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Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad

Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad

Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad

Pure vanilla extract doesn’t really go bad but the bottle of the extract isn’t the safest to consume.  If you have pure vanilla extract that has been in your cupboard for ten years, you are free to use it. Vanilla extract is extremely durable and can last a really long time if stored properly.

Vanilla is the most commonly used of all of the extracts, and the majority of baking recipes call for at least some. Because artificial vanilla extract is synthetic, the artificial vanilla extract does not contain any of the other natural nutrients, nor does it taste like a whole bean; that is why some people think that the artificial vanilla extract is a bit less flavourful than the pure variety.

On the lower end, the shelf life of fake vanilla extract is only 2 years, whereas higher-quality fake vanilla extracts can last for 5 or even 10 years. Imitation vanilla extract is shelf life is 5 to 10 years if stored in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight. Madagascar Vanilla has a shelf life of four to five years if stored correctly in a cool, dry area.

This kind of vanilla does not actually get worse after five years, it simply starts losing potency and color. Like the other types of vanilla, Mexican Vanilla needs to be stored room temperature in a dark area in order to keep it for its longest shelf life. Most Mexican vanillas in the U.S. are made with an extract of vanilla plants, but watch out for any Mexican vanilla made with Tonka beans, or one that does not list any ingredients.

Watch to know about the shelf life of vanilla extract

To preserve precious vanilla beans for their four-year shelf life, keep them cool, dry, and store in a ziploc bag. Vanilla beans, however, can get moldy or dry if you are not careful, so be sure they are stored in jars or bags that are sealed. Vanilla beans and cured beans in alcohol are thought to have indefinite shelf lives, but we recommend that chefs use them up within two years. Generally, the alcohol is white alcohol like vodka, which has an indefinite shelf life, but some vanilla makers are adding dried vanilla beans into bourbons to get unique flavors and cool applications.

In this quick guide, we will walk through all the things you need to know about storage, shelf life, and deterioration for vanilla bean extract. In this one-stop guide, I am going to breakdown everything you need to know about this heaven-sent spices shelf life, best tips on how to store it, and the crucial signs that indicate whether you should throw it out.

TypesShelf Life
Vanilla Extract5 years
Fake Vanilla Extract2 years
Imitation Vanilla Extract10 years
Shelf life of different types of vanilla extracts.

All imitation extracts come with a “best-by” date, which is an indication from the producer on how long it remains in peak condition. 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. If your extract is over a couple years past its expiration date, and there is barely any vanilla flavor left, then it makes the most sense to throw it out. Past this date, manufacturers are not sure that the flavor and aroma of the vanilla extract will be as good as early in its life, but it is still safe to use.

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Unfortunately, the extract will have lost the strength of its extract, and your baked goods will not get the right essence of vanilla. One thing to keep in mind is that if alcohol is evaporating, this vanilla may have different flavors, but is safe for eating. Once you cook with a properly-cured vanilla, imitation vanilla is not going to be welcomed back into your kitchen.

Also, if you are not getting any more vanilla flavor in your baked goods, then it is time to get some new imitation vanilla. It might hurt to throw away the pricey pure vanilla bottle, but safety comes before all flavors. The only exception to this is that if your imitation vanilla is contaminated with mould (and this is only if you are keeping it in your refrigerator, which you should not do), then you should toss it. Fortunately, fake vanilla that is gone bad is not going to make you sick, it is just stopped adding flavour to your food.

If you consistently use a certain type of vanilla, you might notice slight changes in the taste. 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. If you recently switched from synthetic to the pure version, do not immediately assume that you are spoiling, as pure vanilla has a much stronger, more robust taste.

Due to high alcohol content of pure vanilla extract, it can easily last for a few years([VQ]) with great quality, with many sources saying that it can practically last forever([CN]). While your vanilla extract is not likely to expire, it may lose its nice flavors and aromas over time, so it is good to be aware of how long it will retain its flavors while you are storing it. If you can store your pure vanilla extract in a darker bottle, either by buying it that way or by moving it into another darker, preferably glass bottle, thatll help to keep it safe from UV damage.

For the home chef that purchases a good quantity of Vanilla Extract in one big bottle to last years worth of usage in the kitchen, moving the contents to smaller vials or bottles is crucial so that you do not open your bottle way too often.

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You can pull out the seeds from a vanilla bean and add the bean 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.

Imitated vanilla loses its aroma and taste after two years, especially if stored improperly. The best way to make sure that your vanilla will keep it is flavors for as long as possible is by storing it correctly. Even though Vanilla Bean Powder is just crushed Vanilla Beans, it has the least shelf life at just a year.

How can you tell if vanilla extract has gone bad?

The pleasant aroma and a large portion of the vanilla flavor will be lost if vanilla extract has gone bad. Additionally, there can be some sediment in the bottle’s bottom and some cloudiness in the vanilla essence. You can still use it, but the flavor of the vanilla extract won’t be as strong.

When should you throw out vanilla extract?

Pure vanilla extract has no shelf life limit, so it doesn’t go bad. After the first opening, alcohol in the extract begins to evaporate because it has an alcohol base slowly. Therefore, you might notice that after a few years, the flavor of the extract becomes a bit more intense.

Should vanilla extract be refrigerated after opening?

When it comes to vanilla extract, you may wonder whether it is necessary to store it in the refrigerator after opening it. The vanilla extract does not need to be refrigerated at all, and even after it has been opened, it should not be refrigerated. It will become cloudy if the extract is exposed to refrigerator air.