Does sugar expire?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “does sugar expire?. “We will also discuss the shelf life of sugar as well as the best ways of storing it.

Does sugar expire?

Sugar does not go bad after its expiry date but may get spoiled due to outside bacterial and moisture attacks. Granulated sugar may be stored in the pantry for up to two years after it has been opened. Sugar, on the other hand, never spoils. While it is suggested however that granulated sugar be thrown away after two years, there is a good possibility that it will continue to serve its baking function even beyond that time. Brown sugar, as well as powdered sugar, are treated in the same way as white sugar.

Here’s a brief and rather simplified explanation of why this is the case.

A hygroscopic material attracts water molecules, and sugar is one of these substances. It is via the process known as osmosis that when any kind of bacterium falls on top of sugar, the moisture from the bacteria is moved to the sugar.

Osmosis is the process by which water is moved from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration by a force greater than gravity. In addition, since sugar contains virtually little water, nearly all of the water stored inside the bacteria is transferred to the sugar. Bacteria die as a result of dehydration at this stage.

In other words, sugar provides a hostile environment for bacteria, making it impossible for them to grow or even survive.

How To Keep Sugar Safe?

Ensure that sugar is stored in a cool, dry location away from every heat source Once the packet has been opened, the most secure method of storing the sugar is to place it in an airtight container.

The most essential thing to remember about sugar is to keep it away from every moisture.

Of course, keeping white sugar in its appropriate containers is perfectly fine, but just make sure there is not any water or steam coming near it, and that there are not any strong odors in the area.

How Long Does Sugar Stay in Your System?

Sugar has a long shelf life and maybe consumed forever. Although sugar has a best-by date on the label, sugar does not go bad unless it comes into contact with water or pantry bugs.

The time on the label, which is also known as the expiry date, is most likely there for legal reasons, but it is also there because consumers are more inclined to trust food items that have an expiration date on them. It makes little difference if your sugar has a two-year shelf life or a five-year shelf life, according to the label.

Sugar (unopened or opened)Stays fine indefinitely
XylitolBest-by + 2+ years
ErythritolBest-by + 2+ years

Other FAQs about Sugar which you may be interested in.

Can you put powdered sugar in coffee?

How long does sugar last?

How to know if jaggery is spoiled?

How To Tell If Sugar Is Bad?

Generally speaking, sugar will survive indefinitely provided it is stored correctly, but in certain instances, it may be necessary to discard it.

The presence of bugs or insects in the bag

The majority of the time, they manage to go inside the package and perish there. If you come across any, throw away the sugar.

Mold growth may be seen on the surface.

In the presence of any kind of fuzz or other bacterial activity (essentially, anything that seems to be alive), it is likely that water and microorganisms were introduced into the package. 

The sugar has a strange odor to it

Most of the time, this happens, since it picks up an odor from another meal. If such is the situation, feel free to toss it away for the sake of quality assurance.

Alternatives to Sugar

In addition to sugar, there are a few other sugar substitutes available that are worth mentioning as well. Let us take them one by one and see how they go.


There is an expiration date of approximately two years for xylitol following the date of manufacture. However, as long as it is stored correctly, it should maintain its freshness for months or years longer, similar to how sugar does in the same situation.

Given that xylitol has only recently gained popularity, it is almost difficult to locate individuals who have kept xylitol for more than five years to ask whether the quality of the sweetener has maintained over time.


Swerve’s primary component, erythritol, has a shelf life from one to two years but may keep for years longer if properly stored. 

Storage-wise, there is not much new to report: you must keep it securely packed and in a cold, dry environment. The fridge or freezer, in addition to a cabinet in the kitchen or pantry, are excellent storage choices.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “does sugar expire?. “We also discussed the shelf life of sugar as well as the best ways of storing it.