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Do Chia Seeds Go Bad? Shelf Life: 3 Storage Methods, Tips

Chia seeds are found in many health foods, ranging from drinks and puddings to cereal and stir-fries. But do chia seeds go bad? Here’s what you need to know about keeping chia seeds in your kitchen. Including five things to watch for.

While chia seeds can go bad, they last so long that you’ll need to buy more before they go bad. Chia seeds can last 2 years in the pantry. And more than 4 years if you refrigerate or freeze them. There are a few things that can cause them to spoil prematurely, including moisture, light, and bugs.

do chia seeds go bad

Chia seeds have gained popularity as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a great source of dietary fiber. Many people use chia seeds as a part of a healthy diet and as a nutritional supplement.

You can sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt, or use them in your favorite recipe to pack a nutritional punch.

Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last? Like many seeds, chia seeds have a long shelf life if stored properly. If they are stored in the pantry, chia seeds have a shelf life of 2+ years. If stored in the refrigerator or freezer, their shelf life increases to 4+ years.

If there is a date on your chia seeds, it is a best-by date, not an expiration date. The best by date is usually set two years after processing.

So, depending on how you store them, chia seeds can be kept for 2 to 4 years.

How Do You Store Chia Seeds? 

There are three ways to store chia seeds, each with its own expiration dates.

  1. The best way to store chia seeds for the longest shelf life is to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator at a constant temperature.
  2. You can also store them in your pantry, but they must be stored in an airtight container and kept away from any heat sources. These are the best ways to store them while still having easy access to them.
  3. There is also a long-term option that will guarantee a shelf life of more than four years: using your freezer. You can put chia seeds in an airtight container for freezer storage.

If you decide to freeze your chia seeds, avoid using clear containers. Light from a window or other source can contribute to the degradation of the seeds when you open your freezer. 

It is also important to ensure that your container is airtight or vacuum-sealed because any oxygen will be detrimental to the unsaturated oils in the chia seeds.

Do Chia Seeds Need To Be Refrigerated? 

No, chia seeds do not need to be refrigerated. However, if you have room in your refrigerator and you want to extend the shelf life of your chia seeds, the refrigerator is the best place for them.

The cool constant temperature will help retain the quality of the chia seeds and will slow rancidification. Storing chia seeds in your refrigerator allows for easy access and you will probably tend to use them more often than if they were in your pantry.

how long do chia seeds last

Shelf Life Of Chia Seeds: 5 Things to Watch For

Chia seeds do not necessarily go bad but they will lose their quality.

If chia seeds are stored properly, then you probably won’t have to worry about this. You will need to buy new chia seeds before they will need to be thrown away.

  1. If your chia seeds have somehow been exposed to water, then moldy seeds might be a concern. If you see visible mold or encounter any rancid smells, it’s best to throw your seeds away. 
  2. Chia seeds are surpisingly easy to sprout. If they get wet, they might also germinate and begin growning.
  3. Chia seeds contain oil so they can go rancid. If you notice a rancid or foul odor, then it’s time to throw them away.
  4. Chia seeds have no discernible taste, so if you notice a bitter taste when eating your seeds, then it’s time to buy new ones. While these seeds might not make you sick, they will not have the nutritional content that fresher chia seeds would have.
  5. Watch for bugs that might have either arrived in the package or entered from your pantry. While not very common, bugs can quickly ruin a bag of chia seeds. Here’s how to identify that 6 legged insect.
do chia seeds go bad

More reading: 35 Fun Ways to Eat Chia Seeds

In conclusion, storing your chia seeds properly in an airtight container will lengthen the shelf life of your seeds. IIf you use chia seeds every day, keeping them in your refrigerator is the easiest and most convenient way to ensure that you have fresh chia seeds.

Remember that a dark container is best for storing chia seeds so that the light will not affect them.