Can expired hot sauce make you sick?

In this article, we answer the following question: Can expired hot sauce make you sick? We explained what capsaicin is, why bacteria cannot grow in a spicy sauce, and how to tell if a sauce has gone bad. 

Can expired hot sauce make you sick?

It is unlikely that expired hot sauce will make you sick, but it all depends on how long the sauce has expired and its storage conditions. A spicy sauce kept in the refrigerator can be consumed a few months after the expiration date.

The high vinegar content of most hot sauces creates a hostile environment for bacteria so they can’t multiply. The antimicrobial properties of capsaicin, the substance responsible for the burning sensation, make chili, like other spicy foods, unattractive to bacteria that feed on plants and, therefore, safer for human consumption.

Capsaicin: The chemical compound capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is the active component of hot peppers (Capsicum). Capsaicin and other related substances are called capsaicinoids and are produced as a secondary metabolite in various plants of the Capsicum genus, which probably prevents them from being consumed by herbivorous animals. Pure capsaicin is a lipophilic, odorless, colorless, wax-like compound.

How can I tell if a sauce has gone bad?

It’s very simple. I know that it is rare for a sauce to spoil, but it can happen; if you are not sure if it is good or not, better follow these tips.

When a sauce, whatever it is, is old, it has a very peculiar smell; it is not the usual chili smell, it is different, I could describe it as “sour.” If your smell is not so good and you prefer another type of test, take a good look at its appearance. Appearance is very important and can give you signs of the condition it is in.

Commonly, if a sauce is in bad condition, it will have mold, little green dots with some white hairs, if your sauce has this … THROW IT OUT! It is no longer good, and it is much better if you throw it away. 

Another way to know if a sauce is bad by its appearance is if it has small bubbles … DO NOT EAT IT! It is a sign that it is decomposing and, to avoid diseases, throw it away.

If it has been under the sun, stored poorly, or its preservation process was done wrong, it may spoil quickly, but if you made sure to keep it in the right place, it would indeed remain in good condition.

The antimicrobial properties of spicy food

The benefits and disadvantages of spicy consumption have been the subject of historical debates among scientists, doctors, and nutritionists, who have not reached an agreement, although the truth is that there are a series of advantages associated with moderate consumption.

Among these benefits is for example the fact that historically it has been confirmed that turmeric is very effective in reducing joint inflammation and protecting bones; while capsaicin has shown its ability to reduce pain and increase levels of endorphin, the hormone that provides us with a delicious sensation of well-being.

Likewise, the regular consumption of chili peppers and curries within the daily diet reduces the risk of cancer, as confirmed by the World Health Organization, since capsaicin and curcumin exclusively attack cancer cells.

Both turmeric and capsaicin are natural antiseptics and antibacterial agents, they detoxify the liver, and eliminate bacteria from the intestine, becoming invaluable allies in protecting the stomach. On the other hand, prolonged consumption of curry, high in curcumin, reduces the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s by almost 50%, by slowing down the demyelination process of brain neurons.

Spicy is also good for the heart, as capsaicin lowers blood pressure and improves circulation. It is also beneficial for those who suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, as it produces an expectorant effect.

In addition, it improves bad cholesterol levels and reduces the demand for insulin by generating a natural defense against diabetes.

As if this were not enough, capsaicin increases the speed of metabolism by raising the level of body heat, which allows you to burn calories quickly and block fluid retention, also reduces your appetite.

The dark side of spicy food

But not everything is positive, and it is that the action of the spicy can certainly be harmful. Its excessive consumption can cause irritation of the mucous membranes of the digestive system at all levels, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines, causing disorders such as burning, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

These discomforts, and others that can become more serious, especially affect people who suffer from conditions such as gastritis, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia, or any type of inflammation of the digestive system, for whom spicy and spices very strong are contraindicated.

Likewise, people who suffer from bleeding, liver ailments, and urinary tract conditions, should avoid spicy foods, and if you are in very good health, keep in mind that everything in excess is dangerous.

The bottom line

In this article, we answered the following question: Can expired hot sauce make you sick? We explained what capsaicin is, why bacteria cannot grow in a spicy sauce, and how to tell if a sauce has gone bad. 

It is unlikely that expired hot sauce will make you sick, but it all depends on how long the sauce has expired and its storage conditions. A spicy sauce kept in the refrigerator can be consumed a few months after the expiration date.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References

The University of Washington. (2008, August 12). Bugs Put The Heat In Chili Peppers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 7, 2020, from www.sciencedaily.com/

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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