Can chia seeds go bad?

In this article, we will explore  the question “Can chia seeds go bad?”, along with some other important questions, such as “ “How to tell if chia seeds have gone bad?” 

Chia, considered a “superfood,” contains nutrient-rich seeds that serve as excellent sources of α-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid), fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Can chia seeds go bad?

Yes, chia seeds do go bad (1). However, unless subjected to unfavorable storage conditions, chia seeds typically require a significant amount of time to go rancid. Similar to other seeds, chia seeds contain high levels of oils that can become rancid if regularly exposed to oxygen. 

On the other hand,chia seeds have a rich amount of antioxidants due to which they do not go rancid as quickly as the other seeds. 

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. At temperatures of 35 and 45 °C, the estimated shelf lives for chia seeds were 798 and 90 days, respectively (1).

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.

However, chia pudding or Nutri-barwill only stay good for 5-7 days. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of chia seeds and their products.

Room temperature 68-77 °F (20-25 °C) 
Chia seeds3,5 yearsBest-by date
Nutri-bar based chia seed7 days

(1 and 2)

Increasing the amount of chia in chia-based products accelerates lipid oxidation, resulting in a shorter shelf life (2). 

While incorporating chia improves the nutritional properties of the products, it is important to carefully consider the potential formation of process contaminants during production and the extent of lipid oxidation during storage(2).

How to tell if chia seeds have spoiled?

  1. If the chia seeds and chia flour have been in contact with water or humidity, there will be obvious signs of mold growth. In such cases, it is advisable to discard them immediately.
  2. If you see even a single bug in the seeds, it means that the seeds have been spoiled. It is advisable to discard them. Furthermore, please check the other food items that were stored near the chia seeds for any signs of bugs.
  3. Chia seeds that have gone bad will exhibit a rancid odor and taste, indicating that they should be discarded. Similarly, if the chia seeds or flour have formed clumps, their quality has been compromised. Although it may be safe to consume rancid chia seeds (2), they will have a bitter and rancid taste.

Can you eat chia seeds past the expiration date?

Consuming expired chia seeds is not recommended (1) as it can pose potential health risks. If chia seeds have gone bad, they will have a bitter flavor indicating potential rancidification or contamination.Therefore, the unpleasant flavor serves as a deterrent to consuming them.

What are the risks of eating spoiled chia seeds?

Eating spoiled chia seeds can pose several risks to your health. If you experience symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, it could indicate food poisoning. The main problems are related to fungal contamination and the toxins produced by these fungi (5).

These symptoms may appear within hours or days after consuming contaminated food and can persist for several hours or days. It is important to seek medical attention as food poisoning can lead to dehydration, which can be harmful if left untreated.


In this article, we have addressed the question “Can chia seeds go bad?” Yes, chia seeds can go bad. However, when stored correctly, chia seeds can remain fresh for up to three years. 


1.      Cruz-Tirado JP, Oliveira M, de Jesus Filho M, Godoy HT, Amigo JM, Barbin DF. Shelf life estimation and kinetic degradation modeling of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) using principal component analysis based on NIR-hyperspectral imaging. Food Control. 2021;123(April 2020):1–10.

2.      Mesías M, Holgado F, Márquez-Ruiz G, Morales FJ. Risk/benefit considerations of a new formulation of heat-based biscuit supplemented with different amounts of chia flour. Lwt. 2016;73:528–35.

3. USDA. Food data central: chia seeds [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 25]. Available from:

4. AOAC. Chia: Superfood or superfad? [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 25]. Available from:

5. Alshannaq A, Yu J-H. Occurrence, Toxicity, and Analysis of Major Mycotoxins in Food. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [Internet] 2017;14(6):632. Available from: