Do Molasses Go Bad?

Do Molasses Go Bad

Finding an old bottle of molasses calls for a celebration as it allows you to sweeten your dishes without any sugar. But that happiness might be short-lived after glancing at its expiration date. Since molasses has a best-by date, you cannot expect it to last forever.

While it does take time to lose quality, you can expect it to last for a good couple of years. But this is only possible in the presence of proper storage techniques.

Let’s understand the nature of molasses syrup and use it for as long as possible. Let’s dive in!


What is Molasses?


Molasses is a sweet and dark syrup byproduct. It is manufactured during the extraction of sweets from sugarcane and sugar beets. It is used mostly in grilling, brewing beer and rum, and baking.

Furthermore, you can confidently add it to sauces and marinades. Also, you can even use cocktails, roasted veggies, and to sweeten coffee.

How Long Does it Last?

Practically, you can store molasses for quite a long time without any spoilage or bad effects. Here, the thing to understand is that it can only sustain for a long-lasting period when stored in an appropriate and required manner.

I have read many documentaries and write-ups, but I have never come across any news of food poisoning due to molasses ever. So, if they are fairly safe from the risk of eating even a year-old molasses syrup.

Additionally, you must have noticed a Best By date on most of the bottles. It is approximately the duration, the product will retain its best quality. Since it is nothing like an expiry date so you can conveniently use it beyond that.

However, you should be aware of the fact that consuming molasses beyond the best by date may deteriorate in terms of taste, color, smell, etc.

If you accidentally bought a molasses bottle without the date on the label, check if it is sealed. A sealed and even unopened container can be used best for 2 years. Here, it will retain its quality if you keep it in the dark place in your pantry or store it properly in your refrigerator.

While in the case of an opened bottle of molasses, if you carefully store it and keep the bottle tightly sealed, it may last at least a year or even more.

How long does Unopened or Sealed Molasses Syrup last? 

You can conveniently store it in your pantry Best By 2 years and even more.

How long does Opened Molasses Syrup last? 

You can conveniently store it in your pantry Best By 1 year and even more. It is better to close it tightly to increase its life.

After storing it cautiously, molasses still go bad because of its quite hygroscopic properties. In hygroscopic nature, the product takes and stores moisture from the air. This moisture in the molasses accelerates the growth of bacteria if any day you don’t store it properly.

How to Tell if Molasses Has Gone Bad?

The following are some of the spoilage signs that one must look out for to segregate a good bottle of molasses from a bad one:

1. Sour Smell 

Molasses has a sharp, bittersweet smell that can be described as earthy and pleasant. However, expired molasses will give out a sour smell, something that will not sit well with anybody. Consider this as one of the first signs of expired molasses.

It is best to discard such molasses.

2. Racid Taste 

Generally, molasses has a smoky flavor, with warm and sweet notes. The taste also depends on the type of molasses. For example, dark and medium molasses has a robust flavor while lighter ones have a mild flavor. Lastly, blackstrap molasses is sweet with hints of bitterness. For reference, a good bottle of molasses is sweeter than sorghum syrup.

But a bad bottle of molasses will have a rancid taste. It is best to toss out such molasses as it will only ruin the taste of your dishes.

3. Off-color 

If your bottle of molasses tastes and smells okay, it is time to carefully examine the color.

Generally, molasses has a dark brown sugar color. People also describe it as having a gingerbread undertone.

However, a bad bottle of molasses has a perceptible slick on the surface that appears fuzzy. If you notice a discolored patch, even if it is a tiny spot, it is best to throw the entire bottle out.

4. Presence of Mold 

Molasses can be subjected to mold if it is stored inadequately. If you notice a layer of mold on the bottle or on the surface, you just throw it out immediately. Such molasses has the potential to make you sick.

Can you eat Expired Molasses? Can you get sick by eating Expired Molasses? 

It must be noted that consuming expired molasses will not make you sick unless you notice any extreme signs of spoilage.

For example, an expired bottle of molasses that has just passed its best-by date can be added to recipes.

But the bottle must be discarded if you notice any signs like mold, rancid smell, off smell, or color. Consuming such molasses can make one feel nauseated and even sick.

How To Store Molasses to Extend Its Shelf Life?

How To Store Molasses to Extend Its Shelf Life

The storage procedure for almost all the sweeteners is more or less the same. Molasses can accompany you for a longer time if you take care of the storage tips.

The first thing to keep in mind when storing syrups like honey, maple, molasses, etc., is to keep them in a dry, dark, and cool place. The common variety of molasses is light molasses, dark molasses, and blackstrap molasses.

If you regularly use molasses in your recipes, you can keep it in your kitchen pantry. The tip here is to choose a place where there is no temperature fluctuation, and it will enhance its shelf-life.

Let’s explore some of the peculiar properties of molasses. The consistency of molasses syrup is similar to honey which is dense and sometimes thick.

If you are planning to refrigerate it, because of the cold temperature, it may thicken your molasses syrup. The solution to lessen its density is you can take it out from the refrigerator and let it stay till it reaches room temperature.

Still, if you find it dense, you can heat the bottle or heat only the portion you want to eat or use. This practice will certainly make it viscous by minimizing its thickness. Lastly, you will get your sweetener as much fluid as you want.

If you bought a new bottle or even if you are using an older one, remember to store it in an airtight container and close it tightly every time you use it. However, there is no certain rule that you should refrigerate the molasses.

Nevertheless, you must be seeking to increase its shelf life. Refrigerating the molasses will help you in retaining its quality.

Can you Freeze Molasses? 

While the aforementioned storage techniques can work, one can also resort to freezing to store molasses for a long period.

The process of freezing molasses is not pretty straightforward. This is because molasses cannot possibly freeze solid in home freezers due to the sugars in the molasses. They act as antifreeze and lower the overall freezing point. The moisture will not freeze, due to which sugar crystals precipitate out.

But if you want to freeze it, you must transfer it to a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. Do not fill it entirely and leave some space towards the top. Write the date on which you are storing it and place it in the freezer.

How to Thaw Molasses? 

Freezing and thawing molasses regularly will most likely cause problems with the quality and consistency.

This is why it is more advisable to freeze the molasses in smaller proportions.

The best way to thaw it is by heating it in a warm-water bath. Heat it till you notice the crystals mixing with the liquid. If not, you can also try placing the frozen molasses on the kitchen counter for a few hours before using it.

Which Alternatives can be Used if Molasses Goes Bad?

In case your bottle of molasses goes bad, or you run out of it at the very last moment, you can try using the following substitutes:

  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Golden Syrup
  • Brown Sugar
  • Dark Corn Syrup


How can you tell if molasses has gone bad?

The initial signs of spoilage include rancid smell, irregular taste, and mold patches. If you notice any such signs, it is best to toss the molasses out.

What does molasses do in baking?

Molasses can help add a factor of sweetness to baking. It turns out to be beneficial for people who are willing to add some sweetness without adding sugar.

Is expired molasses OK to use?

You can use expired molasses as far as the bottle is not showing any drastic spoilage signs like mold or rancid taste.


Through this write-up, you will get brief yet well-explained information about the behavior of molasses in different circumstances. The simple trick is if you don’t see anything wrong with the liquid and the fragrance is still sweet, don’t be afraid to taste it.

However, if it doesn’t taste like it was before, it is better to open your dustbin to welcome the molasses. I hope this piece of information must have cleared your queries. Thank me later!

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