How Long Does Rambutan Last?


Rambutan is an exotic fruit that’s grown in the tropical region. Due to their many health benefits and sweet taste, they are gaining popularity all over the world. They are usually eaten raw, make fruit smoothies, and desserts. Since these fruits are high in sugar content, they tend to go bad quickly after they’ve been harvested. Therefore, most will wonder how long rambutan will last after they buy them.

So how long does rambutan last? At room temperature, rambutan will last for a few days. In the fridge, the fruit can stay fresh for two weeks. The freezer will keep them fresh for about 3 months. Canned rambutan will last for 1 year after the expiration date.

Above are just an estimated time of how long rambutan will last under normal conditions. Other factors such as storage temperature, when it was harvested, and where it’s stored can shorten their shelf life.

Rambutan Shelf Life

 Room TemperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Whole Rambutan last1-2 Days2 Weeks3 Months
Peeled Rambutan last1-2 Hours2 Weeks3 Months
Canned Rambutan lastExpiry Date + 1 YearExpiry Date + 1 YearNot Recommended

How Long Does Rambutan Last?

At room temperature, rambutan will last for about 1-2 days once it’s riped. If the room temperature is very hot, the fruit will not last longer than a day. Some people assume the thick rind of the fruit will help prevent it from going bad quickly. Unfortunately, if the fruit is exposed to excessive heat, the rind will begin to crack or split apart. The flesh inside will be exposed to the air and will start to go bad.

In the fridge, rambutan will last for about 2 weeks if stored properly. Due to their thick rind and cool temperature, the fruit is able to retain moisture and keep the flesh inside fresh.

If you’re keeping them in the freezer, rambutan will last for about 3 months. After that, the fruit is still safe to eat but will lose some of its freshness. Instead of throwing it away, you can use it in fruit smoothies or to make a delicious dessert and it will still taste great.

For canned rambutan fruit, they will last for a very long time. Even though there’s an expiration date on the can, they will actually last for another year before they go bad. As long as the can is not damaged, rust, or opened, it’s safe to eat them after the printed date on the can.

fresh rambutan

How To Store Rambutan

If you’re planning to eat rambutan fruit within a day or so, leaving them at room temperature is fine. Make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight or any other heat sources. The heat can actually accelerate the ripening of the fruit.

To store rambutan at room temperature, place them into a basket or a container and place a cloth towel or paper towel on it. This will help keep the fruit from losing moisture. You can either place them on the kitchen table or leave them in the pantry until it’s ready to be eaten.

For rambutan that hasn’t ripened yet and wants it to ripen quickly, there’s a quick method of doing so. Simply put the fruit into a paper bag and put a piece of banana or apple in with it. After a day, the rambutan fruit should ripen. If you’re going to eat to it within a day, leave it at room temperature. Otherwise, put them into the fridge for storage.

In the fridge, storing rambutan will keep them fresh longer. Depending on how much space you have in the fridge, you can either store the rambutan as a whole fruit or store just the flesh of the fruit.   If you have a minimal amount of space, store just the flesh of the fruit. If the fridge has a lot of space, storing the whole fruit is simpler as it doesn’t require any prepping.

Whether you store them as a whole fruit or just the flesh, both will last for about 2 weeks.

When storing whole rambutan fruit, wrap them in a paper towel and put them into a perforated bag. The hole in the bag will prevent condensation and the paper towel will prevent moisture loss.

If storing just the flesh, you can use a plastic bag or an airtight container. With this fruit, the seeds should be left with the flesh. Keeping the seed in the fruit will help retain their texture and prevent the flesh from falling apart.

When using a plastic bag to store the flesh of the rambutan, make sure to remove excess air out of the bag before sealing it. The more air that’s in the bag, the faster the fruit will go bad.

Can You Freeze Rambutan?

Rambutan can be frozen and they actually freeze very well. However, if you’re planning to freeze them and eat it fresh later, this isn’t a good idea though. The problem starts when it begins to thaw. As it thaws, the flesh will become mushy and watery.

However, if you’re planning on using rambutan to make fruit smoothies or desserts, freezing them is fine. Due to their soft flesh and high liquid content, they are great to blend with other fruits and vegetables.

Freezing rambutan can be done as a whole fruit or just the flesh with the seed inside. A whole rambutan fruit will freeze well in the freezer, but it usually can’t be stored for a long time. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months. Afterward, the quality of the fruit will start decreasing. It’s still safe to eat it though, but it won’t taste as good as when it was fresh.

Freezing just the flesh is a better option if you want to store it for up to a year. It’s best to peel the outer skin off and leave the seed inside the flesh. The seed will help keep the round shape of the fruit and prevent it from breaking apart. You will want to flash freeze rambutan first so they won’t stick to each other during freezing.

How To Freeze Rambutan

  1. Put the rambutan fruit into a strainer basket and put them under running water.
  2. Peel the outer skin off of the fruit. Use a sharp knife and make a slit and peel the skin off.
  3. On a clean tray, lay a sheet of baking or cooking sheet on it.
  4. Place each rambutan on the sheet. Space them out so they don’t touch each other.
  5. Put the tray of fruits into the freezer. Flash freeze them for 30 minutes or until they are completely frozen.
  6. Take them out of the freezer and transfer them to a freezer bag right away.
  7. Fill the rambutan into the bag and leave about an inch of space at the top of the bag.
  8. Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag and seal it.
  9. Label the bag with the date and place them back into the freezer. If you have more than one bag of rambutan, you can stack them on top of each other to save space in the freezer.

fresh rambutan

How To Keep Rambutan Fresh Longer

Rambutan is a fruit that goes bad pretty quickly after it’s harvested. Since these fruits will continue to ripen until it goes bad, cool temperature is what keeps then from ripening.

Besides that, keeping rambutan fresh longer will start from the grocery stores. Knowing what to look for and proper handling of it will keep them fresh until you’re ready to eat them.

Buying Rambutan

When buying rambutan, always choose those that seem to be the freshest. For this fruit, it’s easy to tell and the skin of the fruit will determine their quality.

For the appearance, look for one that is brightly colored. The rind of the fruit should be bright red. If it’s green colored, the fruit has not ripened yet. The spikes on the fruit should be bright green and soft.

Even though the fruit is brightly colored meaning it’s a good quality fruit, check to make sure there are no cracks on the rind of the fruit. Sometimes, during harvesting and transporting, it could get damaged. Just a small crack on the rind will make the flesh of the fruit exposed to air. When it’s exposed, the fruit will start going bad quickly.

The last thing to check is the firmness of the rambutan fruit. Pick one up and gently squeeze a couple of different parts of the fruit. It should be firm and not have any soft spots. If it does or juices comes out of it, the fruit is bad.

Handling Rambutan

Although the fruit has a thick rind along with it being lightweight, the fruit should still be handled with care. Always keep them away from direct sunlight and other heat sources. Exposure to heat will cause the skin of the fruit to crack open. Once it does, the flesh inside will start to quickly rot.

When storing them in a basket, container, or in a plastic bag, avoid cramping them together. As the fruit ripens, the skin will slowly begin to soften and with additional weight or pressure on them, they will prematurely crack open. In a basket or container, it’s best to store about 20 to 30 fruits together. In a plastic bag, once it’s zipped, make sure the fruit is able to freely move around.

bad rambutan

How To Tell When Rambutan Is Bad

When the rambutan fruit goes bad, there will be a couple of things to look for. However, you may still have some time to eat or use it before it’s no longer good. Below are some of the signs to look for:

Appearance – Fresh rambutan will have an outer skin that’s bright with firm hairs on it. When it starts going bad, the color of the fruit will darken and the outer skin will start to wrinkle. Also, the bristle on the skin of the fruit will shrivel and a darker shade.

Another thing to look for is cracking and splitting of the rind. When the fruit goes bad,

As for the flesh of the fruit, it should be white in color. When it starts to go bad, the color of the flesh will start to turn yellowish.

However, the appearance may seem this way, but the fruit may still be safe to eat if the taste and smell are fine.

Taste – Rambutan that is bad will have a sour fermented taste to it. Good quality rambutan will have a sweet taste.

Smell – Fresh rambutan will have a sweet aroma to it. As it goes bad, it will start to have a fermented smell. If it starts to smell anything other than that sweet aroma, it’s best to throw it away.

Related Questions

Is it safe to eat the fruit if part of the seed coating is stuck on it?

You may notice when peeling the flesh of the rambutan, some of the seed coatings come off of it. This is common as the fruit hasn’t fully riped yet. If the seed coatings do come off, it’s safe to eat it and won’t do any bodily harm.

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