Can Molasses Go Bad?
Molasses can go bad if not stored properly as heat and humidity are the main factors which spoil molasses before time. However, if stored properly, unopened molasses last for up to 2 to 4 years and even several weeks past its expiration date while opened molasses can go good for 6 to 8 months.
Sealed, unopened bottles of molasses last for 10 years in a pantry, maybe longer when kept refrigerated. There is absolutely no reason to store unopened bottles of molasses in a fridge, since that does nothing to extend their already-very-long shelf life.
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An unopened bottle of molasses, when kept cool, dark, should last for at least a year, up to two years. Unless stated, you can expect an unopened molasses to last several years if stored cool and dark. Opened bottles of molasses, however, should last for a year or longer when stored correctly and kept sealed tight after each use.
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With proper care, you can keep molasses much longer than its shelf life without real trouble. In some cases, molasses years past its use-by date will remain completely unchanged from the time it left the shop.
|Storage of molasses||Shelf life|
|Unopened bottle when kept in cool dark||Up to 2 years|
|Sealed bottle in a pantry||Up to 10 years|
|In refrigerator||1-4 years|
The best-by date is not the same thing as the expiration date, and molasses can and does stay fresh longer than the date stamped on the container, particularly if it has been kept unsealed, sealed correctly, and stored correctly. Remember, molasses, like many other baking products, typically has a best before date, rather than a use-by or expiration date. In case the label does not carry a date, you can confidently assume that a jar of sealed, unopened molasses is at least good for 2 years in your pantry, and likely longer if kept refrigerated.
As mentioned earlier, molasses can last for a long time beyond its best-by date if stored properly, and keeping it in the freezer will give it a similar shelf-life as keeping it at room temperature. Generally, this sweetener can last months or even years beyond the best by date, provided that it is stored correctly.
No extra preparation is necessary for you to store molasses in your refrigerator, just use the original package. Because the molasses will last virtually for ten years in your pantry, you do not have to freeze molasses to prolong the shelf life.
It stays safe when stored correctly, and if stored correctly, it will increase the shelf life by over 2 years. If molasses does not show any signs of spoilage, it can also last for as long as four years when stored correctly. After this time, the opened molasses bottle might not necessarily be spoiled per se, but its quality would have faded to such a degree that it would really be no longer worth keeping. Once the molasses has been opened, you are advised to store it about 6 months in order to extract maximum quality from it.
There is not really any need to store your molasses in a refrigerator once opened, but this should help to keep the quality longer. If you do decide to keep your molasses in a fridge, you probably will have to heat it up first before using.
Avoid keeping your molasses in a refrigerator or freezer, as this will impact its viscosity. If it is a blackstrap molasses, then you should not store it in the fridge, because that will make it more viscous, making it harder to pour.
Since molasses that is unsulphured can quickly ferment and turn rancid when opened, you need to store it in a cooler. Since refrigerated or frozen a molasses can be thick and difficult to pour, it is always worth keeping in mind to plan several hours in advance should you need it.
If you do need to use that molasses that is been sitting in your refrigerator, you can simply take it out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit there for a couple hours, or warm up your entire jar or bottle in a hot water bath. Given that molasses can keep for an extremely long time, you will want to let it stand on its own and instead use the valuable freezer space for more perishable items. Considering the worst that will happen to your molasses most of the time is that it will lose flavor at some point, we would suggest using it at least two years after its expiration date.
We do not recommend using a bottle that old, but use a bottle from 10 years ago just to give you an idea how long molasses will last, and how difficult it is to ruin your molasses. If you have had your bottle of molasses longer than two years beyond its best-by date, it is also wise to toss it and get a new bottle. It is good practice to put your purchased date and open date on the packaging of your molasses, this way you will know exactly how old the bottle is. In case, you are not really sure what the molasses is supposed to smell and taste like, well, you can always pick up a fresh bottle and have it snorted a bit and tried it out.
Overall, any change in appearance, smell, and taste is a sure sign that spoiled molasses has gone bad, and you will want to throw it out. While there are no documented cases of molasses poisoning, and you likely will not be sick from spoiled molasses, it is best to throw it out if you are unsure, just to be safe. While molasses may be well past its use-by-date, it is always safer to throw it out if you notice any signs of mold, changes in color, or odor.
Molasses can last years when stored correctly, but after three years or so, it does not taste all that great. To make sure that your molasses lasts as long as possible, it is important that you store it correctly and learn the signs your molasses has gone bad. That is, if the conditions of storage are ideal, there is no reason molasses cannot keep a very, very long time.
Plus, molasses has such a long shelf-life that it stays fine at room temperature for quite some time, so you do not really have to store the thing by freezing it. In other words, molasses can remain safe for you to consume and remain good quality for months past the date on the label. Unsulfured molasses is best used within six months after purchase, and kept refrigerated after opening, not kept in a cabinet as with other varieties.
What happens if you eat expired molasses?
It is important to know that molasses similar to other baking products, usually has a best before date and expiration date or not a use-by date. Because of this difference, you may safely consume molasses for your flavoring requirements after the best-before date has lapsed.
How can you tell if molasses is bad?
Mold on molasses might take the form of a barely visible sticky on the surface or a visibly fuzzy, discolored spot. Dump away the entire container if you see even a small speck. Molasses may also go bad in less visible ways. It is indeed time to get a fresh bottle if it appears to have split or has an awful smell.