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Nov 10, 2009 08:30 AM

My dried apricots turned brown.. are they still good?

Was cleaning out my pantry and found a bag of dried apricots I bought a few months ago (At the time their normal orange color) have turned brown just like the organic/non sulphur treated ones.

Mind you these are NOT the ones from the natural food isle, these were the regular orange/peach ones. Are they still ok to eat or should I throw them out straight away?

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  1. i'm sure they're fine. just an unappealing color.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Safe yes, but probably pretty dry. I'd soak and use them in things like stuffing/sauces for roasted meats, since the color is unappetizing as a snack or dessert item.

    2. I think once things are dried, they are good healthwise for a long time, although maybe the quality won't be as good. I love when they're still relatively juicy and not crazy about really dry and hard. I would use them, but probably soak them in liquour or something like that to make sure they weren't too dry.

      1. Oh good! I'm glad I didn't throw them out then. Thanks all.

        They're actually not dry, just a strange color.

        1. I have the completely opposite opinion of most of the other posters. Maybe it's because I know what it feels like to be hospitalized with food poisoning.

          THROW THEM OUT!! Why in heaven's name would you risk it? It could be mold or bacteria, but in either case, if the dried fruit is months old and has changed color -- well, HELLOOOO? What do you think happened? It's not a suntan, and dried fruit does not continue to ripen. If these things cost as much as a king's ransom, I might even understand the desire to keep them if they were still edible, but since you really don't know what the problem is, are you really willing to risk...botulism? Or something similar? It could literally kill you. I am not over-reacting. I know, because I suffered cardiac changes when I was in the ER years ago with my episode. Think of it this way: dried fruit has as much nutritional value to bacteria as the growing medium in a petri dish.

          Even if it is not bad, it will still not be optimal in terms of quality. Just my two cents.

          5 Replies
          1. re: RGC1982

            Dried fruit is sulphured to keep the color from darkening. Over time, the sulphur dissipates and the fruit darkens. This is just a cosmetic change. Drying is an ancient form of preserving food and does so, effectively, for periods of many months.

            1. re: greygarious

              I understand that they may be perfectly safe. But they may not be. Any signficant change in color or texture tells you that the fruit is no longer top quality, or worse. You believe it is the sulphur, but how can you know? You can't see the bag, only what the OP says. I get not wanting to waste food, but these have been in an opened bag for months in a pantry. My decision would be to get rid of them and plan on enjoying a fresh batch, for esthetics as well as safety.

              1. re: RGC1982

                I've used dried apricots for up to a year and no problems. The point of dry is that they last until you get around to them.

            2. re: RGC1982

              [To RGC]

              <<well, HELLOOOO? What do you think happened? It's not a suntan, >>

              He he he; that was a pretty good line, RGC.

              No, now I'm not laughing at you or patronizing you. I'm always the one to say, no, don't eat it if you're not sure; I'm always the one other people (not talking about here on the board) call "too nervous" and "way too uptight over these things".

              But I understand your point of view, because I've posted here before that my best friend had a serious food-illness (hers was E Coli, though, and I don't think that applies here), she also spent six weeks in the hospital, most of that Intensive Care (g-d help anyone who doesn't have health insurance but gets food poisoning, btw), and she'll have serious immunological issues the rest of her life. So, honestly, I concur completely with your caution.

              The way I look at these things is, once I've gotten to the point where I have to ask you guys or any of my friends here in real life if something is safe to eat, it's already lost its appeal for me. And that applies whether it cost one buck a pound or one hundred. Not worth it--ever! JMO.

              1. re: RGC1982

                If they were sitting in syrup or something I'd say 'toss them out!' too... but a plain piece of dried fruit is a very inhospitable environment for bacteria. The acid content of the fruit keeps it from going bad and there's no moisture for ickies to grow in. The longer it sits, the drier it gets (and the higher the sugar concentration gets) so the LESS hospitable it gets. Plain dried fruit is one thing that you can safely keep for YEARS with no danger to your health. The getting-darker-in-colour-over-time is a well-recorded phenomenon and a simple chemical reaction, nothing to be concerned about.

              2. This is just oxidization, the same thing that happens when you slice an apple and leave it on the plate for a while (this process varies from fruit to fruit and then from cultivar to cultivar). The high sugar content in dried fruit is inhospitable to bacteria, though bacteria is surely present on the surface, as it is on every surface... I purchased sundried tomatoes more than a year ago now; they were made from pretty orange tomatoes, and they've now turned a crimson colour. Still taste fine and have not caused any stomach upsets.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Full tummy

                  The bag was new, it was opened though as I snacked on a few so if you're saying the air got to it then that's definitely true because I had cut the bag open.

                  They're not worth getting sick over, they do have an expiry date it seems and they've expired, I didn't think these things really expired.

                  1. re: BamiaWruz

                    You won't get sick on them, but the colour might make you feel sick, hahaha.