The Santol, also known as cotton fruit, is a tropical fruit that originated from the floristic region of Malaysia. The color of Santol could be red or yellow, but the species remains the same. Santol is almost the same shape and size as a peach having the same fuzzy skin.
The peel of Santol can vary in thickness but is edible like the apple’s peel. Near the seeds of Santol, the pulp is bittersweet; the main edible part of this fruit is near the outer rind, which tastes like peaches, while the center near the seeds resembles the taste of apples.
How To Store Santol
Santol comes in different tastes, sometimes it is sweet, and sometimes it is sour. Despite its taste, the fruit is used in many recipes and can provide various health benefits. Hence, it is very popular among Sri Lanka, India, Northern Australia, and Mauritius.
How can you store Santol for a long time? You do not need to worry about Santol going bad rapidly; the fruit can last longer than other tropical fruits. If you want to store Santol for the long term, you need to pick the ones suitable for storing purposes, as overly ripe fruits do not stay for long.
Selection Of Fruit
Santol turns yellow to orange, and then finally, the color changes to yellowish-orange color when the fruit is completely ripe. Most of the cotton fruit has pinkish blush around it. Look for Santol that is ripe and firm. Brown spots, streaks, and marks are common and do not indicate poor quality.
Underripe Santol is pale and whitish and should be avoided, as they do not sweeten. Also, overripe Santol is indicated by soft brownish skin and should also be avoided.
Keep At Semi-Cold Temperature
Santols continue to ripen even after they are picked from the tree. For the peel and flesh to grow softer, keep it in a cool place at room temperature. This cotton fruit needs a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius to remain fresh.
It might be little difficult handling santols, as they cannot be kept inside the refrigerator. Santols tend to get chill injury when kept at a temperature lower than 15 degrees Celsius. This chill injury results in translucent aril and bruised skin, spoiling the fruit.
In the Form of Jam
Santols can be preserved in the form of jam. However, it takes a few days to prepare it. So it is not a very feasible mode of storage.
Can You Freeze Santol
Although santols can have a chill injury when kept inside the refrigerator, it is different from freezing for storage purposes. A chill injury happens due to extended exposure to low temperatures but does not happen at freezing temperatures.
Santol is a little different from other fruits. It can be frozen after being blanched and made into jams, jellies, or syrups. The shelf life can be extended when it is preserved in the forms mentioned. The seeds of Santol are inedible hence;, they need to be removed after blanching. It takes up to five days to prepare the santol jelly ready to be frozen and used later.
How Long Does Santol Last
Santol fruit is a little hard to handle as compared to other tropical fruits. When you bring home a large stock of fresh Santol, you must have the perfect place kept ready for its storage. Otherwise, santols can rapidly lose their flavor and go bad if not given the proper temperature and environment.
When kept at a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius or a little above this temperature, freshly ripened santols can last for three weeks or 20 to 22 days. Below this temperature, the santols are likely to turn brownish and spoil due to chilling injury.
When you preserve Santol in the form of jams, jellies, or syrups, you can keep it preserved for a longer period. Jams of Santol can also be frozen or kept in the refrigerator for months for you to enjoy until the time you have it finished.
How To Tell If Santol Is Bad
It is important to avoid food that has gone bad or is turning bad. For this, you need to know the main factors that hint towards the fruit’s health and will help you make the right judgment. Santols can go bad just as any other fruit does; some of the signs a santol is going bad includes:
- Color and Texture: The pulp of Santol is white and soft; when turning bad, it is the first thing that is affected. If the white pulp of your Santol darkens and shrinks, it means that the fruit is no longer edible.
- Mold: Mold growth on the fruit is the most obvious indication for its spoilage, as the pulp of Santol is soft, it is easy for the mold to penetrate through the flesh, and you may not be able to save your fruit even by removing the moldy part.