Does sesame oil go bad?

In this brief guide we will address the question, “Does sesame oil go bad?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to tell if your sesame oil has gone bad and how should you store sesame oil. 

Does sesame oil go bad?

Once opened, sesame oil lasts for about a year before it goes bad. It is important to store the sesame oil in the refrigerator to make sure it retains the best quality. Cloudy appearance or solidification as a result of refrigeration does not affect the taste or texture when it is thawed.

Sesame oil is an extract from the sesame seeds that is commercially available in the form of bottles. Sesame oil is prone to oxidation process from the natural air.  

An unopened bottle of sesame oil will last for more than a year past its expiry date. However, you should always look for any signs that tell if the oil is spoiled or not.

When opened, sesame oil can last for about 6 months before it starts to go bad. Moreover, the best by date will also help you estimate when the oil will probably go bad. The best by date on the label does not exactly tell when it will go bad, it is just a rough estimate for the consumer to know that the oil will start to deteriorate after this mentioned period of time.

Usually, the oil lasts for months after the best by date when it is unopened. Again, the signs of spoilage must be kept in consideration when dealing with certain products. 

Can sesame oil go bad if not refrigerated? 

Well, to be honest, it is not really a necessity. Refrigerating the sesame oil does not drastically increase the shelf life of the product. What it does is however, maintain the flavour and originality of your sesame oil. 

If you have that much space in your refrigerator, you should definitely go with the option of storing it there. However, if you don’t have enough space, you can just store it in the pantry in a properly sealed container.

Can old sesame oil make you sick?

Yes, old and expired sesame oil can make you seriously sick. Moreover, rancid and oxidized oils are capable of generating free radicals in the human body. These free radicals alter the fats, proteins and carbohydrates in the human body that can lead to serious complications. Therefore, consuming such oil in larger quantities can be seriously damaging to the body.

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How to tell if sesame oil has gone bad?

Well, there are a number of indicators that will help you identify if your sesame oil has gone bad. If you are a regular user of sesame oi, then you definitely need to understand these signs of spoilage, as you may come across them one day or another.

  1. Dark, amber color: If your sesame oil has a dark, amber color, then chances are that your sesame oil has gone bad. Fresh sesame oil has a light golden color that gets dark with time. It is important to note here that just a slightly dark color does not mean that the sesame oil is bad. Slight dark colouration could be due to the extraction of oil from roasted sesame seeds. An excellent way to find out about proper color is to compare it online with other sesame oils. 
  1. Sticky bottle: A sticky bottle indicates that your sesame oil is rancid. This is a common problem when you store sesame oil in the pantry for longer durations. When the oil inside is rancid, there is a sticky residue on the outside of the container.
  1. Harsh, acrid smell: Fresh sesame oil has a pleasant nutty smell. On the other hand, rancid oil will have a harsh, bitter and soapy smell. Just give the oil and whiff and figure it out. If it is harsh on your nose, it means that the sesame oil has gone bad and it is best to just throw it out.
  1. Change in taste: Even if other visual and sensory details do not help you in identifying whether the sesame oil has gone bad or not, you can always go with the option of tasting it. Now I am not saying that you need to cook something in it in order to get the true taste of sesame oil. Just stick a finger and taste the oil. If the oil has an acrid or bitter taste, it is probably best to throw it our.


In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “Does sesame oil go bad?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to tell if sesame oil has gone bad and how to store sesame oil.