Canola oil, with its light flavor, soothing aroma, and smooth texture, is one of the most preferred options for grilling, stir-frying, sauteing, and baking. However, people avoid using it daily due to its high prices. This might leave you with unfinished and opened bottles of canola oil.
But how long can such bottles of canola oil last? Unopened bottles of canola oil last for 2 years while the opened ones only last for 1 year. However, you can retain its quality for an extended period with the correct storage techniques.
If you find that intriguing, we have more in store for you about canola oil. Read on and find out.
How long does canola oil last?
Generally, canola oil can quickly spoil if stored for a long time. However, it can last up to a year or more than two years if you keep the oil properly.
Otherwise, it can be stale before one year too.
The oil is likely to get stale if you keep the bottle in air, heat, or any other external determinants due to the process of oxidation (Oil oxidation is a chain of unfavorable chemical reactions, including oxygen, which damages an oil’s quality).
The production of a foul taste and smell, changes in color, and solubility are some of the most apparent modifications that occur during the oxidation process.
Although the best before date printed on the bottle is available, it is just a rough estimated idea of the date.
The given date is not precise information. It means oil will be at its best quality if you use it in the given tenure. However, sometimes oil can get spoiled even before the mentioned date and vice versa.
Therefore, you should figure out how to tell whether your canola oil is bad.
So, let’s learn that in the upcoming section.
How can you tell if canola oil is bad?
If you are not sure whether canola oil is okay or not, then you can sniff it.
1. The smell of oil can determine its appalling condition.
Once you smell the canola oil, and if it gives you the feel of a paint bottle or a packet of detergent, then it’s a dead giveaway that it’s rotten.
Canola oil has a neutral smell; that’s why it is used in all dishes, and if it has a harsh odor, it means it is stale already.
2. Look for the physical condition of the oil.
Typically when you buy a bottle of canola oil, you will see a pale golden and clear container. So, if the color of the oil is dark, you must not use the oil.
However, if you notice cloudiness in the oil, it is an exception because when you place a bottle of oil in the fridge, it is likely to form crystal-like clouds.
You can leave it outside until it comes to room temperature.
Other than that, if you see any microbe growing on the bottle or nearby the cap area, then you must throw it away as molds and microbes can grow inside the oil too.
Although molds are very rare, anything is possible if you don’t keep the cap clean and hygienic.
3. Taste the oil
Take a drop of oil and place it on your tongue. The sourness and pungent flavor are a sign of rancidity. If it tastes off, that means it is not okay to use.
Make sure just to take a few drops of oil; otherwise, it can cause harm to your body.
What happens if you eat expired canola oil?
There is no expiry date for canola oil; it just has the best before date. The oil starts degrading at a very slow pace when you open the bottle’s seal.
When you use oil on day one and when you use it on another day, there will be a slight difference in the oil that you won’t detect easily.
As the molecules of oxygen come in contact with oil, the process of oxidation starts taking place at an extremely slow pace.
The best before the date just helps you know that the oil will be good in quality within time. After that, if you consume it, it won’t be in its best state.
If you use spoiled oil for a short duration, it won’t harm you, but it can make you fall ill in case of long-term consumption. It may lead to chronic illness or cancer.
It is because the free radicals that develop during the oxidation process pose long-term harm.
So, if your canola is past its prime, start by determining how far away it is from its expiration date.
It’s probably okay if it’s only for a month or two. If it’s more than that, consider whether you’re okay with it before proceeding.
For the best, once the seal is open, make sure to use it within six months.
Other than that, if you notice anything off in the oil which is not mentioned in this article, believe your instinct and then only use it.
What are the best ways to store canola oil?
Make sure to store your bottle of canola oil in a cool, dark place, probably in a cabinet where there is no fluctuation in the room temperature.
Keeping the bottle in a cool and shaded area is vital because it is less likely to go through a chemical reaction when it is not in contact with heat or air, so the oil will last longer.
Therefore, do not place an oil bottle near the gas stove, a window, or anywhere there is a change in temperature.
Once you unseal the bottle, you must check it before using it and close the bottle after every use tightly. Otherwise, it can go rancid in less time.
You can use the refrigerator. Refrigerating the oil will delay the onset of rancidity; however, it will not increase the shelf life beyond a year.
It’s not a good idea to freeze canola oil because it won’t keep for more than a year. Furthermore, freezing the oil changes its structure, causing it to grow rancid far more rapidly after it defrosts.
While shopping, look for canola oil in a dark glass bottle or a canister. Each of these storage solutions minimizes light exposure significantly.
If your canola oil bottle is made of clear glass or plastic, keep it out of direct sunlight and heat.
Alternatives for Canola Oil if it Goes Bad
If you are in dire need of canola oil for preparing a feast, but the packet in your pantry has gone bad, you can try the following alternatives:
- Vegetable oil
- Olive oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
After the expiration date, how long may canola oil be used?
Generally, a bottle of canola oil will last up to 12 to 24 months, and after that, it can still be used for at least a couple of months.
Once you unpack the seal, it can last for 6 to 12 months, but it will also vary depending on how you use the oil and how old the oil is.
Is it possible to become sick from rancid canola oil?
Typically, it is not that dangerous if you consume rancid canola oil, but the new molecules produced during the process of oxidation can cause stomach problems.
The development of Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes and the depletion of key vitamins such as E and B are also common if you eat rancid oil.
It is because oxidation eliminates healthy fats and some vitamin content. Therefore, rancid foods become less nutritious.
What does fresh canola oil smell like?
A fresh bottle of canola oil will have no smell. It has a neutral smell. If the bottle is old, it will smell sour and musty.
You may feel the smell is pungent. To increase the life expectancy, you can keep it tightly sealed in a cool place.
Well, that’s a wrap!
If you store canola oil in a cool place or tightly close the cap after use, then the shelf life of the canola bottle will last up to 1 to 2 years.
The printed date of the package will just ensure the quality of the oil is okay to use in that tenure.
However, you can consume it after that for only one or two months. After that, it won’t be in its best condition.
If you enjoy this article, share it with other friends, and if you want to add some tips, please share in the comment section below.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.