How long does unopened jelly last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long does unopened jelly last?”, discuss answers to other related questions like how long can you keep jelly once opened, and how do you know if jelly has gone bad. 

How long does unopened jelly last?

Unopened jelly can last for 1 year in the pantry with its peak flavor and nutritional contents. However, you can still enjoy it after the best-by date though its taste and flavor will be compromised.

But once opened, it is recommended to use it within a year to enjoy the best possible flavor and quality. As jellies contain certain fruit juices in their composition, there can be a degradation in the color and flavor of the jelly if it is stored for a longer duration.

Also, always try to keep your jelly away from direct sunlight and UV radiations from the sun, as they can degrade the quality of the jelly.

How long can you keep jelly once opened?

Opened jellies should be kept in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Regular or pectin-added, full-sugar cooked jellies are best stored for 1 month in the refrigerator after opening. They may last longer depending on the specific product and how it is used. 

The expected shelf life will be shortened by keeping the container frequently open or out at room temperature for long periods during use. At each use, you can spoon out the quantity of jelly that you may require into a bowl, and replace the jar in the refrigerator quickly to ensure minimum exposure to microbial contamination during use. 

Try to examine the container regularly during storage for any signs of spoilage like molds, yeasts, and off-odors once it is opened. Discard the entire contents of the container if these are detected.

How can you increase the shelf life of jelly?

Some jellies have a shorter shelf life than others for optimum quality. Like, light-colored jellies may noticeably darken faster than others and not remain appealing for a whole year. Though this is not a safety concern, it may reduce the product’s visual appeal for many people.

Also, reduced sugar jellies deteriorate in color and texture more quickly as they lack the full preservative effects of the sugar. But still, there are certain ways to help you increase the expected shelf life of the jellies.

Following are the tips that might help you increase the shelf life of any kind of jelly:

  • Cover the jars of jellies tightly to avoid airborne contamination.
  • Store unopened jars in a cool, dry place.
  • Don’t forget to refrigerate the jar of jelly once opened.
  • Examine the opened jar of jelly frequently for signs of mold, yeast growth, off-odors, or off-colors. Discard immediately if any of these signs are detected.
  • Use a specific spoon to take out jelly from the jar to avoid cross-contamination of food items.

How do you know if jelly has gone bad?

Jelly, if not stored properly, can go bad. And it is not a good idea at all to consume a jelly that has gone bad and take risk of your precious health. Therefore, it is very important to know how a bad jelly looks like. Following are certain telltale signs that might help you recognize bad jelly:

Smell 

If you detect an off-odor that smells like yeast or alcohol, that jar of jelly should be discarded right away as it is spoiled and no more worth eating.

Color 

If the jelly changes color, but none of the other indicators are present, usually this jelly will still be good. Over time, jelly may change color but will still taste good and will be safe to eat.  Just scoop off the discolored part and enjoy the rest.

Mold 

If you see mold growing on the surface, just discard the entire contents of the jar immediately. The food that you keep in a jar or cans is not like cheese. You can’t just scoop the mold off and eat the rest. 

Mold on canned food can produce toxins that could leach into the product and ruin the entire container. Some mold is not toxic, but it is better not to take a chance. Just dispose of the food in the jar and recycle your good canning jar.

What can you do if you have too many opened jars of jelly?

As the rate of deterioration of jelly kept in an opened jar is increased, therefore, one must have the knowledge to deal with circumstances in which you can have too many opened jars of jelly. So, you can either reprocess the jelly, make cookies, make a jelly cake, or make sandwiches.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long does unopened jelly last?”, discussed answers to other related questions like how long can you keep jelly once opened, and how do you know if jelly has gone bad. 

References:

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.