Why does fruit rot?

Do you like eating fruits at a particular time of the day, such as breakfast? Which one is your favourite fruit? Why do fruits suddenly start rotting and become no longer edible? Let us get to know about it through this article.



  • Fruits are very important part of the human diet.
  • Along with the variety of tastes they offer, fruits also offer many essential vitamins and minerals to the human body.
  • Without fruits in a human diet, there will a huge gap in our nutritional intake which can lead to weakened immunity and inability to combat diseases.

Why do fruits rot?

  • Irrespective of the importance of fruits, it is impossible for us to keep the same fruit in our home for prolonged periods of time.
  • That is because, with time, most fruits begin to rot at which point they change in texture, colour and smell.
  • Rotten fruits are not edible and are unsafe for consumption.
  • The rotting of fruits is nothing but the breakdown of fruits by a variety of microorganisms.
  • Let us learn the process of fruit rotting by taking the example of the most famous and beloved fruit, the apple.
  • As soon as we pick a fruit, it starts releasing a chemical called ethylene.
  • Ethylene is responsible for the early ripening of fruit as it makes the fruit sweeter and softer.
  • In addition to ethylene, there is the presence of bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms in fruits from the surrounding environment.
  • The freshly picked fruit has a smooth and fleshy skin with a firm shape along with a sweet and crisp taste.
  • After about a week or two weeks, there will be a slight change in the texture of the apple. It will feel softer with and its skin will also become dull.
  • If the apple is still kept much longer, it will be still edible, but it will begin to lose its flavour.
  • After about four or five weeks, the apple no longer has soft and fleshy skin. It also has developed brown spots in a few places. The texture of Apple has become mushy from soft. There is also a nasty smell from the Apple.
  • The rotten apple no longer has the characteristic flavour of a fresh apple. At this point, the apple will also have visible microbial growth on its skin.

Fun Facts:

  1. Refrigeration is the best way to prevent the rotting of fruits. As there is no growth of microorganisms in the cold environment, fruits can stay fresh for longer if refrigerated.
  2. Ethylene is also sometimes injected into fruits to ripen them early.
  3. Did you know, when any microorganism invades a fruit, it also releases its own chemicals within the fruit accelerating the process of fruit rotting?

Related Questions:

  1. What are the methods used for the preservation of fruits?
  2. Outline the process of rotting of fruits.
  3. What are the essential minerals required by our body?

True or False:

  1. Fruits do not offer variety of minerals for the human body.
  2. Fruits do not have a long shelf life and start rotting early.
  3. Rotten fruits are still edible.
  4. A freshly picked fruit has smooth and fleshy skin.
  5. The rotten apple has dark patches on its skin with a firm texture.

Objective Quiz:

  1. Rotten fruits are ________ to eat.
    1. Edible.
    2. Not edible.
    3. Very essential.
    4. None of the above.
  2. Rotten fruits have a________.
    1. Nasty smell.
    2. Pleasant smell.
    3. Fruity smell
    4. None of the above.
  3. _______ is responsible for early ripening of fruits.
    1. Ethylene.
    2. Methylene.
    3. Both 1) and 2).
    4. None of the above.
  4. Freshly picked apple has a ________.
    1. Sweet and crisp taste.
    2. Nasty smell.
    3. Faint flavour.
    4. Bitter taste
  5. Ethylene makes fruits _______.
    1. Ripen early.
    2. Ripen later
    3. No relation to fruit ripening.
    4. None of the above.

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