Carrots are sweet and versatile vegetables, so they are a staple that many of us have in our refrigerators most of the time. They’re useful in salads, stews, soups, and as a side dish for many meat meals.
They also make wonderful vegetarian dishes for those of you who prefer not to eat meat. This brightly colored vegetable is also healthy as it contains fiber, beta carotene, potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin K1.
Why Is There White Slime on My Carrots?
Just like most other vegetables, carrots should be stored inside a refrigerator to prevent them from going bad.
However, we have been seeing certain users who are worried about a slimy substance that forms on their carrots, even in the fridge. Many wonder what the slimy substance is, if it can be washed off and if the carrots are still alright to use.
In this article, we will focus on explaining this slimy texture that you may have noticed on your carrots.
What is this strange white substance?
1. If you are dealing with baby carrots, baby-cut carrots, or peeled large carrots, you may notice a thin white film on the outside, sometimes called “white blush.”
Some think it is chlorine residue from when the carrots were processed, but this is not true. It is a thin, dehydrated outer layer of carrot. It happens because baby carrots or peeled roots do not have a thick protective skin layer.
When the roots are exposed to the air, the outer layer dries out and turns white. This white film is normally dry and not slimy.
You may be able to rescue and use the parts that have not discolored. The white bits will need to be cut away and discarded. Washing the carrot will not get rid of the discoloration and spoiled bits, so cut your losses and throw these parts away.
You can prevent this from happening in the future by storing your carrots correctly. We provide information about this at the end of this article.
2. Carrots that have been stored in a plastic bag or container for too long may also develop white slime on them as they start to spoil. The cells begin to break down as the vegetable rot, resulting in a slimy sludge.
The white bits may be either bacterial colonies or fungi. Either way, you don’t want to be eating these spoiled carrots, so toss them away and start again with a trip to the market for a fresh batch.
How Do You Clean Slime off These Carrots?
While you cannot eat the slimy white bits, you might be able to rescue some parts of your carrots. Washing them won’t get rid of it.
Try peeling off the outer layer with a sharp knife or potato peeler. Sometimes the center of the vegetable is still orange and firm.
Before you start peeling off the layer, thoroughly rinse the carrot under cold, running water to clean off most of the debris. Dry them on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
If you still notice a soft and slimy texture on the carrots, even after rinsing and peeling some of the carrots away, you should throw these carrots out as they have gone completely bad.
Can This Be Avoided?
Yes, there are ways to prevent carrots from becoming slimy. You can extend their lifespan by storing them correctly.
- After purchase, remove the tops from the carrots as these will draw in moisture from the root, and the carrots will soften. The tops need not be discarded but can be stored separately and used as a parsley substitute.
- Don’t rinse or wash them, as this can cause mold growth. Rather wash them when you are ready to use them.
- Unpeeled carrots can also be stored and covered with water in a tall container in the fridge. The water should be changed every few days.
- Put the carrots into a clean, dry plastic container with a lid or use a Ziploc bag. Store them in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. This packaging method creates humidity and prevents them from dehydrating and becoming white.
- However you store your carrots, keep them away from fruit that produces ethylene gas as this may cause them to rot. Such fruits include bananas, pears, apples, or pears, to name a few.
- If you have a lot of carrots, you can freeze them. You will need to first peel and cut them into your desired shape, then blanch them in boiling water. Drain as much water away as possible, then place the prepared carrots in plastic freezer bags or containers. Once cool, freeze the carrot pieces for up to three months.
The Bottom Line
Stored correctly, carrots can last for up to three weeks in the fridge without developing white slime on them. However, if they have been cooked and refrigerated, they will only be safe to eat for about 3 days.
We hope this article has given you some insight into what the white slime on your carrots is, what to do about it, and how to prevent it.