How to Tell if a Blood Orange is Bad

Sliced blood red orange

Don’t want to read the whole post?
To tell if a blood orange is bad, check for soft spots, dark spots, or signs of mould, which indicate spoilage. A good blood orange should have a vibrant, unblemished skin and feel heavy for its size, signalling juiciness and freshness.


Be beauty. Be plant-based!

As a former Registered Nurse and avid plant-muncher, I’m in love with how simple plant-based foods make it easy to be beautiful.

You’ll also love:
Eating More to Weigh Less: Fruitful Freedom

Today, we’re diving into the vibrant world of blood oranges, how to tell if a blood orange is bad. As you embrace a plant-based diet for  healthier, more radiant skin, understanding how to pick the best fruit to ensure your best skin is crucial. With these quick, easy tips, you’ll continue to glow with health and energy.

Blood Oranges vs. Other Citrus Fruits

Blood oranges are not just any citrus fruit; they’re a delightful treat in the citrus family. Unlike navel oranges, regular oranges, or cara cara oranges, blood oranges have a distinct identity.

Their vibrant red colour and deep red flesh set them apart from ordinary oranges. 

Spotting a Ripe Blood Orange

…or one that’s going off. Watch out for these characteristics:

Skin Appearance

Ripe blood oranges have vibrant, smooth skin without blemishes. Bad ones have wrinkled, dry, or discoloured skin.

Soft Spots

Fresh blood oranges are firm with a slight give. Soft spots or mushiness indicate spoilage.

Mould Signs

White, green, or black fuzzy spots are signs of mould. Discard such oranges with these spots of mould immediately.


A good sign is that your blood orange feels heavy for its size, indicating juiciness. A lightweight one may be dried out.

Fruitbowl of blood red oranges

Smell Test

Fresh blood oranges have a sweet, citrusy aroma. Any sour or fermented smell suggests it’s bad.


Inside, a good blood orange has a vibrant deep red colour. Any strange discolouration inside is a bad sign.


The inside of a fresh blood orange should be juicy and tender, not overly soft or dried out.

Taste Test

If unsure, a small taste can help. A fresh blood orange has a sweet-tart flavour, while a bad one tastes off or fermented.

Stem Area

Check the top of the orange near the stem. If it’s unusually soft or discoloured, it might be starting to spoil.

Overall Firmness

Gently squeeze the orange. It should feel firm all around, without any unusually soft or squishy areas.

Why is my blood orange not red?

The deep red colour of blood oranges develops under specific temperature conditions. If your blood orange is not red, it might not have experienced the colder temperatures needed for this colour change. However, it can still be delicious and nutritious.

Woman eating a blood red orange

How to Keep Your Blood Oranges Fresh

Storing blood oranges correctly is essential for prolonging the freshness and taste of this delicious fruit. 

The key is to keep them cool and dry. 

Unlike regular oranges, blood oranges have a slightly different storage need due to their unique flavour profile and texture. 

In your fruit bowl, ensure they’re not piled up too high, as pressure can cause bruising. 

How to tell if a blood orange is bad

For longer shelf life, you might consider refrigerating them, especially if you’re not planning to consume them immediately. 

This way, you can enjoy blood orange juice at its best – fresh, vibrant, and full of flavour.

Blood Oranges in Your Diet

How to tell if a blood orange is bad - fresh blood red orange

Now that you know how to pick a great blood orange, here a several ways to incorporate them into your daily diet:

  • Morning Juice: Start your day with a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed blood orange juice.
  • Salad Topping: Add segments of blood orange to salads for a burst of colour and flavour.
  • Smoothies: Blend blood oranges into smoothies for a tangy twist.
  • Yogurt Parfait: Layer blood orange slices with yogurt and granola for a healthy snack or breakfast.
  • Citrus Salsa: Mix chopped blood oranges with onions, herbs, and spices for a zesty salsa.
  • Fruit Salad: Combine blood oranges with other fruits for a vibrant and healthy fruit salad.
  • Infused Water: Add slices of blood orange to your water bottle for a subtly flavoured hydration boost.
  • Blood Orange Sorbet: Make a simple, refreshing sorbet using blood orange juice.
  • Dessert Garnish: Use blood orange segments or zest to add a citrusy flair to desserts.
  • Citrus Marinades: Use blood orange juice in marinades for meat or fish to add a unique flavour.
  • Baked Goods: Incorporate blood orange juice or zest into cakes, muffins, or cookies for a citrusy sweetness.
  • Cocktails and Mocktails: Use blood orange juice in cocktails and mocktails for a vibrant and tasty beverage.
  • Grilled Blood Oranges: Grill slices for a caramelised treat, perfect as a side dish or dessert.
  • Blood Orange Vinaigrette: Whisk together blood orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, and your choice of herbs for a fresh salad dressing.
  • Snacking: Simply peel and enjoy blood oranges as a healthy, convenient snack.

Conclusion: How to tell if a blood orange is bad

As we have seen, spotting a good blood orange or a bad blood orange is key to enjoying their unique taste and health benefits. From their vibrant colour to their complex flavour, blood oranges are a delightful addition to your plant-based diet. Remember, look for deep orange skin, avoid any with soft spots or spots of mould, and store them properly to keep them fresh. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, you’re ready to make the most out of these delicious fruits. How to tell if a blood orange is bad? with these tips, you’ll always make the best choice!


Rapisarda P, Amenta M, Ballistreri G, Fabroni S, Timpanaro N. Distribution, Antioxidant Capacity, Bioavailability and Biological Properties of Anthocyanin Pigments in Blood Oranges and Other Citrus Species. Molecules. 2022;27(24):8675. Published 2022 Dec 8. doi:10.3390/molecules27248675

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *