Molasses is an additive and an ingredient, which is commonly known for its role in producing sugar and being a by-product of that same process. It’s also known for its’ useful properties in helping to make alcohol and different kinds of food possible. Molasses is created as a result of turning sugarcane and sugar beets into actual sugar, which is used in all types of popular foods. There are many different kinds of molasses and different characteristics can emerge based upon the age or type of plant, the method that was used in order to extract sugar from the molasses, and how much sugar is in the molasses itself. The most popular type of molasses would be blackstrap followed by sugar beet, and unsulphured molasses, although there are many types found around the world. Molasses is extremely useful to consumers and can be used in foods such as bread, cookies, pies, and sauces. In addition, molasses can be used for non-food purposes like chemical, industrial, and horticultural uses. Given the importance of Molasses, it’s important to ask about how long molasses can be used for without losing its’ character, texture, or flavor. If you see a sale on molasses in bulk at a local store or market and you want to save some money by buying a lot of it, should you go through with it as a consumer? The ultimate question remains; does molasses go bad?
Does Molasses Go Bad?
Unfortunately, Molasses can and does go bad eventually but its’ shelf life is pretty extensive if the product is properly stored and cared for over time. Most types of Molasses contain inorganic compounds like saccharose which help to extend its’ shelf life naturally. If you want to get the most out of your molasses product, you should read on to find out more about how to properly store it and maintain its’ shelf life for as long as possible.
Storing The Molasses
Like many other products, molasses should be stored in an area or place, which is cool, dark, or dry. The cooler the better for the product, but you can store it at room temperature without worrying that the higher temperature will cause the molasses to go bad quicker. The best places for storing the molasses would be a kitchen cupboard or pantry where its’ both cool and dark. You’ll ideally want to keep the molasses product out of the sun or expose it to the heat and humidity.
If you really want to keep it in a cool or dark place, it may be best to put it in the cellar or in the basement if that’s a possibility. Above all else, it’s really important to make sure to seal the molasses tightly with a cap or cork after you use it for the first time. There is no worse way than to store your molasses than to leave the bottle open and expose it to outside elements like sunlight, heat, water, etc. When it hasn’t been opened yet, molasses is very easy to store for the long-term but when you open up the bottle, you have to make sure that the seal or the cap are firm and tight to protect the contents from further outside exposure. If you can keep the molasses away from heat, oxygen, and sunlight, your product will last for a very long time.
Shelf Life of Molasses
When it comes to an unopened bottle of molasses, you should give the product a year of overall good quality and performance for before it starts to go bad. After you open up the bottle for the first and subsequent times, the quality will start to erode slowly but surely. Usually, the average bottle of molasses would last for six months or so after being opened. This is why if you buy bottles of molasses but don’t use them for a year or so, they will still be good for another six months so you could get eighteen months out of them in total.
Whether its’ opened or unopened molasses, the product should give you about one to two years total of overall usage without going sour on you. It really depends on the individual type of molasses and how its’ been stored to get a specific shelf life. It’s best to ignore the “use by” or “best before” expiration dates that the supermarket or store will label the bottles with. It’s recommended instead to use your own common sense and look for the signs that would indicate whether or not your molasses has gone bad or not.
Signs of Bad Molasses
When it comes to bad molasses, it’s important to do a three-step test to check to see if its truly meant for the garbage can or not. These three steps include how it looks, how it tastes, and how it smells. If there’s mold or clumps of molasses forming at the top of the bottle, then it’s likely the product has gone bad. You should also check to see if there’s any discoloration of the molasses or if there is a visible change in appearance. This would be another sign that the product has gone bad. If the liquid has morphed or changed its’ texture and become uneven or crystalized, that’s another warning sign for the molasses. Also, it’s a good idea to smell the molasses to see if the odor is normal or is off in some way. If the smell has become really pungent and awful, it’s safe to just throw it away and buy a new bottle. If you’re still not convinced after the first two tests of smell and appearance, it’s not a bad idea to take a spoonful of molasses and taste the product yourself. A small taste test won’t make you sick and it will give you the best idea of whether or not you should throw the product out or not.
Molasses is an extremely useful product that has a wide variety of uses for the average consumer. Don’t be dismayed that it can eventually go bad on you because it has a pretty long shelf life of a year or more with proper storage. Remember to use common sense in terms of evaluating if its’ gone bad or not and you should get the most bang for your buck by buying the product in bulk. Good luck and enjoy!