I've had some shredded zucchini in my refrigerator in a plastic container for about a week or two is it okay to use for baking bread or cake if it smells a little sour or maybe like vinegar

2 Answers 2


Fresh zucchini has a fairly neutral or sometimes "greenish" smell. An acidic or vinager-like smell is an indication of some kind of fermentation that has set in.

We can't say what exactly has started to grow (there is lacto-fermentation, which is typically induced on purpose, but also a good chance that your zucchini simply started to decay), but even if it were benign, the sour taste would remain present and likely prominent in your cake, so don't use the zucchini.

Always remember: "If in doubt, throw it out!"


Many vegetables that are cut and stored (sold) in plastic always get this acidic smell after approx. 2 days.

Initially that is not a health issue, when sold in supermarkets you see that the 'sell by' date is not yet reached when this happens. It is perfectly fine to use them, but you may taste the acidity in your end product. When I buy e.g. cut mixed vegetables to put in tomato (pasta) sauce or vegetable soup, I only buy very fresh because I can taste the acidity in the sauce/soup.

If you leave them longer the acidity will get stronger and actually taste bad, but you will also see the vegetables beginning to wilt and brown - which of course is when you no longer use them.

So, based on this comparison (and the fact that stores will avoid taking risks with our health) I would say: use your zucchini as long as your taste agrees (and as Stephie suggest in another answer: that may not be the case in bread and cake).

A remedy is to not store your cut vegetables in plastic (something supermarkets cannot avoid), but try wrapping them in ordinary (news)paper to serve as a moisture buffer, then slice off any parts that may have dried out.

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