The Complete Guide To Freezing Papaya

One of the most common uses for papaya is in smoothies. Since many smoothie lovers prefer their drinks on the colder side a reasonable question comes to mind, can papaya be frozen?

Papaya can be frozen whole or in pieces. Unripe papaya should be allowed to ripen before freezing. It should be frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags. Papaya can last up to one year in the freezer.

Although it can be frozen there are a few things you should look out for. If you would like to learn step by step the most effective method to accomplish this continue reading.

Can Papaya Be Frozen?

Papaya cut in half.
Papaya cut in half

As a Certified Health Coach many clients ask me about food storage including papaya. Also, I purchase and consume them almost every month. Therefore, I have researched this topic in the past and present. Let’s examine the storage methods closely.

Typically, papayas are large and are green or orange color depending on its ripeness. Papayas can last at most five to seven days in the refrigerator once ripe. Many people who enjoy this fruit wonder if freezing it would prolong its life before going bad.

Similarly to avocados, papayas go bad quickly once they ripen. Once this occurs, the fruit will become softer to touch and will develop brown and dark brown patches. If this continues during the next few days, the fruit will start developing a bad odor as well as patches of mold. At this point, the fruit is no longer safe for consumption1.

Before the fruit goes bad, it can be frozen and store in the freezer for consumption at a later time. The next section will explain to you, in steps how to freeze papaya.

How To Freeze Raw Papaya

While it’s possible to freeze the whole fruit, the better approach is to freeze it in pieces. The process is actually easy, and the only thing you need is ripe papaya. 

If you are unsure if the papaya you picked is ripe there are a few signs you should check to make sure it is. The most telling sign is the color of the papaya skin and the feel. Papayas start with green skin and it gradually becomes yellow or orange depending on how ripe it is.

Another sign is the fruit will be soft to the touch when ripe. If the fruit is not ripe enough leave it outside the refrigerator until it is ripe.

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The following are the steps how to freeze papaya:

1. Wash the papaya.

Quickly rinse the whole fruit under cool running water to remove any dirt.

2. Cut the papaya.

Cut the papaya in half long ways.

3. Remove the seeds.

Use a spoon and scoop out the seeds2. The seeds can be used for another purpose or discarded.

4. Quarter the papaya and remove the skin.

Cut the two halves into quarters which make it easier to cut in the next step. After quartering the halves, peel the skin off.

5. Cut the papaya into cubes.

The size of the pieces will determine how long it takes the pieces to freeze. However, you can pick the size which will work the best for your intended purpose.

6. Place the cubes onto a tray or plate.

Space them out evenly and leave some space in between so they’re not touching each other.

7. Place the tray into the freezer.

Depending on the size of your cubes will determine how long they will take to freeze. An average size cube typically takes about 45 minutes.

8. Once frozen place the cubes into a freezer bag.

Remove the tray or plate from the freezer and place the papaya cubes into a freezer bag or airtight container. It’s best to use a vacuum sealer to removal all the air from the bag.

A vacuum sealer is one of those items you’ll wonder how you did without once you purchase one. They sell a nice variety of them on Amazon which you can check out by clicking right here, vacuum sealers. In addition, make sure the bags you use are freezer bags.

9. Place the freezer bag or airtight container into the freezer.

The frozen papaya can be stored in the freezer up to one year. Write the date onto the freezer bag3, so you know exactly when you froze them.

Checking a papaya for ripeness.
Checking a papaya for ripeness

Does Freezing Papaya Kill the Enzymes?

One of the most notable components of the papaya flesh is the enzyme papain4. The enzyme is extracted from the raw papaya fruit.

It’s the most widely known as a meat tenderizer. Historically papaya flesh was used in marinades to help break down the tough protein chains in muscle meat.

Besides meat tenderizing, papain is known to have other health benefits. It’s often used in products intended to treat inflammations, swelling and to reduce pain5.

Papain is also used in products that relieve toothaches. In addition, papayas are used to boost the immune system and improve digestion. Papayas have also been recorded to aid during weight loss.

Since there are so many health benefits6 many people are concerned whether freezing papaya would affect these enzymes.

Enzymes are a type of protein found inside the cells. They can be destroyed using things like extreme heat or acidity. However, freezing does not have the same effect. Colder, freezing temperatures will cause the molecules to move slower than they normally would. The slower movement will cause the molecule to collide less often. This will reduce the enzyme activity.

Despite this effect on the enzymes, once the fruit is reheated back to the room temperature the molecules will start to move faster, increasing the enzyme activity.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Papaya

How to freeze green papaya? Green papaya is unripe and should be ripened prior to freezing. Once green papaya is ripe it can be frozen by following the following steps:

  1. Wash the fruit.
  2. Cut the fruit in half long ways.
  3. Remove the seeds.
  4. Remove the outer skin.
  5. Cut the papaya into cubes.
  6. Place the cubes onto a plate or tray.
  7. Place the tray in the freezer until the cubes are thoroughly frozen.
  8. Remove the tray and place the cubes into freezer storage bags.
  9. Remove the air as much as possible and place the bag in the freezer up to one year.

Can you freeze papaya puree? Papaya puree can be frozen. Place the puree into an airtight storage container and place it in the freezer for up to one year. When it’s time to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Can you freeze papaya seeds? Papaya seeds can be frozen and stored in the freezer for up to five months. The seeds should be stored in an airtight container placed into the freezer. The frozen seeds should be defrosted prior to using by thawing them in the refrigerator overnight.

If you have any questions to ask me about this article don’t hesitate to comment below or email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

Read Next – More Food Storage

Are Slimy Mushrooms Bad?

Pomegranate Ripening And Storage Guide

A Guide To Storing Asparagus The Proper Way

  1. University of Wyoming:Papaya Power! []
  2. Mexican Papayas: Papaya Storage []
  3. University of Wisconsin: Preserve Summer Time’s Best Flavors by Freezing Fresh Fruit []
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Papain []
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of Cardiac papaya []
  6. USDA: Papayas, raw []

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