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Jul 29, 2009 10:05 AM

Baby Carrots

I bought some baby carrots (organic) from Whole Foods a couple of days ago (their 365 cent $.99 kind). It is definitely not past the expiration date, but when I opened up the package they were all slimy. They're still a bright orange color and they don't have that old look, but they're pretty tasteless. Should I not eat them? Why do baby carrots get slimy so fast?

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  1. Not familiar with that particular brand, but many/most packaged "baby" carrots are really just regular carrots that have been cut up and scraped into a shape that looks somewhat like a baby carrot. So they are not going to keep as long as unpeeled whole carrots. It's kind of normal for them to be sort of wet, if they are really slimy they may be past their prime.

    1. The sliminess is something that many have talked about - the "baby" carrots are, as absurdnerbird said, regular carrots aren't as pretty and straight as other carrots (they're twisted or knobby) and usually would be discarded. So they've been machined into "baby" carrots. That bright orange color has been bred into them as well (they're bright orange through to the center.)

      THEN they are treated with an antimicrobial treatment that sometimes contains chlorine, and then rinsed again sometimes with just water, but sometimes with another chlorinated liquid to prevent a white "blushing" (drying out) of the peeled carrot. Scroll down to "A few words of warning" and it says "After harvesting, the carrots are washed in chlorinated water, just like our drinking water, and cleaned to remove dirt and mud. Some finished baby carrots are washed, or dipped, by a further chlorine solution to prevent white blushing once in the store. There is no evidence that this is harmful, but it is worth knowing about!. However organic growers use a citrus based non toxic solution called Citrox."

      I think it's this solution, Citrox, or the additional chlorine wash that causes that sliminess.

      To avoid it - I just don't buy those baby carrots. I find that they have an "off" taste that isn't pleasant to me.

      11 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Thanks, LW. That's a pretty nifty web site. You learn something new everyday. If you are a cat fan, you can also peek at the cat link on the web site & investigate the laws of cat physics.

        1. re: PattiCakes

          n/p Patti. As you can see by that British link, there ARE real baby carrots. They're just not usually the size of your thumb and the same circumference around. If I could find those baby carrots, I might buy them.

          Otherwise, I'll just buy regular carrots, peel and cut them up for crudite platters. :-)

          1. re: LindaWhit

            There are indeed real baby carrots. A few years ago we were on a cruise (high end, Crystal) and had lunch at a table with this big, burly guy and his wife. He was in overalls and she looked like the typical farmer's wife. After talking a while he mentioned that he used to be a carrot farmer and that he had a big problem with baby carrots that woudn't mature. He used to sell them to neighboring ranchers for feed, but then got the idea of selling them to humans as snacks. He called his company Bunny Luv, and then sold it to Con Agra for $85 Million. It goes to show that there really are baby carrots, and that you never know - they may look like they've saved their entire lives for a dream cruise but really have more dough than anyone on the ship.

            1. re: TomSwift

              What a great story! I remember when Bunny Luv carrots were first around! And what a fun picture - the millionaire farmer on the elegant cruise ship still in overalls!

              1. re: TomSwift

                According to this link, Grimmway Farms (which owns Bunny Luv) is owned by CalOrganic:


                And CalOrganic is an independent organic company. So not sure where the ConAgra came into play, unless that link is no longer valid (although it's only about 4-5 months old).

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Con Agra must have sold out - the cruise was 7 or 8 years ago.

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    It was several years ago but the guy looks like the one with whom we had lunch. I spoke wit Mrs. Swift and she recalls that the guy had his plant in Bakersfield and lived in Newhall, both places fairly close to where we live. Pretty good research, KT!

                    1. re: TomSwift

                      I have that article bookmarked! I use it when people ask about baby carrots..

                2. re: LindaWhit


                  Stick with what you're doing. Baby carrots (as with all baby veg) have less flavour than the real thing.


                  1. re: Harters

                    Exactly, Harters. This is a "convenience" I can easily do without (these machine-cut baby carrots, that is).

            2. If the store has them in bins with the produce that gets misted the plastic bag probably traps some of the water and they sit in it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lgss

                I too have experienced that "sliminess." It's definitely different that the water that gets in there from the misters. When the carrots are simply wet, they are wet. This is slime - kind of the consistency of liquid soap. I'm to the point now that when I buy baby carrots, I tend to buy them on the "dry" side - preferring the white, dried-out look to the potential for slime! I have to assume that it's a few carrots gone bad. Sometimes, I can find a carrot in there that is partly disintegrated (ugh - gross).

                1. re: jbsiegel

                  Yes, I've experienced this melted carrot syndrome and returned the package to the store!

              2. Apparently this is rather common. Google baby carrots slimy. Here's is one of the links that appears.
                There are several others.

                1. Ok, heres the important question. Were the baby carrots peeled. If so, remember they're still a root vegetable. Wash, clean, dry, its not the chemical composition in this case its like the water in the package combines with the sap from the vegetable. Happens with potatoes once they're peeled, and any other root vegetable. Think about a tree sap. same thing.

                  If they're not peeled. Then theres something wrong with them and I'd return them to the store.

                  However if they're organic carrot sticks and not "true" baby carrots, then they've been sitting for a while and remember those are all just large carrots put through a processor to make a bunch of little ones.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ChanceTDaily

                    That link was already provided by LindaWhit, 2nd post after the original.