that might affect your health. It is distinctive to look and feel the carrot and determine whether they are harmful to eat.

Check for Spots

Before consuming a carrot, make sure to look up tiny white dots on its surface. When your carrot has a small dot called white blush, it is not safe to eat it. The white brush is mainly caused by dehydration due to the minor cuts on the surface?

Check White blush

When you see it, the white blush on the surface is symbolized it is still safe to eat and that the carrot collapses; thus, you need to eat them fast.

Mushy Consistency 

If the carrots become slimmer than the actual size. It is vital to understand that

they are not safe for consumption. If you consume these carrots, you have a high probability of bad health. When you eat a mushy carrot, you will have health problems caused by rotten and slimy carrots.

Check Expiry 

When purchasing carrots in a department store, make sure to check the expiration date printed on the package to avoid buying rotten carrots. It is the simplest way of identifying rotten carrots. Make sure to buy carrots that won’t rot immediately.

Smell

Rotten carrots produce an odd smell because of the bacteria’s growth. When a correct give a bad smell, you should discard them. 

Fresh carrots do not give any specific smell. Since carrots are primarily available when carrying their raw form than when cooked, thus easier to determine rotten carrots to disprove the probability of getting ill. 

Temperature Carrots are stored for several months provided the stored roots are mature and in good shape with no or minor damage. Or proper temperature and humidity are maintained. The primary temperature range between 32–38-degrees Celsius / 0-3-degree Celsius

The Taste of Good Carrots: Explained

In a particular study, carrots are put through mechanical stress during maturing by excessive shaking the plant. The result turned out the carrots had a bitter taste and were sickeningly sweet. Amylase is an enzyme that cuts up the starch to free sugar. 

The amylase enzyme can be found both in roots and in our saliva. When you cut a carrot, you will realize that the center part of the carrot is light in color than the outer part. 

Carrots are low on starch but high on sugar like sucrose. It depends on the carrot variety and storage conditions like stress.

The exterior part of a carrot act as a reside sugar storage. When the temperature exceeds 68 degrees F, the carrot grows and makes carrots with a strong flavor but less sugar.

Consumption Of Bad Carrots

It is not advisable to consume a bad carrot. It can cause sickness. Even though carrot allergy is not common, it can cause significant complications to some people. Anaphylaxis is occasional, a whole-body reaction. 

Anaphylaxis can happen even if you’ve only had mild allergic reactions to carrots in the past. Some carrot recipes are great for using up any limp or crooked carrots you might have. 

Composting Carrots When They Go Bad 

Carrots can take between 3 to 5 weeks for full decomposition. 

Like any other organic material, carrots will rot away and break down over time. This makes carrots a good candidate for composting.

Cutting the carrot into smaller pieces will help the decomposition process to move faster. Also by mixing in the carrot with other components of the compost will help shorten the decomposition time.

The Takeaway

Compost occurs when frail, fungus, bacteria, and microorganisms ingest the material and poop it out. The organism chews the material into smaller pieces. Larger organisms found in compost include centipedes, millipedes, flatworms, etc.

The honest compost workers, however, are the aerobic bacteria. These bacteria eat carbon and oxidize it to create energy for themselves. This process causes the compost pile to heat up to 160 degrees F. This heat is essential as it kills harmful soil bacteria and most weed seeds present in the compost.

JayLea

JayLea has a passion for plants and has been gardening since 2015. He has valuable knowledge about gardening and houseplant care and can answer everyday practical questions that every plant owner has.

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