Does Hummus go bad?

In this brief guide, we will address the question, “does hummus go bad” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does hummus take to go bad or what are some of the preparation steps and storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of hummus.

Does hummus go bad?

Yes, Hummus does go bad like other dips, sauces or condiments, and has a short life span.

Hummus, made from chickpeas is a creamy spread rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins. It also contains fibre and antioxidants in ample amounts. Due to its nutritional value and delicious taste, it is used with pita bread, fresh veggies and also used to top sandwiches. Because of your likeness to it, you have bought plenty of hummus packs, you can often find yourself wondering about this exact same thing. Well, now you know.

Hummus Spoilage; Food Safety Concern

Hummus is rich in nutrients that microbes require for growth, therefore slight variation in storage and handling practices may accelerate the spoilage of hummus. Yeast and molds are likely to attack and grow on hummus as it contains 70-80% moisture and has acidic pH which prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria but acid-tolerant bacteria can proliferate in such conditions.

To prevent hummus from spoilage it should be properly stored at ideal conditions. 

The shelf life of hummus

Unopened hummus can last long for maximum 10 days if stored properly, it contains few ingredients such a lemon and garlic that keep it last long up to above mentioned days as they have self-preserving and antimicrobial properties.

Opening the container reduces the shelf life of hummus and at refrigeration temperature, it is recommended to use it in between four to five days after its opening.

Signs of hummus goes bad

Carrying out food safety practices and proper hygiene will stop foodborne diseases. But hummus that is old stored or passed its best by date. Its consistency becomes thick and it hardens. The growth of mould on the surface indicates the spoilage of hummus.

Rotten hummus gets separated, loses its oils have slimy and fuzzy texture due to mold growth. It produces the fermented smell; colours darkened and have a noticeable sour taste.

If any above-mentioned sign appear, toss the hummus out without tasting it and it is a right time to invest on another container

Preparation steps to make hummus

Hummus is very easy to make at home; it is more of an idea than a recipe; you just have to play around with portions and some spices. 

  • Soak the chickpeas for some hours and make an extra effort to remove its skin if you want your hummus smoother, otherwise with skin is also fine
  • Blend the chickpeas and other ingredients including lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, tahini and garlic. Blend this mixture until smooths (for about 5 minutes)
  • Scrap it out in a bowl and toss any extra spice if required. Serve hummus with pita chips or veggies. 

How to store hummus?

Shelf-stable hummus is rare to find, mostly unopened or unopened; both are recommended to store at refrigerated temperature after sealing it tightly to keep out the moisture and other contaminants to enhance its shelf life by preventing oxidative degradation of compounds. 

Store the opened hummus in the main compartment of the fridge rather storing it on the back of the door where the temperature fluctuates during opening and closing.

The hummus should be stored away from light, in a dark and dry area to avoid photolytic degradation. 

To keep hummus fresh, avoid the contamination by using clean utensils every time to scoop it out.  Do not leave hummus out after using, place it in the fridge immediately after using the required or needed amount because if you leave opened hummus out it will be exposed to oxygen as well as microbes that will accelerate its spoilage.

Storing it in the refrigerator is an ideal storage condition when optimal results are desired.

Freezing hummus

To extend the shelf life, it is advisable to freeze the hummus. Freezing can last for 6 months without any noticeable change in flavour and texture. Just store the hummus in an airtight properly sealed container and do not fill the container up to the lid leave some space known as headspace, because on freezing it expands.  

You can consume the hummus by thawing it at refrigerated temperature or in the microwave. Upon thawing the oil and water from hummus may separate and form a layer on the top so just give it a good stir and your hummus will be ready to eat. After thawing it should be consumed within 5 to 7 days and once thawed hummus should never be re-frosted. 

Some people may find little bland taste after thawing the frozen hummus and its consistency a little thinner than the fresh ones, but it does not mean that the hummus is spoiled. You can toss the red pepper, ginger or garlic to add more flavour to it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “does hummus go bad” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does hummus take to go bad or what are some of the preparation steps and storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of hummus.

References 

Ahmed Rana

Ahmed is a Nutritionist and a food blogger. He aspires to become a professional who helps individuals achieve a better lifestyle through proper nutrition education.

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