Does nutritional yeast expire?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does nutritional yeast expire” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of the nutritional yeast. Moreover, we are going to discuss different storage ideas for nutritional yeast and whether or not we can consume it after the expiration date along with some ways in which we can use it in our daily dietary regime.

Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is developed on molasses or sugarcane. It gets warmed and dried before disintegrating into flakes or powder. It is really in full bloom now owing to its characteristic nutty or cheesy flavor which makes it a lot different from the commonly used yeast that is used to make doughs and bread. So if you are confused about the shelf life of nutritional yeast, you need not worry as we will give you a thorough analysis that will rectify your confusion regarding “does nutritional yeast expire”.

Yeast biomass from so-called nutritional yeasts is widely used as a source of nutritional components, such as single-cell protein. Nutritional yeasts are heat deactivated for production of nutritional components. Yeast cells are killed and dried (1).

According to the World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 25% of the world population has protein deficiency. In spite of all the benefits, nutritional yeast production has not gained great importance because yeast biomass is not generally accepted as a protein supplement for people (1).

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

Does nutritional yeast expire?

Yes, nutritional yeast eventually does expire. It usually comes with an expiration date that you should be concerned about. Drying yeast biomass enhances shelf life of food products. In the case of probiotic yeast biomass, the freeze-drying process is usually applied, since this type of drying saves the living cells. The moisture content of food powders is usually between 2% and 8%. At this level, powders are stable with an average shelf life of 12–24 months (1).

In general, higher temperatures of storage, along with exposure to moisture, oxygen and light enhances chemical changes such as lipid oxidation, caking and browning, which limits the shelf life and leads to nutrient loss of powdered food products (2).

If the color of the yeast is changing to a more brown shade or it is forming clumps instead of having a runny flow then it means nutritional yeast has gone bad.

No doubt that this product has a significantly longer shelf life and can even survive outside the refrigerator for quite a long period of time but that does not mean it can be stored for eternity.

Does nutritional yeast need to be refrigerated? 

It is not a necessity, but a good idea to refrigerate nutritional yeast because it adds a few more months to the shelf life of nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast has a shelf life of usually 2 years, and proper storage in the refrigerator can increase its shelf life, as long as the product is free from moisture and oxygen. Refrigeration slows both the growth of unwanted microbes and the oxidation process. Indeed, the rate of chemical reaction in general, including oxidation, decreases as the temperature decreases (3).

How to store nutritional yeast?

Keep nutritional yeast in a cool, dry, dark spot and it can remain useful for as long as two years. 

The price of nutritional yeast is comparable;e to other condiments therefore it does not put any extra strain on your pocket and even if it expires it won’t cost you much fortune.

Can nutritional yeast be stored in the fridge?

Placing it in the fridge or cooler will help you to increase the shelf life of the nutritional yeast significantly more.

Can nutritional yeast be stored in the freezer?

Yes, the nutritional yeast can be stored in the freezer and the frozen nutritional yeast has a longer shelf life than its counterparts as it can survive more than 2 years easily when stored in the freezer.

How long is nutritional yeast good after opening the pack?

After opening the pack of nutritional yeast, it should be kept in an air-tight container away from sunlight in a cool and dry place to preserve its vitamin content. If all the optimal conditions are met nutritional yeast will not survive before 2 years. In the freezer, most food can stay safe indefinitely but risk losing the properties that make the foods enjoyable, such as texture, flavor, and hydration (3). 

Other FAQs about Yeast which you may be interested in.

How long does yeast last?

Can unopened nutritional yeast go bad?

Unopened nutritional yeast can’t go bad for quite long until and unless it is exposed to a really warm temperature or humid environment containing a lot of moisture. But to be on the safer side, as the normal shelf life of nutritional yeast is 2 years, therefore, it is not advised to use it even if it is unopened after 2 years.

How long is nutritional yeast good after the expiration date?

The nutritional yeast can be used for some months even after the expiry date without causing any health problems. Moreover, by storing the nutritional yeast in the refrigerator, you can increase its shelf life.

The nutritional yeasts that come in small packages often have an expiry date printed on it while on the other hand if you buy it in bulk then often you do not know about its expiration date as it does not come with packages. 

How to tell if nutritional yeast is bad?

You can tell whether or not the nutritional yeast is bad by looking at its color, texture, and taste.


Nutritional yeast gradually changes in appearance as it turns bad. The ordinarily light yellow shading will turn more obscure, possibly to a more of a brownish color. Browning occur due to non-enzymatic reactions, such as Maillard reaction (2).


Rather than being smooth streaming when you pour it, it will begin clumping together. 


Nutritional yeast might likewise build up an unpleasant taste as it turns bad. Lipid oxidation leads to the formation of off-odor and off-flavor components in the food (2).

How nutritional yeast can be used?

Nutritional yeast can be used both as a flavoring agent and a cheese substitute. Sprinkle it into any dish to add a hint of umami, or substitute it for cheese in case you’re attempting to skip the dairy. You can likewise make more advantageous adaptations of locally acquired snacks with it, such as trading sacked cheddar puffs for simmered broccoli cleaned sprinkled with nutritional yeast.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does nutritional yeast expire” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of the nutritional yeast. Moreover, we discussed different storage ideas for nutritional yeast and whether or not we can consume it after the expiration date along with some ways in which we can use it in our daily dietary regime.


  1. Jach, Monika E., and Anna Serefko. Nutritional yeast biomass: characterization and application. Diet, microbiome and health. Academic Press, 2018. 237-270.
  2. Tehrany, Elmira Arab, and Kees Sonneveld. Packaging and the shelf life of milk powders. Food packaging and shelf life, a practical guide. CRC Press, Boca Raton, London, 2010, 127-141.
  3. Anderson, E; Li, J. Preservatives and Refrigeration. Michigan State University. 2021.