All food items have expiry dates. Some last for a very short time and some for pretty long. If you are a peanut butter lover, then you would definitely want to know whether peanut butter really does go bad, and if it does, then in what conditions and how fast. This NutriNeat article brings you answers to your long pending questions.
Did You Know?
The Peanut Butter that you have nowadays, was first created by Robert L. Rosefield. Before the smooth versions, peanut butter was quite gritty. Rosefield used the method of churning peanut paste to make it smooth like butter.
Peanut Butter is mainly used as a sandwich spread in many parts of the world. It is delicious and a favorite among most people. It contains high amounts of fat, and is mainly made of natural peanut oil. It also contains some vegetable oils, and has a very less moisture content of about 2%, which is why it lasts longer than other soft foods. Less moisture and higher oil content keeps this food item from going bad.
Just like all other food items, peanut butter also has an expiry date. However, it doesn’t go bad for a long, long time unlike other food items that expire within days of opening them, or from the time they were manufactured. It can go bad if it gets contaminated, or when exposed to oxygen.
Let us see further about the shelf life of peanut butter.
The shelf life of peanut butter depends on many factors. All peanut butter jars have the ‘best by’ date. It means that your peanut butter will remain in its best form or quality for that period of time. Depending on the quality and conditions, it may or may not go rancid or taste different.
- Homemade peanut butter is made of only peanuts and nothing else! It usually lasts for about half a year as it doesn’t contain any preservative.
- When properly stored and refrigerated, immediately after use, the shelf life of peanut butter exceeds its expiration date. Store it in an airtight container that will keep the oxygen and other contaminants from getting in.
- Refrigerated peanut butter won’t spread that easily like it does at normal temperature. Refrigerating it does help in retaining the flavor, and keeps the oil and water from separating.
- If the jar is unopened, it can be stored for at least one and a half years, provided you store it in suitable conditions.
- Once opened, the contents of the jar start deteriorating slowly giving an “off” taste as time progresses. It lasts usually for a few months to one year. Make sure it is not left open after use.
- Unfortunately for peanut butter fans, it does go bad, but after a long time. Every peanut butter jar comes with an expiry or ‘best by’ date, which is a rough estimate of how long you will get the best quality. Given the contents of it, it should last for a quite a long period of time. You now know that peanut butter gets spoiled, but how do we know is the question?
- Simple! Check for its appearance, smell, and taste. If it develops a strange and odd smell, toss it away. If it looks and smells fine, it probably is edible. You just need to check for its taste. All those of you who have been using it for a long time now might know that its taste gets degraded after some time.
- Some people don’t mind eating a slightly rancid peanut butter, but for those of you who love it the original way, it is better to discard it and buy a new one. It goes rancid because the oxygen breaks down the lipid molecules and changes its flavor and color.
- If it is homemade, then separation of oil is natural, especially, since it does not contain any additives or preservatives. The oil sitting on top of the butter can be stirred back for further use. If the oil has been sitting on top for a while, then it might be an indication that it may soon go bad. You can always prepare a fresh one.
- It is basically discarded due to the change in taste or quality.
- Peanut Butter protein bars also go bad. Its expiry depends on its contents. However, in most cases, it is eaten before it becomes distasteful.
So, now you know that your favorite sandwich spread does expire after some time. However, if you store it properly, you can enjoy it for a longer period of time. Don’t forget to check the expiry date because it’s better to be safe than sorry!