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When I opened my package of frozen mango pieces for my cake, I saw that the mango pieces were absolutely covered in sheets of ice across both sides of the package, and the mango themselves looked brown instead of the yellow-orange I was expecting.

I decided to play it safe and not use them for the cake, substituting in some frozen mixed berries instead, but that leaves me with one big question: can mangos spoil when left in the freezer too long? The best before date on them was several years ago, but they've been stored in the freezer in an airtight plastic bag (never opened). Would this just be freezer burn? I don't think that they could have fermented or rotted while at frozen temperatures, right? Could there be some other spoilage reaction (oxidation with the air in the bag)?

If they were just freezerburned, they'd still be safe to eat, right?

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  • Are you sure they were properly cooled on the way from the store to the freezer?
    – Johannes_B
    Jan 22 at 9:11

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This sounds like freezer burn to me. Freezer burn is dehydration that is often the result of less than optimal packaging. This is not a safety issue, but it can certainly impact flavor and texture. Oxidation is usually not a safety issue, rather a quality issue as well. In addition, as you probably know, "best by" dates are quality indicators, rather than safety indicators. If you can guarantee that they remained frozen (there were no power interruptions...they never thawed...etc.). Then they are probably not a safety risk. Having said that, frozen mango is fairly inexpensive, and yours sound less than appetizing. If it were me, they would go into the compost. I think your substitution was the right move.

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