FoodThe hidden danger in your festive mandarins: Unwashed health risks

The hidden danger in your festive mandarins: Unwashed health risks

How to eat mandarins?
How to eat mandarins?
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Valerio Pardi - PHOTO

8:13 AM EST, December 10, 2023

Mandarins often associate with December and the holiday season, an annual period when we voraciously consume these delightful fruits. However, a commonly overlooked detail surfacing during mandarin consumption can lead to unexpected health discomforts.

As the mandarin season flourishes, the popularity of these fruits intensifies, thanks to their delectable taste and compelling aroma that strongly resonate with the holiday period. But, while indulging, it's key to remember one essential detail we frequently miss.

Washing mandarins before consumption is crucial: merely peeling the fruit doesn't suffice

Although harmless in themselves, mandarins can sometimes trigger gastrointestinal distress. This predicament doesn't lie within the fruits, but manifests due to a common omission we make before consuming them.

Is it essential to wash mandarins? Many individuals hold the disbelief that it's redundant and simple peeling suffices. This notion is drastically incorrect. Microorganisms often inhabit the fruit's skin, and during the peeling process, transfer onto our hands, stay on the mandarin, and can unwittingly enter our mouths. Additionally, according to experts, citrus fruit skins often retain pesticides, waxing agents, fungicides, and bactericides.

What's the correct way to wash mandarins? Here's what the experts recommend

The issues span not only skipping the fruit washing process but also incorrect washing methodologies. Using hot water or vehemently scrubbing mandarins could force harmful chemical compounds into the fruit's flesh.

What is on the peel of a tangerine?
What is on the peel of a tangerine?© Pixabay

So what's the recommended way to cleanse mandarins? The expert advises putting the fruits in a sieve and rinsing them gently under lukewarm or warm water. Afterward, thoroughly dry them, preferably with a paper towel.

For optimal freshness, consume the mandarins within three days of purchase. If a more extended storage period is necessary, the best practice is to stash them in a cooler room, like a cellar. Refrain from storing them near damp or heated areas like radiators or stoves to prevent rapid rotting.

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