1 December 2023

Bought a big bag of tangerines and afraid some of them will go bad before you get to them? How long do tangerines last?

Or maybe you’re not sure if you should refrigerate them or not.

Either way, this article has you covered. In it, we will discuss:

  • how long is a tangerine good for, depending on how you store it
  • When does it make sense to refrigerate this citrus fruit?
  • tell if yours is still ok to eat or not

Interested? Keep reading.


Tangerines are sometimes called tangerines. That’s a bit of a misnomer. The tangerine is one of the few types of tangerines. Another one you are probably familiar with is the clementine. All tangerines are tangerines, but not all tangerines are tangerines.

tangerine in hand

How long do tangerines last?

Worktop Fridge
Tangerine (whole) 5-7 days 12 weeks
Tangerine (peeled) 4 days

Tangerines keep 5-7 days at room temperature or up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. The better the quality of the fruit and the fresher it is, the longer it will keep in good condition. Peeled tangerines should be kept in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

For mandarins that will keep longer, choose ones that are quite firm to the touch and heavy for their size. If, on the other hand, you want them to swallow it or give it to your children when you get home, opt for the softest ones.


Don’t buy super soft tangerines. They are old and have already lost some water. Its quality, after peeling and sectioning, will be fair at best.

Peeled and halved tangerines
Peeled and halved tangerines

Another thing to consider is that you never know how old the tangerines you are buying are. Sure, giving them a gentle squeeze helps gauge how ripe they are, but that’s not exactly a cut and dry measurement.

So don’t assume that your tangerines will always last the entire period mentioned above. And if you’re not sure you’re going to eat those citrus fruits within 2-3 days of buying them, it’s probably best to refrigerate them right away.


Some mandarins can last up to 6 weeks ((UC)), depending on several factors, such as the cultivar, the stage of maturity at harvest and the like. Since you usually have no idea about any of these, it’s safest to go with the shorter period I suggest.

peeled tangerine
peeled tangerine

How to store tangerines

You can store tangerines on the counter or in the refrigerator. If they sit on the counter, keep them away from heat sources, direct sunlight and do not put other fruits on top so that the tangerines do not get crushed. If you opt for refrigeration, place your tangerines in a resealable plastic bag.

The optimum temperature for tangerines is 41-46°F (or 5-8°C) ((UC)), a little higher than what’s in your fridge. So I suggest going with the crisper drawer, where it’s usually a little warmer than the rest of the fridge.

For the longest storage time, keep your tangerines in a freezer bag. A tight seal doesn’t allow the fruit to lose water as quickly, resulting in long storage time. The same trick works for lemons.

bunch of tangerines
bunch of tangerines

Should tangerines be refrigerated? If you are going to eat them within 3-4 days of purchase, they do not need to be refrigerated. But if you need more time than those two days, chilling them in the fridge is the best option.

And the peeled tangerines? Store them in an airtight container in the fridge, where they retain their quality for 3-4 days.

If those two weeks of storage time aren’t enough for you (for example, you bought a ton of tangerines on sale), there’s still hope. You can freeze tangerines in the same way. you freeze oranges

Of course, frozen and thawed mandarins aren’t as good to eat on their own as fresh, but there are at least a couple of ways to use them. See the linked article for more details.

tangerines and oranges
tangerines and oranges

How to know if a tangerine is bad?

Discard tangerines that:

  • They are soft to the touch, wrinkled, or ooze water. O means that the fruit has lost much of its water content and is not of good quality. If your tangerine has gone bad, 9 times out of 10 it’s water loss. However, a couple of small weak points is not a big deal.
  • They are rotten or moldy. Of course, if only a small area is affected, you can cut it off after peeling and eat the rest.
  • Smells. Whole mandarins do not have a strong aroma. If you can easily smell yours and the smell doesn’t remind you of oranges, throw them away.
wrinkled tangerine
wrinkled tangerine

If none of the above is the case, peel and slice the tangerine and see what’s inside.

Before eating the fruit, it’s time to check the color, texture, and smell of each section. Of course, you don’t need to go slowly one by one; a quick glance and a deep breath should do the trick.

If all of this seems perfectly fine, your tangerine is fine. But if your spidery senses are tingling and something isn’t right, throw the fruit away.

When checking to see if your tangerines are safe to eat or not, you trust your senses. And that means trusting what they tell you. If in doubt, discard it.

Ready-to-eat tangerines
Ready-to-eat tangerines


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