Can peanut butter go bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can peanut butter go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not peanut butter goes bad. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of peanut butter, ways to spot bad peanut butter, and the tips to store peanut butter properly.

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

Can peanut butter go bad?

Like all other food items, peanut butter does go bad after a certain time but the good news here is that peanut butter lasts for a long time so you do not have to worry too much about it going bad as long as it is properly stored.

How long does peanut butter last?

Commercially processed peanut butter

When it comes to the unopened commercially processed peanut butter then it has a long shelf life and it lasts for about 6-24 months when kept in a cool, dry and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

On the other hand, once you open your commercially processed store-bought peanut butter, its shelf life decreases and it lasts for about 2-3 months when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry.

On the other hand, if you are storing the opened peanut butter in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit then it lasts for about 3-6 months past the “best by” date. 

Powdered peanut butter

Powdered peanut butter lasts for about 12 months if stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Homemade peanut butter

While talking about the shelf life of homemade peanut butter, as it does not have any additional preservatives added to it therefore it has a shorter shelf life than the store-bought commercially processed peanut butter. Homemade peanut butter lasts for about 1-3 months when stored in an air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge.

It is worth mentioning that these are the estimated shelf lives of peanut butter, peanut butter can last even longer than this, provided that it was stored properly.

You can read how to make homemade peanut butter here.

Is peanut butter safe to use after the best-before date?

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

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of peanut butter but you can still use peanut butter that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

How to tell if peanut butter has gone bad?

To spot a mold in peanut butter is a rare phenomenon owing to the high fat and low water content of peanut butter. Therefore the indicators that point out a bad peanut butter are the smell, texture, and taste.

If you smell something rancid while taking a sniff test then it is an indication of bad peanut butter. Moreover loss or aroma sometimes also indicates a really old peanut butter.

Moreover, you can take a small bite of the peanut butter and if you feel that its taste has changed (sour or bitter) and it has developed some off-flavors then it is better to get rid of such peanut butter.

On the other hand, the dry and hard texture of the peanut butter is the indication that it is past its prime age.

Tips to store peanut butter properly

  1. Peanut butter should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Therefore you can safely store peanut butter in a cool and dry corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.
  2. Moreover, you can also refrigerate open peanut butter bottles to preserve their freshness and quality for a long time as the cold temperature of the fridge lowers the rate at which microbes can grow.
  3. In the case of homemade peanut butter, it is recommended to store the peanut butter in an air-tight container in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. You should not store your peanut butter in a humid environment.
  5. Moreover, close the lid of the peanut butter jar as soon as you scoop out the peanut butter that you need to minimize the air (oxygen) exposure of the peanut butter.
  6. Do not use a wet spoon to scoop out peanut butter from the container.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can peanut butter go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not peanut butter goes bad. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of peanut butter, ways to spot bad peanut butter, and the tips to store peanut butter properly.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-peanut-butter-go-bad

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-peanut-butter-go-bad/

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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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