Does coconut milk go bad?

In this brief article, we will answer the questions: does coconut milk go bad, and how to store it.

Does coconut milk go bad?

Yes, coconut milk goes bad depending on its packaging material. In the case of a can, unopened coconut milk will last for up to 5 years before it goes bad. When opened, the same will last for about 7 days. Similarly, opened and refrigerated cartons of coconut milk last for up to 10 days.

Coconut milk is a versatile product used for both cooking and baking, it is added for its creaminess and sweetness. Coconut milk is available in different varieties but all of them are manufactured by squeezing grated coconut meat to extract its milk

How to tell if coconut milk has gone bad?

If the coconut milk is chunky and darker in colour it is an indicator that it has started curdling and it has gone bad. It will also have a foul smell and may begin to develop mould. You can prevent coconut milk from going bad by storing it in a cool and dry place.

How coconut milk is made?

Coconut milk is extracted from squeezing the meat of coconut. The meat of coconut is the white extract from the inside of coconut. Coconut milk has many varieties and is sold depending on need. Every variety has a different way of manufacturing it and each variety is used differently.

In making thick coconut milk, only the milk of coconut is used and no additional liquid is added. This type of coconut milk is often used in culinary applications as thickener. It is used to thicken soups and sauces as a base and thickener.

Thinner coconut milk is made by soaking of grated meat in water. The soaking is done before squeezing out the milk to obtain a thinner consistency of milk. It is used as a substitute of milk by vegans, and by those with lactose intolerance

Shelf life of coconut milk:

Coconut milk is not very shelf stable just like other dairy products. It has the capacity to go bad if left open on the kitchen counter for even one or two days. If refrigerated it stays safe for seven to ten days in a good quality state.

An unopened can of coconut milk expires after two to five years depending on the company, type of milk, and storage conditions. The taste and smell of coconut milk changes after it goes bad, so it is best to discard bad coconut milk as soon as it goes bad

How to store coconut milk?

Coconut milk is at risk of microbial attack and spoilage, so it is packed in a proper way. Coconut milk requires proper storage and refrigeration to have a shelf life of years. Some of the tips to follow for proper storage are:

Storage conditions:

Unopened coconut milk cans are stored in cool, dark, and humid places to avoid spoiling coconut milk. After opening the can of milk, you should immediately store it in a fridge. Leaving coconut milk on the kitchen counter decreases its shelf life to a few days. Refrigerated coconut milk stays safe for weeks if storage conditions are not changed


The packaging of coconut milk is liquid in nature and not easy to preserve. To avoid spoilage of coconut milk, it is stored in antiseptic packaging. It is filled in shelf-stable containers, and in packaging that allows cold from refrigeration to reach it.

Freezing coconut milk:

Coconut milk is frozen as the whole container, but freezing unopened coconut milk is bad for quality. In case you want to freeze opened coconut milk, do it in an airtight container. Frozen coconut milk has a very long shelf life of six months.

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How to tell if coconut milk has gone bad? 

When coconut milk goes bad, its color becomes dark and visible chunks appear. Another indication is that spoiled coconut milk will give off a sour smell and may contain some mold growth. The best way to prevent it from spoilage is to store coconut milk in a cool, dry place.

Signs that coconut milk has gone bad:

Coconut milk is a dairy product and it has a very high chance of microbial attack. Due to its sweetness and liquid nature, it attracts many insects. It is best stored in cool, dark, and dry places. It is also refrigerated if it is opened.

Sometimes proper storage conditions are not maintained and coconut milk spoils or goes bad. Some signs of spoilage of coconut milk are:

  • It develops a mold when it has gone bad, a mold is a strong indicator of coconut milk spoilage. If there is a layer of mold over the surface of milk. It should not be consumed
  • A spoiled coconut milk will start to appear chunky, and darkens in color. It is due to curdling of milk, if it is the case, the milk should not be consumed
  • Another indicator of spoiled coconut milk is the change in smell. If it starts to smell rancid or sour, then it should be discarded
  • Coconut milk is canned in an airtight container, and there is rarely a way through which spoilage bacteria will enter it. So if bulging of can happens, that means it has spoilage bacteria in it even before opening it.

In case the layers start to separate that does not mean it has spoiled but it is better to shake milk before consuming it. It mixes the fat into milk and avoids the separation of layers when left unused.


In this brief article, we will answer the questions does coconut milk go bad, and how to store it