Can cashews go bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can cashews go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not cashews can go bad. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of cashews and the proper way to store cashews.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can cashews go bad?

Yes, like any other food item cashews tend to go bad or rancid after a certain time. So after a certain time, your cashews tend to develop off-flavors and off-smell and they won’t have the same flavor profile as that of the fresh cashews.

Until and unless your cashews go moldy, eating a cashew that has low potency (weakened flavor) won’t make you sick but if somehow there is some mold or other organic growth on your cashews then it is better to discard such cashews.

Certain indicators point out bad cashew. So you can tell whether or not your cashews have gone bad by considering their appearance, color, texture, smell, and taste.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or organic growth on your cashews then the best thing you can do is to toss out such cashews.

Moreover, if you see the mold, it is recommended never to smell the cashew as molds can produce mycotoxins in it and if you smell such cashew the mycotoxins can enter your body via inhalation where they can disrupt your natural microflora and can weaken your immune system.

Smell

The absence of the characteristic aroma of the cashews or the presence of rancid smell is the indication that cashews have gone rancid.

Texture

If you notice that your cashews have become brittle, or they are wrinkled, shriveled, or completely dried then it is the indication that they are past their prime age.

Color

If you notice that the color of your cashews has darkened then it means that your cashews have gone bad and it is better to toss it out.

Taste

Last but not least, you can try to take a small bite of your cashew and if instead of the creamy taste of otherwise fresh cashew, you taste something bitter then it is an indication of bad cashew.

How long do cashews last?

The shelf life of cashews depends upon several factors including whether they are shelled or not, if they are packaged or not, and the storage conditions in which they are kept.

Raw cashews

Raw cashews last for about 4 weeks when they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus you can store raw cashews in a cool and dry corner of your pantry. It is worth mentioning that you should never store your cashews in a humid environment because if somehow moisture finds its way to your cashews then it can mess up their quality.

On the other hand, raw cashews last for about 6 months when stored in a plastic zipper bag or air-tight container in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Packaged cashews

Unopened packaged cashews last for about a month past the “best by” date if they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Once opened, packaged cashews last for about 2 weeks in a cool dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat while they last for about 4 weeks when kept in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can also keep cashews in the freezer where they last for about a year if stored properly in a plastic freezer bag or vacuum sealing. When it comes to the storage of cashews in the fridge or freezer then care should be taken in this regard and it is better to try vacuum sealing because if otherwise, the cool air from the fridge or freezer finds its way to your cashews, it can mess up their quality.  

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of cashews and cashews can even last longer than this, provided that they are stored properly.

Are cashews safe to use after the “best by” date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the pack of cashews refers to the quality rather than safety so cashews don’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

The date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of cashews but you can still use cashews that are past this date as long as they were stored properly.

How to properly store cashews?

  1. Moisture is an enemy of the freshness and flavor of the cashews therefore cashews should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce their exposure to air.
  1. If you want to store cashews in the refrigerator, then it is recommended to keep them in vacuum-sealed containers because they are hygroscopic and if not stored properly they can absorb moisture from the environment which will mess up their quality.
  1. Cashews can be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. A cool and dry corner of your pantry can serve this purpose nicely but if you want to further increase their shelf life you can keep them refrigerated.
  1. Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the cashews jar or bottle and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the cashews that you need.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can cashews go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not cashews can go bad. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of cashews and the proper way to store cashews.

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/do-cashews-go-bad/

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16709

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16710#:~:text=Properly%20stored%2C%20canned%20or%20bottled%20cashews%20will%20maintain%20best%20quality,F%20will%20keep%20safe%20indefinitely.

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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