Does coconut oil go bad? Yes, it can go bad even though it has a long shelf life. It is also becoming popular these days worldwide as cooking oil or cosmetic in tropical countries, the US, and Europe. Mostly coconut oil is like other vegetable oils, but there are several differences.
Please don’t assume that coconut oil cannot go bad because it has a long shelf life. And, when it goes bad, you will know when it has gone rancid. The translucent turn pales yellow, and get chunky similar to curdled milk.
The smell is extraordinary, and you will notice green or brown dots growing at the top of the oil. If you find that your coconut oil has a strange smell and mold, you have to toss it! Coconut oil is expensive. So why not store it properly to extend the shelf life?
Does Coconut Oil go bad?
Coconut oil has a long shelf life of about two years. So, if you don’t recall when you purchased your jar of coconut oil, look for “Best By” on the label. You are lucky because most jars with coconut oil are labeled in America, so you know when it’s time for a replacement.
So, if coconut oil has such a long shelf life, why does it go bad? You may wonder. The truth is, there is no best way to store coconut oil. You only need to take a few cautious steps to keep it fresh all through.
First, keep it in an airtight container, and second keep it at room temperature. The purpose of the airtight container is that oxygen breaks down coconut oil faster than heat, then turns sour.
Heat is not bad for coconut oil. If you live in the tropics and your coconut oil turns to liquid, that is not to say it has gone bad. The oil has a low melting point (76°F), meaning it may have liquidity on your shelf during summer.
The fridge might now be in your mind because it is always the answer to keeping anything fresh. However, in this case, it may be a disadvantage since the oil will be rock solid making it hard to use.
Coconut oil Storage
Extend the shelf life of coconut oil by storing it correctly. Here are a few tips to help with storage.
Please don’t put the oil under direct sunlight because exposure to air, light, or heat can shorten its shelf life.
- Please keep it in your pantry away from the stove in an airtight container.
- It can be in solid or liquid form; make sure the lid is tightly sealed after use.
- If you decide to freeze it, use freezer-safe containers.
- A glass or plastic container is ideal for storage. However, glass is preferred over plastic because it does not bleach. Without any other choice but to use a plastic one, make sure it is food-safe and BPA-free to avoid harmful compounds from being transferred from plastic to the oil.
- Bulk buying saves you money, but you have to melt it and store it as it is. Use a large pot to melt the oil then portion it into smaller quarts.
- Always use clean utensils for scooping each time and never use your fingers to avoid contamination, leading to mold formation.
- Never double-dip at any time.
- If your coconut oil is for multiple uses like health and cosmetic, separate the storage containers and label them to avoid cross-contamination.
Signs of Bad Coconut Oil
If your oil has gone bad, the smell, color, and taste will tell you.
- Yellow Color: Coconut oil is clear when liquid and milky white when solid. If yours is yellow, then it has gone bad.
- Chunky: Coconut oil is smooth and consistent. When it starts to get chunky, or has stuff loathing, then it is spoilt.
- Black Oil Spots: Patches in your oil or small dark dots on the container signify developing mold. It is challenging to know the extent of contamination, so toss it!
- Strong Bitter or Sour Smell: Natural virgin coconut oil has a sweet coconut scent, while refined oils have a neutral smell. If your oil smells sour or bitter, sorry it has gone bad.
- Sour Taste: Refined coconut oil is neutral in flavor, while virgin oil retains the natural coconut flavor. Rancid coconut oil has a sour taste.
Hopefully, the question “Does coconut oil go bad?” is now answered. Coconut oil is full of nutrients, whether ingested or applied to the body. When expired food is eaten, there are health risks that come with it. As for coconut oil, there are no defined reactions or outcomes if it is consumed.
Keep your coconut oil sealed in a tight container and observe hygiene to avoid contamination, and your oil will last long as you expect.