In this brief guide, we will address the question, “does whey protein expire?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand, like what is the ideal time for consumption or what are the different types of protein powders that are commercially available in the market.
Does whey protein expire?
Yes. Whey protein does expire. Whey protein is extracted from milk, which is then dried and processed to make it a powder. This increases the shelf life of the product and saves us the trouble of consuming milk (or other derivatives) in large quantities to get that whey protein.
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It is always best to check the label on the container for the expiry dates for these products, as each manufacturer will have a different method of extraction and preservation for the whey protein.
The time it takes to expire or go stale depends on factors like humidity, contamination, and the preservatives used. The shelf life can be anywhere from 9 to 19 months depending on the following:
- Type of whey
- Moisture Content
- Processing Methods
- Packaging Seals (Air-tight pouch, rigid tub, polythene bag, foil)
- Exposure to Elements
- Stability or shelf-life of ingredients added)
How long does whey protein powder last once opened?
It is always best to refer to the expiry date mentioned on the label. For a general estimate, it will stay fresh for a minimum of 6 months. Also, check the manufacturing date while buying such products, and only buy from brands that you trust.
The answer to this question primarily depends on the storage conditions that you maintain. Putting the whey protein in a damp, humid place is definitely not the way to go if you want your whey protein to last longer.
For all such products, the ideal way is to store them in a cool, dry place. Keeping the powder air-tight is usually the way to go.
If the whey protein is in a reusable sealing bag, which they usually are, make sure that you do not allow any moisture to enter into the bag. Tightly seal the bag every time you take some out for consumption.
Can you consume whey protein powder after expiry date?
You can still consume whey protein powder after it has expired. Depending on ingredients used and the preservatives, whey proteins do not immediately expire after their due date.
The due date is an estimation by the manufacturer after which the product starts to lose its efficacy. Simply put, your whey protein will not be as effective and fresh as it was. It does not mean that it is now unsafe to consume.
However, one must keep in mind that after the due date it is expected to deteriorate. Therefore, consuming it within a week or two is advised.
You can tell if your whey protein has expired by noticing the smell. If you notice a bad odour when you open the container, it simply means that some activity has taken place and your product is now unsafe to consume.
Similarly, if you see lumps when you open the bag/container, it means the whey protein has absorbed moisture and it is not advisable to use it.
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How to store Whey Protein
To prolong the shelf life of your whey protein powder, it is imperative that you ensure proper storage conditions.
Most common factors that whey protein is susceptible to are temperature, exposure to bacteria, light, and exposure to air.
To ensure optimal shelf life, it is best to store in a cool, dry, and dark place. You also need to make sure that the container you’re using is air-tight, so there is no room for air, moisture, or other harmful substances to enter your whey protein powder.
You also need to make sure you don’t expose the powder too long while using it. Don’t open the bag/container just for the purpose of seeing if it has gone bad or not. Frequent exposure to air will gradually decrease its shelf life.
In short, only open the container when you need to. There is no need to check again and again since doing so will decrease the shelf life of the product.
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Whey protein does expire. The expiry or best-before date is mentioned in almost all the products. The manufacturers are not bound to do so, but they mention it to ensure appropriate use and to facilitate their customers.
You can also consume Whey protein after its expiry date. It means that it will lose efficacy, but it won’t pose a threat to your health.
In this brief guide, we addressed the question, “does whey protein expire?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand, like what is the ideal time for consumption or what are the different types of protein powders that are commercially available in the market.