How long does cardamom last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does cardamom last?”, discuss related questions like what affects quality affects quality of cardamom, Can we use cardamom after it expires, What are the storage conditions for cardamom to last long.

How long does cardamom last?

The whole dried cardamom pods last up to 2-3 years while ground cardamom powder has a shelf life of 1-2 years.

Native to India, cardamom is called the “queen of spices”. It is either used as dried pods or as ground powder. It is used for flavoring a variety of foods including sweets and savory dishes worldwide. They have medicinal value and also a very long shelf life.

Does cardamom expire?

In the case of cardamom  we can not say that it expires like other foods. For almost all the spices expiring means they lose their flavoring strength, color over some time. Otherwise, cardamom has a very long shelf life if stored properly.

What affects the quality of cardamom?

Spices do not spoil over time but their strength does get reduced. Following factors affect the quality of cardamom the most-

·   Moisture/ humidity- if exposed to high moisture, the shelf life is reduced.

·   Light – direct exposure to sunlight may cause fading of its color

·   Heat – Causes degradation of quality

Whole cardamom or ground cardamom powder?

If we want the cardamom to have a long shelf life and preserve its flavoring capacity,  then storing the whole cardamom is the better option compared to ground powder. As ground powder will be more exposed to volatile losses. We can always freshly grind cardamom when required.

Can cardamom be used after the expiry date?

Yes, it can be used. But the strength of flavoring the food will be reduced. The expiry date and best before date are not the same. Expiry date means that it is the last day a food product is safe to consume while the best before date is the estimated time by the manufacturer for which the product will remain at its best quality.  

When they pass their “best before” date it means that the product is not at its best quality anymore and may lose freshness, flavor, aroma, and color. Packaged spices always have a “best before” date. After the best before date, cardamom starts to lose its flavoring potency slowly and the color may also fade. 

It may not have the same strength to flavor the food as before. Cardamom can be stored for a very long period if proper storage conditions are provided.

What are the storage conditions for cardamom to last long?

To get the optimum flavor from cardamom it should be kept in the best possible condition. Which are as follows-

·   Store in air-tight containers (storing in glass containers helps to retain more essential oils (flavor)).

·   Store in a dark and cool place.

·   Do not store in places with high humidity.

·   Do not store near places where there is heat.

What happens if proper storage conditions are not provided?

When cardamom is stored for a long time without proper care,  some characteristic changes may occur

·   Loss of flavor and aroma

·   Bleaching of color

·   Due to moisture, the ground powder becomes soggy and the whole cardamom develops a musty smell.

·   If exposed to a humidity greater than 70 %, microbial spoilage may occur.

How to know if the cardamom should be kept or tossed?

We can check if the cardamom should be kept or tossed by simply paying attention to its appearance and aroma.  Rubbing it on hand and then smelling it.

 If the aroma is significantly reduced then it no longer has the strength to flavor the foods. 

And also the color fades away. So, if the aroma and appearance of cardamom are changed, then it should be replaced.

Does freezing help to preserve cardamom?

Yes, It may help to extend the shelf life.  But it has some disadvantages like when the spices are taken out to room temperature condensation occurs, which causes unwanted moisture leading to reduced shelf life, and also cardamom may not give fresh flavor. Cardamom has a good shelf life even when stored at room temperature.

Does consumption of cardamom after it passes the “best before” date makes you sick?

No, it does not. When it is said that the cardamom has expired, it means it has lost most of its flavor and aroma. So consumption of cardamom after that does not make you sick.

Summary

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does cardamom last?”, discussed related questions like what affects quality affects quality of cardamom, Can we use cardamom after it expires, What are the storage conditions for cardamom to last long.

Cardamom has a shelf life of 2-3 years for whole dried pods and 1-2 years for ground powder. After this period cardamom starts to lose its flavoring strength slowly. But still can be consumed if stored in appropriate conditions (airtight container and stored at cool and dry place).

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

Citations – 

1.https://www.spicesinc.com/p-780-what-is-the-shelf-life-of-spices-and-herbs.aspx

2.http://www.eatbydate.com/other/how-long-do-spices-last/

3.https://www.pokpoksom.com/does-cardamom-go-bad/

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.