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Does Vanilla Extract Expire

Does Vanilla Extract Expire

Does Vanilla Extract Expire

Pure vanilla extract does not really go bad, it has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly. The imitation vanilla extract comes with the label of use-by date, and its shelf life can range between six to twelve months. Pure vanilla extract can stay fresh up to 10 years and has an indefinite shelf life.

While your vanilla extract is not likely to expire, over time, it may lose its nice aroma and taste, so it is good to be aware of the amount of time that it will retain its flavour while stored. When stored correctly, vanilla extract can last an unlimited amount of time, but using within five years will ensure that the best flavors and aromas are maintained. Whether you have pure vanilla extract or an imitation version, it will last a very long time as long as it is stored correctly. While growth is not likely, it is still good practice to inspect the cap inside as well as the bottle interior if you have not used your vanilla pure or imitation extract in a while.

If an extract is over a couple years old, and there is little or no vanilla flavor, it makes the most sense to throw it out. If we are talking about imitation vanilla, you know that the imitation vanilla has expired when you notice changes to the taste and quality. Once you cook with vanilla that is been properly aged, imitation vanilla is not going to be welcomed back into your kitchen. It might be painful to throw away your expensive bottle of pure vanilla, but safety comes before all flavors.

If you are constantly using the same type of vanilla, you might notice slight changes in the flavour. You can test the blend to see if you prefer the intensity of vanilla flavor to a lighter one or not, tasting every few days.

Unfortunately, extracts will lose their extract strength, and your pastry case will not have the right essence of vanilla. If the scent does not excite you as soon as you open the bottle, then you might be disappointed in how the extract works in baking. Pure extract does not make for a great breeding ground for bacteria, and it is still possible that if left out undisturbed for too long, there could still be some nasty bacteria in the bottle.

Learn about the shelf life of vanilla extract

Imitated has just one key flavouring compound, Vanillin, and does not have all the other compounds that make pure extract the real deal. Pure extract has hundreds of flavour compounds, making it incredibly flavorful; vanillin is one of the main, dominant compounds. Since artificial vanilla extract is synthetic, the artificial vanilla extract does not have any of the other natural nutrients as well as flavored the entire beans; that is why some people feel that the artificial vanilla extra is less flavourful than the pure version. Although, a vanilla bean has a lot of other compounds which add depth and complexity in flavor to an extract.

Vanilla flavors can be made better, more intense, by using some bourbon or rum, vanilla bean paste, coconut, or just by boiling the vanilla pod with the beans inside. Generally, the spirit is white alcohol like vodka, which has a finite shelf life, but some vanilla makers will add dried vanilla beans into their bourbons to get unique flavors and cool applications. Vanilla beans and pods, when aged in alcohol, are thought to have indefinite shelf lives, but we recommend cooking with them for up to two years. Imitated vanilla extract has shelf life ranging from five to 10 years if stored in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight.

MoldIf you see mold growing on it, then you should throw it away
SmellIf it does have a pleasant aroma, then it has gone bad
CloudnessIf you see cloudiness at the bottom of the bottle, then it has gone bad
Signs to see if your vanilla extract has gone bad or not.

All imitation extracts come with a “best by” date, which is a manufacturers statement on how long it will stay in peak quality. Even if your extract is well past the Best By date, it should still be perfectly fine, especially if you are taking care of it.

With imitations, a finite amount is about 3-4 years, whereas the life of a genuine extract is a lot longer, at 5-10 years. Past 2 or 4 years, the vanilla extract imitation does not start being unsafe to use, but it does begin to experience an decline in its overall quality (taste, aroma). While real vanilla extract continues to get stronger and concentrated over years due to evaporation from the alcohol, vanilla extract imitation will be of best quality for just a few months, or at most one to two years after it is expired.

Imitated vanilla will lose its aroma and taste after two years, especially under inappropriate storage conditions. Properly stored in cool, dark areas, the shelf life of pure vanilla extract is unlimited, and pure vanilla extract can lose some of its powerful aroma and taste or develop a cloudy appearance with time, but it should still be safe to use. The best way to make sure that your vanilla retains its aroma for as long as possible is by properly storing it. In this quick guide, we will walk through all the things you need to know about storage, shelf life, and spoilage for vanilla bean extract.

If you’re interested in Can Vanilla Beans Go Bad, take a look at my other article.

Vanilla beans, however, can go moldy or dry out if you are not careful, so be sure to store them in a sealed can or bag. If your vanilla beans are dried out, you can rehydrate them with either milk or hot water for several hours. You can scoop the seeds from the vanilla pods and add the pods to milk or cream to make a white, or at least not brown, form of vanilla flavour; it will last just as long as the milk.

The brown colour is caused by the brown hues of the pods and beans; as time goes on, the soaked vanilla beans in alcohol will impart their colour into the liquid.

Extracts that appear a little cloudy or dirty are still good to use, provided they pass a smell test. Especially if mold grows under a harsh environment, as it does with the clear extract, it may create certain metabolic byproducts, which are serious risks for your health.

If you’re interested in Can Rice Krispies Go Bad, take a look at my other article.

If you made your own extract at home, we do not think that you need to worry about it going bad anytime soon. By now, you may have decided to whether to use an extract you have been saving in the cabinet for months. Vanilla is the most commonly used of all extracts, with the majority of baking recipes calling for at least some.

Will expired vanilla extract hurt you?

The bottle’s expiration date is more of a “use by” recommendation. The manufacturer does not believe that the vanilla extract will continue to taste or smell as good after this time, but your extract still is perfectly fine.

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Can you still use expired vanilla extract?

If you have an expired vanilla extract, you will notice that it has lost its original aroma and flavor over time. With regards to appearance, some sediment may be collected at the bottom of the bottle, with the liquid looking cloudy. Even though expired vanilla extract does not have any health risks associated with it, it loses a lot of its flavor.

Should vanilla extract be refrigerated after opening?

The vanilla extract should not be refrigerated, even after opening. That is because the cold refrigerated air is unsuitable for the extract to be placed in and can result in the liquid becoming cloudy or sediment can start collecting at the bottom of the bottle. The extract can lose its flavor as a result of this.