Do sesame seeds go bad

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “do sesame seeds go bad?” We will also discuss what is the shelf life of this ingredient and how you need to store it.

Do sesame seeds go bad?

Yes, sesame seeds do go bad. Their high oil content is responsible for them going rancid, this can happen more quickly if proper storage is not attended to. Also, if sesame seeds are raw, they might spoil in less time.

 So, if you have just found a pack of sesame seeds in your pantry and you are not sure whether it is still safe to consume them, keep reading to find out some signs that can help you determine their freshness.

How long do sesame seeds last?

Sesame seeds have a long shelf life as they can last for up to 6 months when stored in the pantry, it does not matter if the container has been opened or not. 

These seeds can safely be stored in the pantry, and they can even be consumed several months after the best-by date.

It does not matter if you have opened the bag of your seeds, their shelf life will not be affected. However, you do need to store certain specifications to guarantee the longest shelf life.

Shelf life of sesame seeds
TypeStored in the pantryStored in the fridge
Unopened sesame seeds3 to 6 months past the expiration date
Opened sesame seeds3 to 6 months past the expiration date1 year after past date

These periods are estimates, depending on the effort you put when storing your sesame seeds, their shelf lives can be enhanced or reduced.

What signs help you notice when sesame seeds are spoiled?

If you are unsure about the quality of stored sesame seeds, you need to check for several factors that can indicate when the seeds are no longer appropriate for human consumption.

Some of the signs that can help you determine the quality of sesame seeds are

  • Off smell. Sesame seeds are characterized by a nutty and fresh odor, when they have gone bad the smell will change to a rancid smell. This rancid smell is caused by the high oil content of the seeds.
  • Rancid flavor. Your senses can help you notice when sesame seeds have spoiled. These seeds possess a nutty flavor that changes to a rancid and unpleasant taste. Whenever you notice this, throw the seeds away!
  • Mold growth. Mold is an undeniable sign that indicates when food is no longer appropriate for its consumption. When sesame seeds are properly stored, they will not be exposed to moisture, which will avoid mold apparition.

Where do you need to store sesame seeds?

Sesame seeds can be stored in the pantry or the fridge without any changes to their shelf lives. However, certain recommendations need to be taken into consideration, such as

  • Keep your seeds in a dark place. It is important to avoid your seeds being exposed to sunlight as this can reduce their shelf lives.
  • Avoid places with fluctuating temperatures. Constant temperature changes will negatively affect the quality of the product.
  • Choose an airtight container. You can use jars or freezer bags, this will prevent seeds from being exposed to moisture, which can lead to mold growth.
  • Store them in the freezer for longer shelf life. When properly stored in the freezer, their shelf life can be extended. Also, you can use them frozen, there is no need to thaw them before.

Can you store sesame seeds in the freezer?

Yes, sesame seeds can be stored in the freezer. This can extend their shelf life considerably, as their different properties can be preserved for a longer time. 

However, when sesame seeds are frozen, there is no need to thaw them before using them, which can help you save some time. 

What can happen when you consume expired sesame seeds?

You need to keep in mind that expired seeds do not mean they are rancid or moldy. Eating a few expired sesame seeds will not affect your health. But consuming moldy or rancid seeds do have prejudicial effects.

When you eat any moldy food, you will also be consuming several toxins that have been reported to be detrimental to your health. Toxins can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues in some people.

Aflatoxins are the substances that mold produces, and its consumption can lead to several symptoms that can affect your health, some of these are

  • Damage to the liver.
  • Damage to the DNA. Aflatoxins have been associated with cancer in animals and humans.

If you want to read more about the mold that grows in sesame seeds, you can click here.

Other FAQs about Sesame Seeds that you may be interested in.

What is sesame oil good for?

Can dogs eat sesame seeds?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “do sesame seeds go bad?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.