Grape seed is quite famous for its nutritional and health benefits. It contains a generous amount of polyunsaturated fat (healthy fat) and vitamin E.
Manufacturers extract grape seed oil from grape seeds that remained after making wine. Considering the manufacturing process, everyone considers grape seed oil an eco-friendly product.
Generally, grape seed oil has a mild, nutty flavor. It has several uses in the kitchen, but most people use it for salad dressings. It is also commonly used in stir fry dishes since it has a moderate to high smoke point.
If you bought a bottle of grape seed and haven’t used it in a while, you may be wondering whether grape seed oil goes bad.
Like most oils, grape seed oil can go bad for various reasons, including improper storage and oxidation.
This article discusses grape seed going bad in detail. Additionally, we will discuss its shelf life, signs of spoilage, and how to store it. We will also look at whether freezing grape seed oil is a good idea. Read on.
Can it go bad?
As mentioned above, grape seed oil can go bad. Although it is unlikely that bacteria or mold will grow in the oil, it will spoil by oxidizing.
Grape seed oil oxidizes when you expose it to light or oxygen. When this happens, it goes rancid or spoils. Rancid grape seed oil is not nutritious or healthy.
There is a high chance that it will cause you health problems if you use it in your cooking for an extended time. Once you notice that the oil has gone rancid, you should discard it.
Although grape seed oil eventually goes rancid, storing it well extends its shelf life significantly.
Grape Seed Oil Shelf Life.
Grape seed oil bottles usually have a best-by date. The best by date doesn’t indicate when the oil will start going bad; it merely approximates how long it will remain in peak quality.
If you store it properly, it will stay at peak quality for weeks or even months past the best by date.
Once you open the bottle, the oil may be exposed to oxygen which speeds up the oxidation process. As discussed above, oxidation makes the oil go rancid.
No need to worry though, the process is relatively slow, and the chances are that it won’t go rancid before you use up the bottle. Just be sure to seal the bottle tightly after every use to minimize the oil’s exposure to oxygen.
In summary, when unopened, grape seed oil will remain in peak quality for up to six months past the best by date when you store it in the pantry and up to a year past the best by date when you store it in the refrigerator.
When opened, grape seed oil will last for six months in the pantry and a year in the refrigerator. Always store it in the fridge if you want it to stay for a long time.
Note that these periods are just an estimate. Your oil may go bad sooner or last longer than the estimated period.
Signs of spoilage
Unlike other food products, oils don’t rot or grow mold. Here are signs of spoilage that you should look out for;
- Smell- Smelling your grape seed oil is the easiest way to tell if it has gone bad. Usually, spoilt grape seed oil has an unpleasant order, so if you smell it and its odor is unpleasant, you should discard it as it has gone bad.
- Taste- Spoilt grape seed oil usually has a sour taste. To taste the oil, pour it into a teaspoon and use your tongue to taste it. Do not swallow. If it has a bad taste, discard it.
Sometimes, the oil may become chunky or cloudy when you store it in the refrigerator. Chunks and cloudiness are not signs of spoilage.
The cold temperatures in the fridge sometimes interfere with the consistency of the oil. Thaw it at room temperature for it to regain its original texture.
How to properly store grape seed oil
You should store grape seed oil in an opaque, airtight container. Place the container in a cold and dark place after ensuring that you have sealed it tightly. I recommend storing it in the pantry or kitchen cabinet.
Ideally, you should store grape seed oil at temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer temperatures tend to make the oil go rancid faster.
You may be wondering why you should store grape seed oil in opaque bottles.
The reason is that grape seed oil spoils faster when exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, opaque bottles are ideal since they protect the oil from direct sunlight.
There is nothing to worry about if the grape seed oil you buy is in a clear plastic or glass bottle. All you have to do is ensure you store it far away from any light sources.
If you want your grape seed oil to last for much longer, store it in your refrigerator. The fridge is an ideal storage place because of the cool temperatures and the dark environment.
I recommend keeping the oil right inside the fridge, preferably at the farthest end, because the temperature there is stable at all times.
Don’t store it right at the door because the temperature fluctuates every time you open the fridge door, making the oil susceptible to oxidation.
Can you freeze grape seed oil?
I do not recommend freezing grape seed oil for one main reason; the oil’s shelf life drastically reduces once you remove it from the freezer.
If you freeze it anyway, thaw it at room temperature and ensure that you use it within seven days of removing it from the freezer. Otherwise, it will no longer be safe to consume.
You also can’t refreeze grape seed after you have thawed it. It will not freeze well, and the chances are that it will go bad.
Grape seed oil can go bad due to light and oxygen exposure. The process that makes it go rancid is oxidation.
Rancid grape seed oil is not safe to consume. Discard it if it has any of the spoilage signs discussed above.