How to store peanut butter? 

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How to store peanut butter?” and discuss its shelf-life. 

How to store peanut butter?

Peanut butter has a long shelf life when stored properly, despite the high fat content and presence of stabilizers and preservatives. To prevent spoilage, it is important to follow proper storage conditions (1). 

These include storing peanut butter in a cool, dark, and dry place, although refrigeration can further extend its shelf life (1). 

Peanut butter is typically packaged in jars or airtight containers to minimize environmental contamination and air exposure (2).

Closing the lid tightly after each use and using safe packaging can help prevent rancidity caused by air oxidation (3).

What is the shelf life of peanut butter? 

Peanut butter has varying shelf lives depending on whether it’s opened or unopened.

 Unopened commercial peanut butter typically lasts 6 to 9 months, while opened peanut butter is best consumed within 2 to 3 months (1).

 Refrigeration extends the shelf life. Stabilizers and preservatives are added to some varieties to maintain freshness and prevent microbial growth (3). 

Natural peanut butter, without these additives, requires refrigeration for a longer shelf life (1).

Why does oil in peanut butter separate?

Oil separation in peanut butter is a common issue faced by regular users. This natural process occurs due to the absence of stabilizers in peanut butter and should not be a cause for concern. The floating peanut oil on top is a natural occurrence.

While freezing peanut butter can extend its shelf life, there are potential downsides. Freezing may lead to oil separation, affecting the texture and taste of the peanut butter. 

It’s worth noting that storing peanut butter in a cool, dry place can help preserve its freshness and quality (1 and 3).

What happens if you don´t store peanut butter correctly?

If you do not store peanut butter correctly, you increase the factors that lead to rancidity due to oxidation. Additionally, you increase the chances of microorganism proliferation, especially if it is not refrigerated (5).

To minimize these risks, it is important to follow strict hygiene practices and store peanut butter correctly.

Mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, can cause both immediate and long-term health problems. Prolonged exposure to these toxins can affect the immune system, growth, and the liver (6).

  These include storing peanut butter in a cool, dark, and dry place, although refrigeration can further extend its shelf life (1). 

spoilage and risks spoiled peanut 

What are the health benefits of eating peanut butter? 

Peanut butter offers several health benefits based on research studies. 

1. Incorporating peanuts into the diet can positively impact lipid profiles, the risk of coronary heart disease, and antioxidant capacity (Suchoszek).

2. Frequent consumption of nuts and peanut butter is associated with lower LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (4). 

3. Women who consume nuts or peanut butter also have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (4 and 5). 

4. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and low in carbs, making it a nutritious choice (4 and 2). 

5. Additionally, it is a source of vitamins and minerals (2).

Overall, peanut butter can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet, promoting cardiovascular health and providing cholesterol-lowering effects.


In this article, we have addressed the question, ‘How to store peanut butter?’ Storing peanut butter in a cool, dark, and dry place, although refrigeration can further extend its shelf life.


1.USDA. Food Safety and Inspection Service [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 29]. Available from:

2. Isleib TG, Pattee HE, Sanders TH, Hendrix KW, Dean LO. Compositional and sensory comparisons between normal- and high-oleic peanuts. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(5):1759–63. Available from:

3. GONG A na, SHI A min, LIU H zhi, YU H wei, LIU L, LIN W jing, et al. Relationship of chemical properties of different peanut varieties to peanut butter storage stability. J Integr Agric [Internet]. 2018;17(5):1003–10. Available from:

4. Suchoszek-Łukaniuk K, Jaromin A, Korycińska M, Kozubek A. Chapter 103 – Health Benefits of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Seeds and Peanut Oil Consumption. In: Preedy VR, Watson RR, Patel VBBT-N and S in H and DP, editors. San Diego: Academic Press; 2011. p. 873–80. Available from:

5. Sithole TR, Ma Y-X, Qin Z, Wang X-D, Liu H-M. Peanut Butter Food Safety Concerns—Prevalence, Mitigation and Control of Salmonella spp., and Aflatoxins in Peanut Butter. Foods [Internet] 2022;11(13):1874. Available from:

6. Huang, T. ; International Association for Food Protection , Des Moines , USA , Food Protection Trends. Consumer storage period and temperature for peanut butter and their effects on survival of Available from: https://<ixmlns=””>Salmonella</i> and <i xmlns=””>