Can chia seeds go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can chia seeds go bad?”, and how to tell if chia seeds have gone bad?

Can chia seeds go bad?

Yes, chia seeds do go bad. But it takes a long time for this to happen unless they have been stored in a really bad condition. Like other seeds, chia seeds are also rich in oils that are prone to rancidity when exposed to oxygen frequently. 

However, chia seeds have a rich amount of antioxidants due to which they do not go rancid as quickly as the other seeds. Read on if you want to know about the shelf-life and storage of chia seeds.

How long do chia seeds last?

Unlike the other high-fat seeds like sesame and sunflower, chia seeds last quite long due to the rich antioxidant content. Chia seeds last months or even years past the best-by date. The same goes for chia flour. However, chia pudding or chia gel will only stay good for 5-7 days. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of chia seeds and their products.

In the pantryIn the fridge
Chia seeds2 years past the Best-by date
Chia flour or chia meal1 year pat the Best-by date
Chia pudding or chia gel5-7 days

How to store chia seeds?

Chia seeds should be stored in a dry and dark place away from sunlight and heat from the stove or toaster oven. Keep the seeds in its original packaging if it is resealable. If not, transfer the seeds to an air-tight container or freezer bag. The same guidelines are applicable for the storage of chia flour.

In the case of chia pudding and other chia dishes and desserts, keep them stored in the fridge to preserve their freshness.

How to tell if chia seeds have gone bad?

  1. If the chia seeds and chia flour has been in contact with water, there will be obvious signs of mold growth. In that case, throw it out immediately. 
  2. If you see even a single bug in the seeds, the seeds have been ruined. It is best to pitch them. Check the other food commodities for bugs that were stored near the chia seeds.
  3. Bad chia seeds have developed a rancid odor and taste and it is best to discard them. Similarly, if the chia seeds or flour form clumps, the quality has been ruined. While it may be safe to eat rancid chia seeds but they will taste bitter.

The nutritional profile of chia seeds

The desert plant, Salvia hispanica, produces Chia seeds. Chia literally means strength and it is considered an energy-boosting food. The plant was grown in Mexico and it dates back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. These small, ovular seeds can be colored black, brown, or white.

By weight, 6% of the chia seeds is water, 46% is carbs, 4% is comprised of fat and 19% is protein. The following table shows the amounts of different nutrients in a 100g portion of chia seeds.

Calories 486
Water 6% 
Proteins 16.5g
Carbs 42.1g
Sugars 0g
Fiber 34.4g
Fat 30.7g

Health benefits of chia seeds

Rich in antioxidants

The rich amount of powerful antioxidants present in chia seeds protect them against rancidity and have proven anti-cancerous properties. They prevent aging by fighting oxidative stress.

Full of fiber

40% of the weight of chia seeds is made up of fiber. The high soluble fiber content of the chia seeds is excellent for gut health, weight loss, and regulating blood sugar. Fiber supports healthy gut bacteria.

The high fiber content allows the chia seeds to absorb 10-12 times their weight in water, as a result of which, they swell and expand, forming a gel in the stomach.

Contain good quality protein

Unlike other plant-based foods, chia seeds have a rich balance of essential amino acids. An adequate protein intake plays an important role in reducing appetite and the need for nighttime snacking.

Good for heart

Due to the high content of protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids, chia seeds play an important role in lowering blood pressure, thus, reducing the risk of heart diseases including stroke.

Rich in minerals

An ounce of chia seeds provides 18% of the RDI for calcium. It also provides phosphorus and magnesium which are important minerals to maintain bone health. Chia seeds are easy to incorporate in your diet like porridge, smoothies pudding or baked goods.


In this article, we answered the question “Can chia seeds go bad?”, and how to tell if chia seeds have gone bad?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.