Does cinnamon go bad (+3 ways to tell )
In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does cinnamon go bad” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cinnamon. Moreover, we are going to discuss the tips to properly store cinnamon and the ways to tell if your cinnamon has gone bad.
Cinnamon is a spice that easily finds its way in a variety of dishes from different cuisines. From those apple cinnamon rolls to a hot cup of cinnamon tea, this spice enhances the flavor profile of everything it is put into.
So if you have bought cinnamon in bulk and now are wondering “does cinnamon go bad” then you need not worry as we will tell you exactly that.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
Does cinnamon go bad?
Yes, like any other food item cinnamon tends to go bad after a certain time. But when we say that cinnamon or any other spice has gone bad or has expired, what we are referring to is that it has lost its peak flavor, aroma, color, and overall quality.
Thus cinnamon tends to lose its flair over time and you will not get the same great flavor and aroma from old cinnamon as the one you get from the fresh one.(1)
How long does ground cinnamon last?
Ground cinnamon lasts for about 2-3 years easily when it is kept in a cool, dry, and dark place but we recommend you to use it within a year to enjoy its prime quality. After this time the flavor and the aroma of the cinnamon start to fade. (1, 2)
Cinnamon sticks easily last for up to 3-4 years if stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight. They can even last longer than that but that entirely depends upon the storage conditions that they are kept into.
There is this rule that “the smaller the size is, the larger is the surface area and the shorter the shelf life. So as compared to ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks last for many years. (1, 2)
How to properly store cinnamon?
- Moisture is also an enemy of the freshness and flavor of the cinnamon therefore cinnamon should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce its exposure to air.
- You should never use wet spoons to take the cinnamon out of its container or jar.
- It is best practice to store cinnamon at room temperature as the fluctuations in temperature can affect the rich flavors of cinnamon negatively. Moreover, do not store them near a stove or air conditioner.
- It is not advised to store the ground cinnamon in the refrigerator as the moisture content of the refrigerator is quite high and it can reduce the quality of the cinnamon. If you still want to store it in the refrigerator then it is recommended to keep it in vacuum-sealed containers.
- Cinamon should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. A cool and dry corner of your pantry can serve this purpose nicely.
- Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the cinnamon jar or bag and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the cinnamon that you need.(1, 2)
How to tell if your cinnamon has gone bad?
You can tell whether or not the cinnamon has gone bad by considering its color, texture, and smell.
The absence of the characteristic aroma or the weak aroma of the cinnamon is the indication that it is past its prime time.
If you see some clumps formed in your ground cinnamon, this can be the indication that your cinnamon has gone bad and it won’t have the same flavor or aroma anymore.
The reason behind the formation of these clumps in ground cinnamon is if the moisture found its way inside it. This can happen if you have not stored the cinnamon properly or have used a wet spoon to scoop the cinnamon out of its container.
Moreover, if you see some mold in your cinnamon you should discard it.
Moreover, the color of fresh cinnamon is bright so if you notice dull or grayish hues then it means that your cinnamon has gone bad and it is better to toss it out. (1)
What happens if you use cinnamon that has gone bad?
If the cinnamon has gone bad, it is better to toss it out but if you still insist on using it, then surely it won’t cause health problems if consumed.
But the cinnamon that has gone bad won’t impart the same great taste or aroma to your food so if you are okay with using tasteless cinnamon that’s completely up to you. (1, 2)
Other FAQs about Cinnamon that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “does cinnamon go bad” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cinnamon. Moreover, we discussed the tips to properly store cinnamon and the ways to tell if your cinnamon has gone bad.
- Thacker, Emily. The Cinnamon Book. Estados Unidos: James Direct, Incorporated, 2012.
- Natalie Olsen, Ansley Hill, Do Spices Expire? Shelf Life and When to Toss Them, Healthline Media LLC. 2020.