Can You Eat Mangoes With Brown Spots (Is It Safe To Eat)

Mangoes can develop brown flesh spots due to skin damage, sugar changes during ripening, storage temperature, and much more. However, these brown spots don’t always indicate that the whole mango isn’t edible.

So, keep reading to find out why your mango has brown spots and if this type of mango is edible.

Why Do Mangoes Turn Brown?

Here are six reasons mangoes turn brown.

Sugar Changes During Ripening

Mango turns brown when ripening due to sugar content change. If mangoes aren’t used when ripe, they undergo a tissue self-destruction process known as Autolysis. This process releases quinones which later change to melanin, causing the whole mango to turn brown. 

This tissue self-destruction starts from the inside and spreads to the exterior parts of the mango.

Storage Temperature

Mangoes can develop brown coloration under extreme cold. It would go bad if left for too long in cold storage or under cold temperatures. 

Extreme cold slows the release of ethyl gas and hastens the mango’s decay process. When the cells break, it leads to compound leakage, oxygen mixes with the nutrients, and melanin is produced. That causes the brown coloration you see on the outside.

Extreme Heat

When mangoes are imported into the USA, they undergo a process known as a hot bath. The cell walls are weakened if mangoes that have undergone a hot bath aren’t adequately cooled. Thus, allowing pathogens to interact with it, which leads to brown coloration.

Skin Damage

Mangoes will also develop a brown color if the skin gets damaged. This damage on the skin might be due to pressure on the mango during transportation or if it hit the ground during harvest. This skin damage releases melanin which causes brown coloration.

Most times, these brown spots aren’t visible as they only affect the flesh. You can avoid buying these mangoes by giving them a gentle yet firm press.


Mangoes develop an all-around brown color when they’re rotting. At this point, it starts breaking and allows bacteria and insects to interact. When this happens, the whole mango turns brown and isn’t safe to be consumed.

Immature Harvest

Mangoes will turn brown if harvested immaturely. Mangoes harvested before maturity lack enough nutrients to start the ripening process properly. Even if it starts, it never fully develops into ripe fruit, leaving an avenue for cell decay, leading to brown skin. 

Can You Eat Brown Spots on Mango?

Brown spots on a mango are usually unsafe as they indicate the terrible parts of the fruit. If the marks are not wide, you can cut that part out and eat the rest of the fruit. Although, the mango might not taste as good as expected anymore. 

However, discard the whole fruit to avoid adverse health effects if the whole mango or a significant part is brown.

Even so, some mangoes have tiny brown spots or Darkened Lenticels. These small dark spots don’t affect the eating quality. So, you can peel it off and eat the flesh.

Check Your Mangoes Properly

Mangoes are prone to damage. Therefore they develop brown spots as quickly as possible.

Before buying or eating a mango, always look out for mushy surfaces or brown coloration, or give it a soft press to check if it has an internal bruise.

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