The use or discovery of chili, which is the key ingredient in hot sauce, can be traced way back a whopping 7000 years.
The first findings of chili were discovered by archeologists in Peru. As for their spread to other parts of the world, it is believed that birds played a key role by carrying the seeds to regions such as Central America and the Caribbean.
Fun fact, chilies were first mainly used not for their potent taste but for their medicinal value and benefit. Some communities also believed them to be holy plants and used them in ritual practices.
You made a wise choice to be reading this article. In it we will address everything from how long hot sauce can last, what happens in your body when you consume hot sauce to how to preserve hot sauce and so much more.
Does Hot Sauce Go Bad? Well, yes. It is a given that anything under the sun can and will go bad at some point in time. The same goes for hot sauce. I know, you love to add it to your meals for that extra oomph and you would like to keep it forever but unfortunately, that just isn’t possible. After being exposed to elements in the environment or contaminants during storage or shipping, hot sauce does go bad at some point in time.
How Long Does Hot Sauce Last?
You are in luck; hot sauce has a pretty long and decent shelf life. Essentially, what you need to know is that the period of time that you can keep hot sauce for depends on the manner in which you store it. This relatively long shelf life is also due to the fact that hot sauce can contain either vinegar or chili peppers, two ingredients that keep bacteria in check and at bay.
Generally speaking, hot sauce keeps well and stays fresh for a period of about 6 months if left at room temperature. In order to ensure that the hot sauce lasts a little while longer, refrigerating would be the safest option. This option keeps hot sauce safe and fresh for consumption for between four and five years provided the hot sauce is continuously refrigerated.
Since the commercially bought varieties of hot sauce usually have additives and preservatives included in the ingredients when being manufactured, freezing them is not really necessary. However, this can be an option for hot sauce that you have made yourself in your own kitchen. This will maintain the freshness of the hot sauce for up to a whole year.
Does Hot Sauce Clean Out Your System and What Happens to My Body When I Eat Hot Sauce?
Sure, you love adding hot sauce to nearly every dish that you consume for that special kick and spicy touch and feel but do you actually know what is happening in your body as you thoroughly enjoy the hot sauce? Well, here is the full scoop on what happens in your body when you eat hot sauce:
- First things first, it definitely raises the core temperature of your body. The process itself is referred to as thermogenesis and is what causes your nose to start running and eyes to start tearing up.
- Hot sauce boosts the circulation of blood to and in the stomach. Yep, that explains why after every meal of hot wings you are more than pumped up to attend to all the tasks that you have left. What we are saying is that hot sauce is a stimulant that leads to the elevation of your heart rate.
- Have you ever wondered why you drool even more when eating hot sauce? Well, worry not for I have the answer for you. The burning sort of sensation that you feel tingling your skin and mucous membranes usually leads to an increase in the flow of saliva generally. This also leads to you swallowing more.
- Hot sauce also does the dirty by tricking your brain into believing that you are literally on fire and thus leading to the stimulation of the pain receptors on the tongue and in the mouth.
- Does hot sauce clean out your system you might ask? Since similar pain receptors that are in the mouth can also be found in the stomach, a feeling of “pain” may lead to stomach cramps or the contraction of the stomach walls. These stomach cramps and contractions then lead to the excretion of any extra fluids and at times even poop, lol.
How to Tell If Hot Sauce Has Expired?
When it comes to hot sauce, although the flavor also changes, the biggest indicator that something is different or ‘off’ is usually the change of color.
Even if the manufacturer has put an expiry date on the bottle of hot sauce, most of us are most likely to use it way beyond the indicated date. As we can still be able to use the hot sauce well after the expiration date, it is not the best way to tell if the bottle has expired.
But there are a few signs that you will taste in the sauce as well as see in the bottle. Most of the things that cause the expiration of the sauce depends on the salt levels in the sauce, the acidity of the ingredients being used, the amount of sugar that was added, among other factors.
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How to Store Hot Sauce
Most people say that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to accidentally storing hot sauce for too long.
If you do use hot sauce that you happened to have stored well beyond the expiry date, you will probably be ingesting some mold as well as bad yeast which brings about an imperfect taste, where the product quality drastically reduces.
This is where the hot sauce loses that ‘kick’ it had. However, ingesting the bad yeast and the mold will not cause any long-term damage to you whatsoever.
Why Does It Change Colour?
The reason for this change in color is due to the fact that hot sauce will tend to generally darken as it gets older with age or time.
Now, this change in color is not to say that the hot sauce has expired or that it is now bad and unsafe for consumption or use. It is important to keep in mind that it is entirely natural for chilies to darken as time passes.
How to Preserve Hot Sauce to Increase Shelf Life
In most hot sauces, the main ingredients used are vinegar and chili peppers. With both of these ingredients, they have natural preservation properties, which in turn keeps the sauce safe to consume for an extended period of time.
The chili peppers also contain capsaicin in them. The capsaicin helps prevent the growth of bacteria in the bottle.
Some makers of hot sauce also add an assorted variety of vegetables and fruits, like pears, apples, and apricots in the attempt to enhance the flavor of the sauces and create a variety of flavors as well. These ingredients do lessen the shelf life of your bottle of hot sauce.
Whatever the case is, one method of protecting your hot sauce and ensuring that you give it its longest shelf life possible is to ensure that you buy the highest quality of sauce there is. And this is not only talking about the sauce.
Ensure that the bottle as well as the cap are strong, durable, and of the highest quality to ensure that you seal in all that flavor. You also need to ensure that you keep the cap and mouth of the bottle clean at all times. This is because when sauce gathers in and around these areas, it tends to attract bacteria which in turn can affect the rest of the bottle.
If you are making the sauce at home, then make sure that you sterilize all the supplies that you are using properly. You should also avoid having oil in or around the sauce.
Should You Refrigerate Hot Sauce?
People tend to believe that if you refrigerate your hot sauce, it will automatically kill the flavor. Most brands of hot sauce even boast of the fact that you don’t need to refrigerate them after you have opened the bottle.
To a certain extent, this is true. If you are a household that consumes an entire bottle of hot sauce within a few months, then you can leave it right at the table even after opening it. But you might want to consider refrigerating it either way or at least keep it in a cool and dark place.
Do Hot Sauce Packets Go Bad?
Seeing as these small packets are made using a combination of foil and plastic, this greatly reduces the shelf life of the sauce.
The packets are not designed to last forever. So as time passes, the sauce tends to reduce in quality faster as these packets can only do so much to protect the spicy flavor.
By the nature of how they are made, they are not meant to be refrigerated.