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How Long Do Coconuts Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 – 3 Months

Coconut is a fruit that is grown majorly in tropical areas of the world. It is an extremely useful fruit that is used in a variety of cuisines particularly in Asian countries like India and other countries located in the Asian continent. It is an ingredient that is broadly utilized in various dishes prepared across the world.

In Sanskrit, Coconut is called “Kalpavriksha”. Kalpavriksha means a divine tree. A coconut tree is called so as its every part can be utilized for some of the other purposes by humans in an effective way. Just like the fruit of the coconut tree that is the coconut has multiple uses, so do the leaves of the tree and its other components.

How Long Do Coconuts Last?

CoconutPantryFridgeFreezer
Whole fresh2 – 4 months2 – 4 months6 – 8 months
Cut fresh 2 hours1 week4 – 5 months
Cut dried3 – 4 months6 – 12 months6 – 12 months

Coconut is a fruit that requires a cool and clean place to last long. Thus, one should always store coconut in a place that is dry and away from direct sunlight like a pantry, or preferably in a refrigerator that is cool to help the fruit remain fresh and edible for a span of a few months.

Storing coconut in fridges and freezers is considered favorable as these places offer a cold environment to the coconut as the temperatures here are low which prevents the growth of micro-organisms and the fruit is prevented from spoiling fast.

Coconut is prone to get infected by micro-organisms which can considerably reduce its shelf-life, but by storing it inside the refrigerator, this risk gets mitigated to a greater extent. Freezing also helps in bringing about a variation in the consistency of the coconut by making fresh coconuts a bit softer, thereby making them easier to process.

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Ideally, one can store a whole unopened coconut for a period that is a maximum of 4 months at room temperature. However, if stored at a temperature lower than the room temperature, i.e inside a fridge, the coconut can last for 4 to 6 months.

It must be noted that whole coconut is easier to store and has a longer shelf life than coconuts that are opened or freshly cut. However, if the coconut is dried or canned, it can last much longer. Thus, dried or packed coconut can last for about 6 to 12 months.

Why Do Coconuts Last This Long?

Coconut is a fruit that has a decent fat content and has a medium quantity of saturated fatty acids. One can indeed utilize each part of the coconut and can either consume it fresh or use it in the preparation of delicious meals and dishes. However, sometimes it becomes tricky to determine the shelf life of the coconut as it depends on the conditions of storage.

Just like every natural product, coconut is also a fruit that occurs naturally and thus it has a period before which it has to be utilized otherwise it might go bad after that. Thus, depending on how one stores their coconut, the shelf life of the coconut can be determined.

It is highly advisable to use the coconut as soon as possible after one has opened it. Using the coconut immediately after buying helps to eliminate the risk of the coconut going bad. However, at times one might need to store the leftovers of the coconut to use later. Storing it inside the fridge would help it to stay fresh and last long.

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Coconut contains water inside the fruit. This water is a good indicator to determine whether the coconut is fresh or not. Thus, by shaking the coconut if one can hear the coconut water, it means that the coconut is ideal to be opened and consumed as the fruit is still fresh.

However, if a coconut is stored for too long and neglected for a prolonged time, it would mean that the fruit has gone bad and thus would have become inedible. Thus, it is crucial to utilize the coconut by either consuming it or by using it to prepare different cuisines before the coconut gets spoiled.

Conclusion

Coconut is rich in fiber and other nutrients. Though it is high in calories and has a considerable amount of saturated fat in it, one should consume it in moderation to avoid any negative consequences on one’s health. Coconut can be stored for about 2 to 4 months in favorable conditions before it goes bad.

Coconuts can be stored either as a whole or after desiccating. Dried coconut can be stored by preserving it inside an airtight container inside the fridge. A jar that has an airtight lid can help to store coconut by helping it to stay fresh.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738399000420
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10493-010-9360-1
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