How Long Does Durian Last Unopened?

By | March 6, 2024

How long unopened durian can last is heavily influenced by the harvesting method employed. Refer to below:


Fresh Durian

Long Stem Durian










When harvesting fresh durian, it is to wait until it reaches about 70-80% ripeness before cutting it from the tree. Once harvested, the shelf life can vary depending on the variety. For instance, the O Chee variety can typically last for around 2 weeks under proper storage conditions. However, certain varieties such as Musang King have a shorter shelf life and may only remain unopened for 5 to 9 days before deteriorating. When purchasing this variety of fresh durian from the market, it’s typically been at least a week since it was harvested as 1 week is typically spent in transit during freight. Normally this type of durian has long stem.


Nitrogen Frozen durian

Nitrogen Freeze Durian

Certain varieties of durian undergo a nitrogen freezing method for storage. In this process, the durian is exposed to liquid nitrogen at -90°C for one hour, allowing it to be preserved for extended periods. Once frozen, the durian can be stored at -18°C for up to two years without significant loss of its original flavor, taste, flesh color, and texture. This method is commonly applied to Musang King durians from Malaysia when exporting to countries like China. While nitrogen freezing effectively preserves the durian, it’s important to note that the texture, flavor, and aroma may differ slightly from fresh durian.


Ripe Durian

Durian fall from tree

When a durian reaches ripeness and naturally falls to the ground, its shelf life becomes subject to various environmental factors including temperature, humidity, and promptness of harvest. Generally, an unopened ripe durian can maintain its freshness for about 1-2 days when kept at room temperature (approximately 25°C). However, this duration may shorten in warmer climates or extend in cooler environments. To prolong its freshness, tightly wrapping the ripe durian in plastic wrap or aluminum foil is recommended. Placing it in a cool, well-ventilated area aids in slowing down the ripening process, thus preventing spoilage for an additional one day or two.


Refrigeration and Freezing

While refrigeration is a common storage method for many fruits, it’s not ideal for durian. The strong odor of even unopened durian can permeate and taint other foods in your refrigerator. Additionally, the cold temperatures (around 3-5°C) can dull the flavor and aroma of durian, affecting its creamy texture.

If you’re determined to try freezing durian at home, be aware of the potential drawbacks. The texture, flavor, and aroma will likely be compromised. Here’s how to attempt home freezing (but remember, fresh is best!):

  • Open the durian and remove the flesh.
  • Place the flesh in a high-quality, airtight container designed for freezer use.
  • For additional protection, double wrap the durian flesh with plastic wrap before placing it in the container.
  • Freeze the durian as quickly as possible to minimize ice crystal formation.
  • When ready to consume, thaw the durian slowly in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.Freeze durian with air tight container


Signs of durian spoilage

Before indulging in your durian, be sure to check for signs of spoilage:

Appearance: Look for any mold growth or unusual discoloration on the durian’s husk. Mold is a clear indicator that the durian has gone bad.

Odor: A strong, unpleasant odor emanating from the durian can be a sign of spoilage. While durian has a naturally potent aroma, a foul or fermented smell suggests it’s past its prime.

Texture: If the durian feels overly soft or mushy when gently pressed, it may have started to spoil. Conversely, an unusually hard durian or one with developed soft spots could also indicate spoilage.

Leaks: Any liquid seeping out from the durian or visible leaks in the husk can be a sign of spoilage.



While unopened durian can last for several days to a week or longer under optimal conditions, it’s essential to monitor freshness and follow proper storage practices to ensure food safety and quality. Consume durians promptly after purchase or harvest for the best flavor and texture.

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