Should Clementines Be Refrigerated? [Storage Tips]

Clementines are regularly bought in bulk. This means that they will not all be eaten in a day, or even in a week.

Whether you prefer to serve Cuties, Halos, or Sweeties, should clementines be refrigerated? We have the juicy details!

Generally speaking, clementines can remain at room temperature for just over a week. However, humidity will expedite the spoilage time frame. Therefore, clementines should be refrigerated for best results. This will allow them to stay fresh for up to three weeks. Conversely, keeping them at room temperature will only allow for freshness for a maximum of ten days.

Clementines are also known as Christmas oranges

How Long Do Clementines Last

With proper refrigeration, clementine can last up to 10 days. On the other hand, at room temperature, clementine can last up to 4 days. 

How To Expend Clementines’s Shelf Life?

First, place them in the crisper drawer immediately after purchase. Additionally, it is important to find fruit that is at the peak of freshness, without being past its ‘Best By’ date. 

Look for firm, bright and uniform clementines that give off the poignant smell of citrus.

Lastly, the ideal time to buy is in the Winter months when this fruit is first picked. 

Storage Recommendations

Most importantly, while clementines are grown in tropical and subtropical environments, they are more cold tolerant than other citrus fruit varieties.

This makes cold storage ideal for elongating their shelf life. 

In fact, according to the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, while you can keep this healthy snack on the counter for up to 10 days, clementines will last up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

Moreover, you also have the option to freeze them for up to six months, but this requires sugar packing which will change the fruit’s texture and sugar content. 

Room Temperature Storage Of Clementines

Therefore, when purchased in sealed packages, transfer the fruit into a bowl. Conversely, mesh bags or crates are fine for storage because they allow for ample air flow.

Temperatures are best between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, avoid storing the clementines in direct sunlight.

The goal should be to store clementines in a dry, cool and open environment. 

Refrigerated Clementines

Thankfully, citrus fruits are high in acid content, so they will last longer than other seed bearing plants since bacteria struggles to grow in low pH environments. This makes clementines a better fruit to buy in bulk.

However, unless you plan to consume these delicious fruits in a few days, your clementines should be refrigerated. This will slow down the time it takes for the clementines to spoil.

This is due to the fact that higher temperatures better facilitate the growth of mold. When storing in the refrigerator, you can leave the clementines in their mesh container or crate, but avoid cramming them into confined spaces.

Once bruised, they will spoil more quickly, so make sure that there is ample space in the crisper drawer. This is the best area for storage thanks to the controlled humidity levels.

Clementines peeled

Best Ways To Freeze Clementines

This last method will greatly extend the shelf life of your clementines, but it can lead to changes in their texture and it will increase their sugar content.

Here are the simple steps for freezing this fruit.

Step 1:Prepare The Fruit

If you want to buy these fruits in peak season, but don’t plan to eat them until Summer, freezing is your best storage option.

Once you have selected your clementines as directed above, wash and peel them.

Then, separate the sections of the fruit and place them into a freezer safe tupperware container

Step 2:Create The Syrup

Next, you will need to create a 40% syrup solution to pack the fruit in. “To make the syrup, dissolve sugar in lukewarm water, mixing until the solution is clear. Chill syrup before using.”

To reach this proportion, you will combine 2 ¾ cups of sugar and 4 cups of water.

You also have the option of using freshly squeezed clementine juice in place of the water. 

Clementines as a fantastic source of vitamin C

Step 3:Package And Freeze The Clementines

Once you have made the syrup and allowed it to cool, pour the mixture over the fruit. However, make sure to leave at least ¾ of an inch of space between the top of the syrup and the lid of the container.

Liquids expand upon freezing and this will ensure that the container remains closed. Lastly, seal the container and label it with the date. Finally, place it on an open shelf in the freezer.

This will allow it to freeze rapidly, better maintaining the clementines original texture. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Freezing will never eliminate spoilage. It will just halt the process until the food returns to room temperature.

Thus, make sure to freeze fruit while it is still fresh and that the freezer temperature remains at a consistent zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

Step 4:Thaw A Day In Advance

When defrosting your fruit, your frozen clementines should be refrigerated for at least a day.

This will allow for less changes in consistency.

You can also place the sealed container in a cold water bath on the counter, switching the water out every 30 minutes.

However, never thaw food products on the counter at room temperature. 

Lastly, while it is safe to eat frozen fruits without thawing, this might pose a difficult task when you sugar pack this fruit in bulk.

However, if you store and freeze the clementines in individual containers, this can be a great fruit cup to include in your child’s lunch.

Simply place the frozen clementines directly in the insulted lunch box (with an ice pack) and allow them to thaw until meal time!

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Clementines

Pick The Right Fruit

Bigger is not always better.

They do call them Cuties for a reason! Thus, look for small clementines that are uniform in shape and firm to the touch. 

Additionally, they should feel heavier than they look. This will ensure that they are fresh and succulent. 

They should also exhibit a shiny exterior.  Moreover, you want to select the fruits that have a vibrant orange color, without blemishes or discolorations.

This means that the clementines have started to spoil. Also avoid purchasing clementines with green spots.

These are present when the fruit was picked before it was ripe. Since citrus fruits stop ripening once picked, they will exhibit a very unpleasant, sour flavor. 

Furthermore, inspect the bag or crate of clementines carefully. The problem with buying fruit in bulk is that many times, you can have one or two specimens that are past their peak of freshness and end up spoiling the rest of the bunch.

Finally, it is best to buy this product in season. Known as Christmas oranges, clementines are at their freshest in the months of December through February.

Lastly, in order to select the finest fruits, use your nose!  It is actually quite easy to sniff out the best options because they will give off a refreshing and zesty scent.

Your intent should be to find clementines at the peak of freshness. Why? Unlike other fruits, citrus fruits will stop ripening the moment they are picked.

Thus, time will not mature these fruits. It will only spoil them. Keeping your clementines refrigerated will slow this process.

Health Benefits Of Clementines

While high in sugar, these fruits are a fantastic source of vitamin C, providing up to 60% of your daily value in one serving.

Moreover, clementines are brimming with antioxidants and serve as a good source of fiber.

They are also low in calories and virtually fat free. This makes them a spectacular snack! Orange you glad that you know!

Other Tips

For the moms packing lunch for their little ones, you may be in the habit of peeling the clementines and packaging them in a plastic bag for easy eating when preschool meal time rolls around.

This is a great method for safe and easy consumption. However, throw away any clementines not eaten that day.

Moreover, once you have peeled your clementines, they will need to be refrigerated within two hours.

Otherwise, dangerous bacteria can begin to grow. This is also the case for opened cans of oranges and orange juice.

Therefore, always include an ice pack in your kid’s insulated lunch bags to keep the clementines safe to eat!

Final Thoughts

Clementines will fare well on the counter, in the fridge or in freezer storage. Nonetheless, when refrigerated, clementines will maintain the best texture and flavor for extended periods of time.

Thus, place these products in the crisper drawer of the fridge immediately after purchase. 

Another important practice for extending the lifespan of your fruit is to inspect it every few days.

If you notice clementines that are going bad, throw them out so that they don’t impact the other fruit. 

Additionally, beside obvious signs like mold or foul smells, the best way to determine if your clementines have gone bad is to gently squeeze them. Soft spots indicate spoilage. You always want your fruits to be firm.

Eating a bad clementine can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal upset, so always make a point to check for these signs prior to consumption.  

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