Most people who consume this vegetable, especially for the very first time do ponder upon the inside of eggplant. Normally, eggplants have a white or somewhat creamy flesh. But, when you cut them, you might see some brown spots in form of dots, or even entirely around its circumference (that’s if you cut them longitudinally).
The inside of an eggplant or cross-section of the fruit has a white flesh with soft small seeds that are barely visible. Some eggplants can however have their center filled with seeds. This is usually due to improper harvesting. If you harvest your eggplants on the wrong time, you will probably get them filled with seeds – which many people don’t like. You should only harvest them when they are ripe. Ripe eggplants have skin that looks glossy and tender.
Now, since a fresh eggplant has a white flesh, what brings about the brown spots?
Of course, you have every right to worry about the discoloration in your fruits. I think it’s a sign that you are conscious of your health, and you don’t want to eat anything that can harm you. The brown spots in eggplants are caused by oxidation process. Once cut, the flesh of these wonderful vegetables will turn brown very fast, immediately it comes into contact with air.
Not only eggplants, most fruits do experience the process of oxidation. This is the same process that makes your apples turn brown when exposed to air. Fruit oxidization occurs when oxygen from air comes into contact with phenolic compounds; a process that leads to the formation of brown spots.
Oxidization in fruits have been found to have some effects, as it can cause a reduction in the value of many minerals and vitamins. Health experts have warned that the longer a fruit is exposed to air and light, the less its vitamin content will be. So, keeping fruits protected from air and under only low temperature is essential in maintaining their nutritional profile.
So, can I eat eggplants that have their inside brown?
Normally, eggplants will have a small spots of dark brown colors around its seeds. If this is what you are seeing in your eggplants, then you can confidently consume them, as they are edible. But if the brown colored spots in your fruit are more than the whitish flesh, then you should discard it, because your eggplant might be spoiling.
Many people also use sharp knives to cut out the little brown spots in their own eggplants. You can also do this if the spots are minimal, rather than throwing away the whole fruit.
There is probably no way you can prevent these brownish or oxidized spots from forming. The only idea is to cut them only when you want to eat them. Avoid cutting them a long time before consumption. Also, there are some techniques you can use to slow down the formation of these brown spots. You can coat the eggplant flesh with lemon juice or vinegar. You can also soak them in ice cold-water.
Now that you know what the inside of eggplants look, you might want to take a look at some of the interesting articles I have written on these wonderful fruits (yes! they are botanically fruits, but used in culinary applications as vegetables):
- Are eggplants fruits or vegetables?
- Nutritional value and health benefits of eating eggplants
- Are eggplants fattening or good for weight loss?
- Are eggplants acidic? Can they cause acid relux?
- Do eggplants cause gas or flatulence?
- What to do with eggplants – simple cooking ideas!