Brown Spots in Eggplants – What Are the Causes

Did you ever pick a firm, shiny eggplantfrom your garden and find brown spots inside? Whether or not it’s safe to eat the eggplant depends on the cause of the discoloration. There are several reasons why you might find brown spots in eggplants.


Why Are There Brown Spots in Eggplants?

These are the most common reasons why you might see brown spots in your eggplants:

  • Natural discoloration
  • Oxidation
  • Bruises
  • Overripe
  • Internal Rot

Safe to Eat

If the brown spots in eggplants happen for the following reasons, they’re safe to eat:

Natural Discoloration

Some brown spots in eggplants are natural. This occurs around the eggplant seeds , where the flesh will be tan or brown. If this is the case, you can safely eat the eggplant.


Oxidation is another cause of brown spots. This happens when air gets in the eggplant causing the flesh to turn brown, similar to what happens to an apple after you cut it. Air can reach the eggplant flesh from a puncture or soft spot on the skin. It’s fine to eat the eggplant, if this is the case.


It’s also safe to eat an eggplant with bruises, even though the brown spots don’t look very appealing.


Eating overripe eggplants is safe, but they usually have a bitter flavor. The bitterness is not as noticeable if you use overripe eggplants for sauces.

Unsafe to Eat

These two reasons for brown spots in eggplants make them unsafe to eat:

Internal Rot

When the internal flesh of your eggplants rots, it’s toxic to eat. Rot occurs from damaged skin that allows bacteria, mold, fungus and air to reach the inside of the eggplants. Even if you only see a few brown spots, along with mold or fungus, discard the whole eggplant.

Eggplants don’t stay fresh very long after picking, so you should use them as soon as possible. They also don’t freeze or can well, so you can’t preserve them . It’s important to determine whether the brown spots are natural, or if rot or mold are the causes before you use eggplant in your favorite recipe.