Be it for drizzling over soups, stir-fries, and stews. Sesame oil is said to be a prioritized choice. Apart from its healthy nutritional profile, its nutty and earthy flavor makes adding it to all kinds of recipes easier.
However, just like any other type of oil, an expired bottle of sesame oil holds the potential to ruin the overall taste and aroma of the dish. But how can one know about its shelf life to avoid such circumstances? Can the shelf life of sesame oil be elongated?
If such questions are running through your mind, you have come to the right place as you have elaborated on the best storage techniques of sesame oil that can help you preserve it for an extended period.
How long does sesame oil last?
There is no precise data on the life of sesame oil, but still, we can help you figure out how to know it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandated best-by date on the package is a start, but it’s not particularly useful.
It is because of the quality of sesame seeds before it is used in the processing, the tenure it was stored after milling, the state of the storage like it was blended with oils or the period it was carried in the shipping, and the way you use at home all the parameters comes into the vital role when we speak about the shelf life of every single sesame oil.
Till the time you buy a bottle of sesame oil from your store, it is already months or years older and has already started losing its quality from its original state.
However, if the quality of the sesame oil is poor, it will be practically dead when it arrives. It will be okay to eat but won’t have the maximum flavor and fragrance. So, the money you have spent on it won’t be worth it.
As of now, keep all of these things inside. And, just think you have just got the new sesame oil from the mall, okay?
So, when you take off the seal and use it in your salad, make sure to finish it within six months of the time period.
At room temperature, opened sesame oil will last 6–8 months, while it will last two years in the refrigerator.
Also, an unopened bottle of sesame oil will last a year at room temperature and two years in the refrigerator if stored properly.
How can I know my sesame oil bottle Has Gone Bad?
There are many factors that can tell you your sesame oil has gone bad. In this section, we will explain all the factors very easily.
1. Always check for the color
If the color of the oil is darker than it used to be in general, then it is an indication of rancidity. Like when you place the bottle against the light and you see a deep amber color, it’s a red flag.
You can also compare the oil color with the image of the oil available online to confirm whether your sesame oil bottle is okay to use or not.
2. Take the feel of the bottle
When you hold the sesame bottle in your hand, it is a sign of rancidity if it feels sticky. A tacky film will form on the outside of a rotten oil container.
The logic behind this sticky film around the bottle is that sesame oil contains 82% unsaturated fatty acids. Because of the double bonds, the oil is easier to absorb and less prone to clog the circulatory system. It also increases the oil’s chemical reactivity.
It interacts slowly with leftover air in a closed bottle, eventually turning rotten. Because the oil is spread across the surface of a bottle, it is exposed to more air and oxidizes and polymerizes more quickly.
3. Smell the oil
A fresh bottle of sesame oil has a beautiful nutty odor. But when it starts degrading, the smell of the oil changes.
The smell of the oil will become crispy, soapy, and bitter. You can sniff and check the condition of the sesame oil. If you don’t find it nutty, please throw it right away.
4. Take a taste test
If you are unable to check rancidity by checking its color, by touching or smelling, it’s time to taste a quick taste test.
Dab your finger in the oil and put it on your tongue if you find it acrid or bitter, which means it is not good in use. Make sure you don’t take a lot of oil to check the taste of the oil.
Other than if you feel anything off about the sesame oil that is not included in this section, you must trust you’re instinctive and throw it.
Tip: If you don’t use sesame oil very often, try purchasing it in tiny quantities to avoid spoiling.
What if your sesame oil smells a little stale but still tastes good? Is it appropriate for you to use? Let’s know about this in the upcoming section.
What happens if you drink expired sesame oil?
If you consume stale sesame oil for a short time, it won’t harm you significantly. However, the new molecules that develop as a result of oxidation may cause intestinal problems.
A lot of people, including us, sometimes unknowingly consume rancid oil.
If you consume that for the long term, it can have a harmful impact on your health. Even “good” fats become “unhealthy” when they become rancid.
For the best of your health, avoid using stale sesame oil.
Do you want to increase sesame oil’s shelf life, so it doesn’t degrade over time? Then check the next section.
The best way to store sesame oil
There are many easy practices by which you can store your sesame oil for a long time. First, if you want to preserve the oil in the bottle you bought, ensure it’s tightly closed after each use.
Next, you must store the oil in a cool place, in a dark place like in a cabinet or pantry. This is because oxidation will not occur and will help the oil have its utmost quality.
If you want to store oils in another container, always choose green or blue bottles with tight lids to prevent them from deteriorating due to sunlight.
Warning: Please put the oil in a container not made of plastic, iron, or copper.
For longer shelf life of sesame oil, store it in the refrigerator. It may get foggy or thick, but you can place it outside to return to its normal state at room temperature before using it.
Do not put the oil where the temperature is not stable. Like you just avoid placing it near the gas stove, nearby the windows, or fridge unit.
It is because the change in the temperature will make the equality of the oil bad very soon.
If you store it properly and it hasn’t gone rancid, sesame oil can be utilized for a few months, even after its expiration date.
Refrigerated vs. Shelf Life- Should Sesame Oil be Refrigerated?
Plain sesame oil should not be refrigerated for too long as it can affect the quality and taste. But refrigeration can be considered an option for storing sesame oil for a long period. Moreover, toasted sesame oil must be refrigerated as it loses quality at a faster rate.
However, we’d advise you to keep the sesame oil bottle on the kitchen countertop or in the pantry if you use it every day. Additionally, an unopened bottle of sesame oil need not be refrigerated.
Alternatives for Sesame Oil if it has Gone Bad
In case you forgot to undertake the proper storage techniques, you can replace your expired sesame oil with the following substitutes:
- Olive oil
- Walnut oil
- Avocado oil
- Perilla oil
- Peanut oil
1. Is it necessary to keep sesame oil refrigerated?
If you want to increase the life expectancy of sesame oil, then place the bottle in the fridge. It is because it will help the oil not to degrade its quality.
2. Is it true that sesame oil solidifies?
If you keep the oil in the fridge, then it can solidify. However, that doesn’t mean the quality of the oil will degrade.
If you want to utilize the oil, let it out at room temperature until it returns to its natural condition.
3. Can sesame oil expire?
Sesame oil does not have an expiration date like cheese or any other dairy product, although its quality does deteriorate over time. As a result, there is no particular date or term after which the oil must be discarded.
The manufacturers give the best by date printed on the label. The best before date tells the quality of the oil will be at its best if you use it in that period; after that won’t be at its best level. Still, it can be used a few months after that.
Well, that’s a wrap!
You can use sesame oil for at least two years. However, the condition of using the oil also depends on how you use it.
After unsealing the bottle, if you tightly close the bottle, it will help to sustain its quality of life. If you keep it near the stove or window, it is prone to degrade easily.
We have also listed how to detect if the oil is rancid or not. If you wish to know, then read this article now. And, please share this with your friends and family too.
Gina P. Shudnow is the brain behind all our scientific research. She is a Registered Dietitian who has been in the field for over ten years. Her nutrition tips have helped several people overcome health issues in the past. She strives to make everybody healthier without compromising on their food diet.