What is the shelf life of apricots?

Apricots are delicious fruits that come from trees native to Asia and Europe. They are also very nutritious and high in vitamin C. Unfortunately, they don’t last long once picked. So, how long does apricot fruit stay fresh after picking?

In this article, we will answer your question about apricot shelf life. We will examine the shelf life of fresh, frozen, and dried, apricots.

We will also give you some tips on how to store them properly so that you can enjoy their flavor for a longer period.

Fresh Apricots

Fresh apricots are picked while still firm and green. They are then transported to processing plants where they are washed, peeled, pitted, and graded according to size. After grading, the fruit is either shipped directly to markets or held briefly in cold storage.

Fresh Apricots

What is the shelf life of fresh apricots?

The shelf life of fresh apricots is dependent upon many factors, such as variety, ripeness, packing method, and storage temperature. Once ripe, fresh apricots should be refrigerated promptly. Refrigeration slows down respiration and prevents decay. Ripe apricots that are kept too warm will spoil more quickly than those that are cooled properly.

How long do fresh apricots last?

The shelf life of fresh apricots is as follows:

  • At room temperature: 1 to 3 days or until ripe
  • In the refrigerator: 4 to 5 days once ripe
  • In the freezer: 10 to 12 months (best quality) 

At room temperature, fresh apricots last for about 1 to 3 days after picking. If they are refrigerated, they will stay fresh for up to 5 days. Freezing extends the shelf life considerably. At 0°C (32°F), fresh apricots can be stored for up to 12 months. At -20°C (-4°F), they can be stored for up 6 years.

How do you know when apricots are ready to eat?

When choosing fresh apricots, look for plump fruits with a deep orange color. Avoid overripe ones because they will be soft and mushy. Slightly wrinkled skin is normal. When selecting apricots for freezing, choose fruits that are uniformly colored. Overly dark-colored apricots tend to turn brown during freezing. 

How to ripen fresh apricots faster

To speed up the ripening process, place the unripe apricots in a brown paper bag. The ethylene gas released by the decaying fruit causes the skin to turn yellowish-brown. This technique works well if you want to eat the apricots within a few days.

Storing Fresh apricots

When storing fresh apricots, choose a cool, dark location with low humidity. If possible, store them in the refrigerator. To prevent bruising, wrap each apricot individually in plastic film before placing it in the refrigerator.

Storing in the refrigerator

Apricots can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days once they are ripe. To extend their shelf life, place them in an airtight container or plastic bag and store them in the vegetable crisper section of your refrigerator. If you don’t have room in the crisper, wrap each apricot individually in aluminum foil and freeze them. When ready to use, thaw the apricots and peel off the skins.

You should not put apricots in the refrigerator before they are completely ripe. Unripe apricots tend to soften and lose flavor. Letting them ripen at room temperature will result in tastier, juicier apricots. 

Drying apricots

Dried apricots are made by leaving the fruit to dry naturally on the trees. The fruit is harvested when it reaches the proper moisture level. It is then sorted, graded, and packaged.

Apricots can also be dehydrated using a food dehydrator. Dehydration preserves nutrients and extends the shelf life of the fruit.


Canned apricot halves are usually packed in sweetened juice with added sugar. Some brands include additional ingredients like corn syrup, artificial colorings, and preservatives.


Apricots can also be frozen. Freezing preserves the color, flavor, and nutrients of fruits and vegetables. It also helps prevent food-borne illnesses by killing bacteria and viruses.

To preserve the best quality, choose apricots with no signs of bruising or soft spots. Wash, pit, and cut the apricots in half or slices. 

Coat the apricots with a solution of half a teaspoon of ascorbic acid to 6 tablespoons of cold water to prevent them from blackening. Add 100 g of sugar per 300 g of apricots and stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

Store apricots in the freezer in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag and Freeze at 0°F (-18°C).

Most frozen apricots are packed into a thick syrup that contains added sugar. Other varieties may be packed without any added sugar. Frozen apricots are best used in recipes calling for cooked fruits.

Dried apricots

Dry apricots are available whole, sliced, or chopped. They can be found in most supermarkets. Dried apricots are often sold in packages containing several pieces of dried apricots.

Dried apricots

What is the shelf life of dried apricots? 

The precise answer to the question depends largely on the storage conditions. To maximize the shelf-life of dried apricots once opened, store them in an airtight jar or sturdy plastic bag.

When stored properly, dried apricots have the following shelf lives:

  • At room temperature: 6 to 12 months
  • In the refrigerator: 6 to 12 months
  • In the freezer: 12 to 18 months (best quality) 

Dried apricots will keep for around 6 to 12 months at room temperature (around 20°C). In the refrigerator, they can last up to 12 months. They freeze well and can be kept frozen for up to 18 months

The dried fruit is usually sold in small quantities, so it’s best to buy what you need when you need it. If you have a large number of dried apricots on hand, store them in an airtight container or plastic bag in your pantry

Storing dried apricots

If you want to use dried apricots right away, store them in an open container in a cool place. Store them in a sealed container if you plan to keep them longer than one week.

Should I put dried apricots in the fridge? 

In a hot and humid environment, dried apricots should be stored in the refrigerator. 

How long do dried apricots keep in the fridge? 

Dried apricots will keep for about 6 to 12 months in the refrigerator. 

Can you freeze dried apricots? 

Yes. Freeze-dried apricots in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. 

How long do dried apricots keep in the freezer? 

If stored in the right conditions, dried apricots maintain optimum quality for about 12 to 18 months in the freezer, but remain suitable for consumption beyond this period. 

How do you know if dried apricots are expired? 

The best way is to smell and examine the dried apricots. Throw them out if they smell or look unusual, or if mold appears. 

If you purchase dried apricots that are already peeled and pitted, check the expiration date printed on the package. If the date has passed, discard the apricots.

Frozen apricots 

Frozen apricot halves can be bought individually or in packs of 10 or more. The pack sizes vary depending on how much space there is in the freezer.

frozen halves of fresh apricots

What is the shelf life of frozen apricots? 

The precise answer to this question depends to a large extent on the storage conditions. Frozen apricots must remain in the freezer at all times. 

If stored in the right conditions, frozen apricots maintain optimum quality for about 12 months in the freezer, although they generally remain safe to eat after this period. 

How long can frozen apricots be eaten safely? 

Frozen apricots stored continuously in the freezer at -18°C will keep indefinitely, provided they have been stored correctly and the packaging is not damaged. 

How do you know if frozen apricots are no longer good? 

If any spots or discolorations have developed on frozen apricots, freezer burn has occurred. This won’t make frozen apricots unsafe to eat, but it will harm their texture and taste. 

Can frozen apricots be eaten after the “best before” date on the package? 

Yes, if stored correctly. Frozen apricots are usually marked with a “best before” date, but this is not a “use by” date (use by date in Canada), but a manufacturer’s estimate of how long during which the frozen apricots will remain of optimum quality.


Can apricots go bad?

Yes. Apricots can spoil just like other fruits. Spoilt apricots develop dark patches and become soft. They also lose their flavor.

Should ripe apricots be refrigerated?

Apricots ripen quickly when exposed to sunlight, so they don’t need to be kept in the refrigerator once picked. However, if you wish to prolong their freshness, then you may choose to store them in the refrigerator.

Is it OK to eat expired dried apricots?

No. Dried apricots should always be stored in the refrigerator. Expiration dates only apply to packaged dried apricots.

How do you know when apricots are bad?

You’ll know when apricots start to rot because they turn brownish yellow and begin to smell sour. You’ll also notice that they get softer as they age.

Do I need to wash apricots before eating them?

Wash your hands thoroughly before handling apricots. Wash fruit carefully under running water to remove dirt and debris from the skin. Rinse well.

Do dried apricots expire?

Dried apricots do indeed expire. Once they’ve gone off, they’re no longer edible. They last for about 6-12 months at room temperature and in the fridge. When frozen, they last for up to 2 years.

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