Can your bottle of spice go bad?

  • 10 May 2019

Have you ever wondered if your collection of spices sitting on the kitchen counter or pantry is able to go bad? Is an expiration date necessary or can we ignore the date printed on the bottles?

Although they might not spoil as quickly as other perishable food such as meat, vegetables or dairy, their life span does have a limit. They can go rancid which disturbs the herb's molecular composition - making them devoid of essential nutrition, affecting the flavour.

If the spices aren't used often, it is advisable to throw them away after a year, especially if they come in ground form. It is advisable to buy whole spices instead of the ground ones. This will prevent any oxidation from taking place. Some grounded spices also contain preservatives to keep them staying fresh longer.

A good test to know if the spices are still fit for consumption would be the sniff test. If they smell "off" or if you notice the colour has faded, that would be a good indication that they need to be thrown out.

You can prolong the shelf life by storing them in airtight containers. Never put them in the fridge. The humidity in the fridge will affect the spices and they might also absorb the odour in the fridge, wrecking their delightful taste.

Photo source: NDTV Food

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