Can you get sick from eating an expired protein bar?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating an expired protein bar” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating an expired protein bar. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store protein bars.

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

Can you get sick from eating an expired protein bar?

When it comes to expired protein bars, no doubt that they can have off-smell and off-flavors but eating an expired protein bar won’t necessarily make you sick.

The nuts present in the protein bar have high-fat content and with time the fat present in the protein bar can go rancid. Moreover, under the influence of light, heat, and oxygen, the fats present in the protein bar get broken down and the products that are formed often smell and taste bad.

Short-term usage of protein bars having rancid nuts won’t cause any significant health issues but if you consume rancid nuts over a long time then it can increase the number of free radicals in the body that can in turn damage the cells of the body, proteins, and DNA. Moreover, long term usage of rancid nuts can also result in gastrointestinal problems

It is worth mentioning that it is the “best by” or “ best before” date that is written on the package of the protein bar instead of the expiration date. 

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the can of protein bar refers to the quality rather than safety so the protein bar 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 of the protein bar but you can still use a protein bar that is past this date as long as it is stored properly.

It is worth mentioning that the shelf life of the protein bars varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Moreover, the ingredients that are used to make protein bars as well as the storage conditions in which they are kept play an important role in determining the shelf life of protein bars.

So, you should do the sensory evaluation of the protein bar to reach a final verdict if it is still suitable to consume or not.

Certain indicators point out a bad protein bar. You should consider the appearance, smell, and taste of the protein bar to reach a final verdict on whether or not it is still suitable to consume.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or organic growth on your protein bar then the best thing you can do is to toss out such a protein bar. It is worth mentioning that molds can grow on protein bars that are improperly stored in a warm and humid environment for too long.

Moreover, if you see the mold, it is recommended never to smell the protein bar as molds can produce mycotoxins in them and if you smell such protein bar 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 nutty aroma or the presence of rancid smell is the indication that the nuts in the protein bar have gone rancid, thus it is better to toss out such protein bars.

Taste

Last but not least, if your protein bar has passed both the visual and sniff test then you can go ahead and taste your protein bar and if you taste something bitter or stale then it is an indication of a bad protein bar.

You can read how to make peanut butter protein bars here.

Tips to properly store protein bar

  1. Moisture is an enemy of the freshness and flavor of the protein bar therefore protein bars should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce their exposure to air.
  1. You should store your protein bar away from direct sunlight and heat as they can increase the rate at which the nuts in the protein bar go rancid.
  1. If you want to store protein bars in the refrigerator, then it is recommended to keep them in vacuum-sealed containers so that the moisture content of the fridge won’t reach the protein bar and mess up its quality.
  1. A protein bar can also be kept in a cool, dry, well-ventilated, 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.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating an expired protein bar” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating an expired protein bar. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store protein bars.

Citations

https://www.quora.com/What-will-happen-if-we-eat-an-expired-protein-bar#:~:text=In%20general%2C%20there%20are%20no,usually%20say%20%E2%80%9CExpires%20by%E2%80%9D.

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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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