If you want to know how to tell if dates are bad, in this article you will get all the crucial information. Dates are delicious, high-nutrient fruit that many people consume due to their well-known health advantages. There are many different types of dates on the market, and you can choose fresh, semi-dry, or dry, depending on your tastes. Whatever you choose, you’ll undoubtedly be curious about when dates expire and how to preserve them so they last longer. Let’s see what happens.
Dates, like all fruits, go wrong. However, unlike many popular fruits such as oranges and watermelons, dates may be stored for a long time. So, if you keep them in the fridge, they should last for several months after you buy them.
What Are Dates?
Dates are sweet stone fruit that can be eaten fresh or dried. Dates are also a good source of natural sugar; many supermarkets sell granulated date sugar and date syrup (for more information on utilizing dates as a sweetener, read this Food Network nutritionist’s article).
They can be used in almost anything once they’ve been pitted, and they provide a particular sweetness to salads, biscuits, and cakes when chopped and incorporated. Many societies in North Africa and the Middle East keep plates of dates, nuts, and other dried fruits on the table, regardless of the occasion.
Since the Spaniards brought them over in the early 1500s, dates have been used in moles and other sauces in Mexico, known as fecha de la Fruta. When dates are picked fresh from the tree, they are sweet and chewy, but they get sweeter and chewier as they dry.
They have a caramel-honey flavor similar to raisins, but once you have one, you’ll remember the taste and recognize it as a date for the rest of your life. Dates come in various flavors, but they are easy to recognize as dates. They have skin on the outside visible when you eat one whole, but not when cooked.
How To Tell If Dates Are Bad?
If you store dates incorrectly, mold and bacteria can grow on them, causing them to spoil. The good news is that you’ll be able to tell when it’s time to discard this fruit without difficulty:
When dates deteriorate, the foul stench is the first thing you’ll notice. This fruit has a faint, neutral aroma, but it has an unpleasant, vile, or alcoholic stench once it gets bad.
The following warning indicator is a color shift. Dates that have darkened or have pale patches on the surface are unfit to eat. In most situations, discoloration is accompanied by a moldy appearance.
When your dates get sticky and slimy, you know it’s time to toss them out. When combined with other symptoms, consuming them is not a good idea.
Dates’ flavor, like their quality, will deteriorate as they age. On the other hand, safe dates do not have bitterness or acidity. If the flavor has considerably changed, throw the rest of the package away.
It’s not uncommon for perfectly edible dates to be thrown away after detecting white specks on their surface and mingling them with mold. Mold is a sure sign of rotten dates, but it’s always accompanied by a change in scent, color, and texture. The pale specks beneath and above the date’s skin could be separated from fruit sugar crystals. To examine if the marks on the dates disappear, softly heat them. They are safe to eat if this happens.
How To Store Dates?
Here are 5 Tips To Store Dates:
The most important thing to remember while keeping dates is to store them in a dark, dry place at room temperature. Excessive heat speeds up decomposition, while excessive moisture might contribute to mold growth.
As a result, the pantry is the best area to keep these fruits. Dates also have a low water content, exacerbated by high temperatures. If you live in a hot environment, store them in the coolest part of the pantry, preferably on shelves near the floor.
After you’ve opened the package, put any dates that haven’t been eaten in a glass jar, a tight-seal container, or a resealable zip bag, and store them in a corner. They’ll last the entire year until you’ve used them all.
If you store an open date pack in the fridge, white mold will quickly grow on top of it. As a result, wrap the dates in transparent foil before carefully sealing the container they will be stored.
You’ll be able to extend their shelf life this way. Every time you use dates, you must close the package again to keep the fruit safe from excessive moisture.
Freezer burns are the most serious hazard associated with freezing dates. Wrap dates with aluminum foil before putting them in a freezer container if you want to keep them for a long time. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if you discover that they are no longer edible after defrosting dates a few years later.
If you make it a habit to wash your fruit before eating it, you’ll avoid ingesting dust, insects, or potentially harmful bacteria from date bark.
However, it is better to wash dates right before eating or preparing them, as they may absorb too much water, lose quality, and grow moldy otherwise. The most acceptable option is putting them in a sieve dish and rinsing them under a cold, clean water stream.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Dates?
Dates have potentially dangerous side effects that most people are unaware of. This tropical snack is trendy. On the other hand, excessive consumption of dates might harm one’s health.
Might Cause Abdominal Issues-
Dates are unlikely to cause stomach problems unless laced with sulfites, as is the case today. Sulfites are chemical compounds added to dried fruit to help preserve it and kill microorganisms. Individuals sensitive to sulfites may have stomach pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Can Cause Skin Rashes-
Sulfites, once again, are the culprit in the case of dried fruit-like dates, which can cause skin rashes. Mold, which can be found in many dried fruits, including dates, can cause rashes.
Can Cause Asthma Attacks-
There isn’t enough evidence that dates trigger asthma episodes. However, because dates can induce allergies, and allergies can cause asthma, it’s best if those who are allergic take extra precautions. 80% of persons with asthma are allergic to airborne elements like mold, which can also be present in dried fruits like dates.
Can Cause Weight Gain-
Dates are abundant in fiber, but they’re also high in calories and energy density, leading to uncontrollable weight gain. Dates have a calorie density of 2.8 calories per gram, implying they are a medium energy-density food that might cause weight gain.
Can Lead To Hyperkalemia-
Hyperkalemia is when potassium levels in the blood become abnormally high. Dates are high-potassium food, and eating too many of them might cause this illness. So, if you have a high potassium level, stay away from dates.
Also, don’t take too many of these. Potassium levels in the blood should be between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter. A blood potassium level of more than seven millimoles per liter can be harmful and need medical attention right away.
Can Be Unhealthy For Babies-
For babies, dates are too thick. They find dates challenging to chew, and because their intestines are still developing, dates may be difficult to digest, resulting in difficulties. Dates can obstruct an infant’s windpipe and cause them to choke, so please be cautious.
Can Lead To Fructose Intolerance-
The fructose in dates gives them their natural sweetness (at least a part). Fructose intolerance is a disorder that occurs when certain people have difficulties digesting fructose.
Because the sugar is not adequately absorbed, it passes through your entire digestive tract (as your body cannot break it down). As the sugar reacts with the normal bacteria in your intestines, you may have gas and abdominal pain.
Dates, like any other fruit, can go rotten. They have a long shelf life, so you’ll probably eat them before they go bad. They will last much longer than the labeled expiration date when properly stored. Dates, like all fruits, ripen and decay with time, so you can’t keep them fresh indefinitely.
When they smell stale or rotten, it’s the same thing. Give them a taste if their appearance is normal and their smell is typical, and then determine what to do with them. If the taste isn’t to your liking, feel free to toss them out due to poor quality. They’re safe to eat otherwise.