How can I package durian flesh so that its fragrance / smell cannot be detected?

I tried to package some durian flesh using several layers of ziplocs followed by several layers of plastic bags but it didn't prevent the fragrance from escaping the package.

  • 2
    If you work it out, and the durian's still as tasty, you can make a mint. Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 12:17
  • 2
    there is a reason why it is forbidden in flights...
    – Luciano
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 15:02
  • Are you in a position you can freeze and keep it frozen which is the approach used in many markets?
    – dlb
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 18:41
  • @dlb: I could freeze. Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 19:20

6 Answers 6


I would recon you´d need a glass or metal container, as aroma-molecules can diffuse though plastic.

This is basically the same Problem users of certain "herbs" have, so naturally there is a lot of information available if you look at the right places

  • Interesting shop, but can it really contain Durian smell? Plus they look quite small, durian is a large fruit
    – Luciano
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 15:05
  • 2
    I cant tell you for sure. The worst smelling thing I ever encountered was Surströmming. And there you could smell nothing until the can was opened, so metal seems to be pretty effective. Its all about the seal. Did try neither the containers nor Durian myself though, as I personally don´t handle any smelly substances.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 15:18

Maybe I am hurting unstated assumptions behind the question, but: you could try making canned durian.

Smell means that volatile substances are being emitted from the fruit into the air, and land on your airways' mucosa. Canning jars for home use underpressurized air to seal. This means that they are not just sealed the way plastic bags are, there are no molecules travelling from the jar to the outside at all - if there was any hole for molecules to go through, they would go into the other direction, from the pressurized atmosphere to the underpressurized jar. So, no air exchange. And the glass is impermeable even for small molecules, unlike the plastic of sealing bags and the like, which may let some air through.

The solution still has to be tested for real-life suitability. One concern is that the underpressure is achieved by having the hot jars release some of their contents into the canner - mostly air from the headspace, but small leaks are expected to happen from a few of the jars out of a batch. If the jars spend several minutes in a durian-scented water bath, it may be that they continue to reek for a long time after being taken out. So you would have to test - preferably with extra headspace. Also, since there seem to be no official recipes published on home canning durian, you'll need to measure your own pH and adjust if needed.


If freezing is an option, that is probably the direction I would suggest. Most markets I have seen it in sell it that way as a matter of fact. I would still wrapping and maybe a sealed container as I do not believe freezing will completely eliminate the smell especially if it is not they whole fruit. The faster you can freeze will reduce how much smell may spread until it is frozen. I would tend to assume that colder is better as well. I would consider if you have it available to use dry ice to initially freeze it to prevent having other items or your freezer capturing the smell.

I worked with someone who especially liked it, and it is a very interesting fruit. We had to finally ban it from the office though as the smell earns its reputation.


You could use a heat sealing machine with heavy duty vaccuum bags.


This is a bizarre answer and may not be practical, but if you seal it well in plastic bags and submerge the bag under water it might help. This, of course, is the principle behind toilets ;)


Some idea from https://stinkyspikes.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/packing-durians-for-flight-travel/:

I’ve heard of a durian seller in Goh Tong Jaya (Genting Highlands) who sells his durians in triple sealed vacuum plastic boxes and bags for clients who want to pick them up and take them straight onto a plane. He’s got a very good crowd of clients who visit the casinos and spend their money on durians, then head straight for the airport and bring them back to their home country (usually HK or Indonesia). I’ve heard that this does not present any real issues on check-in because the seal is tight and not a whiff escapes.

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