Can Sesame Oil Go Bad

does sesame oil go bad

Sesame oil is a kind of vegetable oil that is derived from sesame seeds. Popularly used in countries around the world but having had origins in East and Southeast Asia, sesame oil is commonly used in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines. Sesame oil is often apart of many different kinds of recipes and is a key ingredient that cannot be overlooked. It gives any kind of food more flavor while it is particularly known for its’ nutty odor and distinct taste when used as an addition to a dish. Rich in different kinds of nutrients, sesame oil is also quite healthy to consume too. It should be kept in mind that sesame oil is also used as a product for non-cooking purposes. In addition, sesame oil is used in a lot of alternative medicine remedies and can be used as massage oil too. If you’re at the local grocery or health store in your town and you see a big sale on bottles of sesame oil, what should you do? Would it be worth the savings in both time and money to buy a few extra bottles to store for the long-term? How long could they possibly last for in your kitchen cabinet? The ultimate question remains; does sesame oil go bad?

Does Sesame Oil Go Bad?

Unfortunately, like all other oils especially of the vegetable type, sesame oil does and will go bad on you. In order to figure out the proper storage methods and procedures, find out how long the shelf life for sesame oil is, and what are the signs to look for when determining if your product has gone bad or not, you should read the rest of this article to be a better informed and smarter consumer. Doing so may save you both time and money.

Storing The Sesame Oil

The most important thing to remember when it comes to storing sesame oil is that the product must remain cool, dry, and dark at all times. You should try your hardest to keep the sesame oil away from outside elements such as heat, sunlight, water, oxygen, etc. These elements will do the most damage to the quality of your sesame oil in the shortest amount of time. If your bottle of sesame oil has been and remains unopened, you should leave it in places like the kitchen cabinet / pantry or even a wine cellar or an attic if you have one. However, once the bottle of sesame oil has been opened, it may be best to air on the side of caution by storing the product in the refrigerator instead of the kitchen cabinet. While its’ not necessary, it is recommended to better preserve the sesame oil more effectively.

Another important measure to keep in mind in order to store the sesame oil properly is to always tightly seal the bottle or container when its’ not being used. You have to make sure to do this or the product will go very bad quickly. Lastly, if you plan on moving the sesame oil to the refrigerator, you may want to move the product to a refrigerator-safe container or to some individual serving-size Ziploc bags that can be used in the fridge as well.

Shelf Life of Sesame Oil

This particular product should always come labeled with a “Best Before” date or a “Use By” date on its’ packaging or its’ bottling. However, it’s important to remember that this date does not signify the sesame oil’s expiration but rather the date of when the quality of the product will begin to inevitably decline. After purchasing the sesame oil, if it remains unopened and unused, the product can last from a year and a half to up to two years total before spoiling. However, if you decide to open and then use the product during that time span, the shelf life will shorten considerably to between four to six months of good usage before the quality of sesame oil begins its’ decline.

Regardless of whether its’ been opened or unopened, it is best to use the sesame oil within a couple of months of the initial purchase. The longer you store the sesame oil, the worse quality it will have. Considering its’ wide variety of uses for both cooking and non-cooking purposes, you should be able to use all of your sesame oil you have been diligently storing before the product goes bad on you.

Signs of Bad Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is likely to lose much of its’ original quality and texture before it goes sour on you. However, there are certain signs, which you should look out for in order to be able to tell when your sesame oil is starting to go bad on you. The first thing you should check out is the appearance of the product itself. If there is severe discoloration or changes in the texture, you should be careful about using the product. If there’s mold and bacteria forming inside the bottle, then that’s a sure sign that the sesame oil must be dumped.

However, if you’re still not convinced of the overall quality, then there are two other tests that you can utilize in order to verify the good or badness of your sesame oil. If there is an extremely pungent odor emanating after you smell the product, that should mean that it needs to end up in the trash. You can also do a small taste test of the sesame oil with a spoon. It won’t make you sick to try a little bit of it even if the quality is poor and it’s the best and easiest way to make a decision regarding the product’s wellness. However, don’t make it a habit of using rancid sesame oil. According to a study done on rats concluded that rancid sesame oil can cause liver damage.


Sesame oil does not have a very long shelf life and can go bad if you’re not careful and take the proper precautions. I would recommend buying it in bulk if you plan on using the product for a family party or a social gathering. While it can be stored for a long time, it may be best to stick to buying just one bottle unless you plan on using a lot of sesame oil in the near future. Vegetable oils do not last very long and the same goes for your sesame oil.



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