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How to Tell if a Kiwi Fruit is Ripe

Marilyn is a writer & beginner musician who enjoys cooking, & baking. She likes to eat fresh fruit in/on salad, or with greek yogurt.

Fresh Kiwi is delicious as a midday snack to eat on salads, or with yogurt!

Fresh Kiwi is delicious as a midday snack to eat on salads, or with yogurt!

To eat! Or not to eat?

Kiwi is a delicious and fresh fruit that many enjoy eating. Maybe you wish to buy a fruit or 2 for yourself to enjoy with some yogurt, or on a delightful salad!

Only, how are you supposed to tell if a Kiwi Fruit is ripe or not? That is the real question here.

Well, read on to learn some valuable information on Kiwi Fruits and how to tell if they are ripe or safe to eat!

Additionally, to assist you in your Kiwi-Eating-Adventures, you can also learn How to Peel a Kiwi Fruit

When eaten ripe, Kiwi Fruit is tangy-and-tart, a pleasing combination.

When eaten ripe, Kiwi Fruit is tangy-and-tart, a pleasing combination.

How to tell if a Kiwi Fruit is ripe

Here are several different ways to tell if a Kiwi Fruit is ripe:

  • A ripe Kiwi Fruit's Skin is brown and fuzzy
  • It shouldn't have bruises, or dark spots, or mold.
  • The skin should be tight, and not shriveled.

Now hold the Kiwi Fruit in your hand and apply light pressure, the fruit should give a little, but not too much. It should be a little soft, but not too soft. If it's more than just a little soft, then it is probably overripe, or rotten.

Smell the Kiwi Fruit: Is there a warm, citrus-y smell coming from it, or is there a strange-sweet-smell coming from it? If there is a citrus-y-fruity-smell coming from the fruit, then it is most likely ripe, and good to eat. If there is a strange-sweet-smell coming from the fruit, then it is most likely overripe or rotten.


It might be easier for you to just simply buy some green (unripe) Kiwi Fruit, and then wait for it to ripen.

Rotting Kiwi

Rotting Kiwi

How to spot a rotten Kiwi Fruit

Here are several different way to tell if a Kiwi Fruit is rotting:

  • There is mold on the fruit's skin
  • There is oozing juice coming from the fruit
  • The fruit is overly squishy (AKA you pick it up and it's really soft)
  • There are bad smells coming from the fruit (if your Kiwi has really really gone bad, sometimes you can smell even smell it!)
  • The skin is overly wrinkled along with the fruit being too mushy

Additionally, if you bought some Kiwi Fruit and you don't know if it's ripe or not- you can cut open the Kiwi and if it smells almost-alcoholic, DO NOT eat it. (More on this below.)

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Example of mold on Kiwi fruit.

Example of mold on Kiwi fruit.


If your Kiwi has gone really, really bad, it may have started to ferment. This can cause the Kiwi to give off a bad smell that smells almost-alcoholic. Do not eat any kind of Kiwi fruit if it smells anything like this.

This means that it has already started to ferment and it is not safe to eat.

Eating Kiwi that has started to ferment and go bad can cause your mouth to itch, and it will leave a bad taste on your tongue. It could also make you sick.

If you have any doubts, and don't trust your judgement on the fruit being safe to eat or not- do not eat it! It's always better to throw it away then to make yourself sick!

Warning sign

Warning sign


peachy from Home Sweet Home on May 28, 2018:

another way to test is press the kiwi. It hard, means a bit unripe, if soft to touch, ready to eat

Joyce Stedner from Oxford, Connecticut on April 19, 2018:

Hi Marilyn. I am new to this so hopefully I am writing in the right spot. I like your article. Its very informative. The only suggestion I can offer is it might be too short. I don't know how many words it has but I've seen that over 700 or 800 do best. Maybe you can add a little bit more if its not there.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 18, 2018:

Sometimes I struggle to find a kiwi fruit which is just right. They tend often to either be under-ripe or overripe. This is a helpful guide to spotting a bad one.

Sumalya Das on April 16, 2018:

It is a very good suggestion about Kiwi when to be eaten and when not. Thankyou

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