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How to Tell if a Kiwifruit is Ripe

Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) has a plump shape and green, juicy flesh. To determine the ripeness of a kiwifruit, check its surface for a brown hue and plump shape. Then you should feel and smell it to ensure that it is soft and smells pleasant and fruity. If all the indicators are correct, you have a ripe Kiwi on your hands. Here is how to tell if a kiwifruit is ripe to eat.

Examine the Surface

The first thing to check for ripeness is the fruit’s skin.

A ripe kiwifruit will have brown skin, including the hairy surface.

If you can detect green behind the hairy surface, the fruit is not yet ripe. This should not be the only way to determine if a Kiwi is ripe.

It is the first stage in determining whether the fruit is ripe. A ripe Kiwi is plump and round, with a full and circular appearance. However, if the surface appears solid rather than soft, the kiwi is under-ripe (1).

When a kiwi is overripe, its surface becomes wrinkled and rough. In addition, smell the kiwifruit for its sweet, fruity scent.

A ripened kiwi has a slightly delicate smell, but an unripe kiwi has no smell at all (1).

When determining whether a kiwi is ripe, check the surface for damage. An overripe kiwifruit that is damaged show unsightly mark or blemishes on the surface.

Squeeze the Fruit Gently

Giving kiwifruit a gentle squeeze is arguably the most efficient way to test the ripeness. If the fruit yields just a little, but not too much, it is ready to eat.

If you press the fruit and it is really hard, it is not ripe. When you lightly squeeze a kiwi and it is very squishy, the fruit is overripe, probably spoiled.

If you aren’t sure the Kiwi is ripe, cut it open and inspect the flesh. The seeds of a ripe Kiwi will be black, and the flesh will be bright green.

However, if the seeds are black and the flesh is bright yellow, it is a golden kiwi, which is another variety (2).

If your Kiwi isn’t ripe, the seeds will be green or yellow, and the flesh won’t be as vibrant. The only way to tell if a kiwi is ripe is to taste it.

Remove the thin skin and slice the fruit. The flesh should be soft, with a sweet flavor. A kiwi that is not fully ripe will be hard with a sour taste.

Allow the Kiwi to Ripen

The first step is to take your unripe fruit out of the fridge. You can store unripe kiwis in your fridge for up to a month, but you’ll need to move them when you want them to ripen (3).

An unripe Kiwi will be ready to eat in three to five days if kept at room temperature. Check the Kiwi for ripeness daily. When you think it’s ripe, eat it immediately.

If you need your kiwi to ripen quickly, place it in a paper or plastic bag with a banana. Storing bananas and kiwis together will speed up the ripening process by producing a particular amount of ethylene gas (4).

You should check your stored kiwifruit regularly to prevent them from going bad.


The plump kiwi is a nutritious and delicious fruit.

Check the surface of a Kiwi for a brown coloration and appearance to assess its ripeness.

Feel and smell the fruit to verify it is soft and has a good, pleasant aroma.

Kiwis can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Refrigerating ripe kiwis will keep them from rotting, but unripe kiwis do not need to be refrigerated.

Naeem Durrani BSc
I am a retired pharmacist, nutritionist, and food system expert. My interests include medical research and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices that empower people to transform their lives.


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