How long do spices last?

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How long do spices last?

Postby hostonbarry » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:36 am

Awhile ago I was watching the food channel and Alton Brown made a comment that ground spices last under a year in the shelf. I noticed some of my spices are 2-5 years old.. nutmeg, cummin just to name a few...What does everyone think.
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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby aksavarna » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:05 pm

If you keep spices away from moisture and air then they last as long as 2 to 3 years.
Keep the spices in sun occasionally to remove moisture.

I have seen my mom using spices as old as 3 years and even their taste lasts.
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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby nancy00 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:29 am


Spices, both whole and ground, do have a shelf life, although it is longer than some people might imagine. Spices do not go bad in the sense of becoming rancid or spoiled, but they do lose potency and complex layers of flavor. When spices lose their power, they should be discarded and replaced with fresh ones.

Whole spices will keep the longest, because they have not been cracked or ground, exposing the volatile compounds which make up their flavor to the air. They can last up to four years in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and well keep even better in the dark. Extremely strong spices such as whole cloves, cinnamon, and pepper may last even longer. You can tell that whole spices are too old to use when they have lost their aroma.

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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby teenqueen54 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:28 am

One thing to remember about storing spices is to try and keep the really strong ones separate from the comparatively weaker ones.

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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby Marytwins » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:20 am

Spices can last a long time, but in conditions where there is no moisture, primarily. In any case, no danger in them, when they expired, but just do not have any effect, such as smell and taste.

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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby Jim on the river » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:21 pm

I have been a tad mystified by this question because I live alone and have a humongous collection of spices. Hence, some of them have been around for a few years. Just the other day I opened a container of one and it had solidified. So, I just broke it up and used a little more than I would normally. I was tempted, at one point in my research to chuck everything and replenish my stash with new stuff.
Then I got to thinking how, in ancient times, spice caravans probably took months if not years transporting their wares on camel back. So, rather than chucking everything I decided to try it out. My experimentation demonstrated to my satisfaction that spices generally last a very long time. They do, as mentioned above, tend to lose strength and quality, but added in sufficient quantity very old spices still do add the sought after zing!
On another note, the same problem being not needing large quantities, I have begun to buy fresh spices rather than dried. This has opened up a whole new realm to my ever inquisitive taste buds. I simply chop them up and freeze them and have very fresh, tantalizing spices available whenever I need them.
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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby sweetyrumi » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:51 am

Spices last for 9 months if kept properly in an air tight jar without the reach of children.
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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby jonathantrott » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:38 pm

I am not sure but i have heard that red spices last very long.
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Re: How long do spices last?

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Re: How long do spices last?

Postby mabeljames39 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:38 am

Spices and herbs are aromatic natural products. Spices are the dried seeds, buds, fruit or flower parts, bark, or roots of plants, usually of tropical origin. Herbs are the leaves and sometimes the flowers of plants, usually grown in a climate similar to the Mediterranean. After they are harvested they do not spoil, but they do lose their strength.

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