Do Chia Seeds Expire or Go Bad ? – Detail Explain

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Do Chia Seeds Expire or Go Bad

Have you found an expired bag of Chia seeds but are curious if you can still use these seeds? How long will Chia seeds last?

The good news is that those old chia seeds are good to go, even if they expired a few months back.

Let’s discuss chia seeds’ shelf life and nutritional value and whether you should cool them down.

What Are The Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are tiny, oval-shaped, edible seeds of a mint plant with flowers indigenous to Mexico and Guatemala. They were a staple in ancient Aztec and Mayan culture and were widely praised for their health advantages. 

What Are The Chia Seeds

The nutrient-dense, versatile seeds are high in antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fats. 

In our modern world, these tiny powerhouses of nutrition are utilized to create pudding and thicken food as a base ingredient in smoothies, as an addition to drinks, or even in baking.

Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds may be small but full of nutrients and contain high nutrients. Let’s examine what makes these seeds filled with nutrients and health benefits.

Chia seeds have a blend of micronutrients. Some of the micronutrients present in chia seeds include:

Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds

  • The fiber in chia seeds is an excellent option for getting your daily fiber intake. Only two tablespoons of Chia seeds have approximately 11 grams of fiber, around 40% of your recommended intake. Fiber improves digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and is a great snack to eat when trying to shed weight since it keeps you full for an extended duration.
  • Chia seeds are high in fat. Large amounts of fat and are high in omega-3 fats. A single ounce of chia seeds, about two tablespoons of food, contains 9.2 grams of fat. Omega 3 is essential for brain development and overall health as well.
  • Protein: Chia seeds offer the equivalent of 4g protein in a pound. For vegans searching for alternatives to an omni-protein diet, Chia seeds ought to be your best friend!

Let’s examine the micronutrients present in chia seeds. You’ll be amazed to learn that they are a source of numerous beneficial micronutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and others. This makes them an accurate option to incorporate into your daily diet to boost your overall health.

Shelf Life Of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have a lengthy shelf life, lasting between 18 and 24 months. They are rich in antioxidants like chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin quercetin, and kaempferol, which prevent oils from becoming rancid quickly. This means they’re more durable than other seeds, such as flaxseeds.

Shelf Life Of Chia Seeds

However, unsuitable storage could reduce their lifespan and lead to deterioration. If exposed to excessive temperatures, moisture, or light, the shelf life of their products can be reduced dramatically.

  • Chia seeds can last up to five years; however, they are desirable to use within one year.
  • Chia is perfect for use within six months but can be used for up to a year.
  • Chia pudding tastes excellent within three days if stored in the refrigerator; however, storing it for up to five days is appropriate.

Check out the chart below for more information.

Check out the chart below for more information.

Type of Chia Seeds Pantry Fridge Freezer
Fresh The desirable within one year The desirable within three years Best in 5 years
Soaked (Chia Gel) N/A 3 to 5 Days Up to 3 Months
Chia Pudding N/A 3 to 5 Days Up to 3 Months
Chia Four Best before 6 months N/A N/A

 

It’s also important to remember to note that the “excellent by” date on the packaging could be a useful guideline. Still, it’s not a definitive indication of the possibility of spoilage. Chia seeds may be healthy and safe to eat even after the expiration date when they’ve been properly stored.

Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?

According to Harvard School of Public Health researchers, chia seeds last four to five years, even without refrigeration. All they require is a dry and cool area and being sealed tightly.

Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?

Because of a large amount of antioxidants, the chia seeds offer an extremely long time to store. However, they aren’t able to last for long. If kept for a long time or under poor conditions, Chia seeds eventually become rancid, which is when you should discard them.

Does this mean that the discarded chia seeds are safe to consume? I’m glad you asked.

Expired Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be eaten beyond the date they were printed if they don’t exhibit any indications of spoilage, such as rancidity, mold, or pantry bugs. However, if any spoilage signs are evident, you must throw them away.

Expired Chia Seeds

Being old-fashioned isn’t a suitable reason to throw out your Chias. Check for evidence of spoilage; if there is none, you can consume the seeds.

The issue is that many sellers put an expiration date on the label, which is only 12-24 months from when the seeds are packed. In addition, considering that the chia seeds last between four and five years, the seeds are usually in good condition for a few months (if there aren’t years) longer than the date on the label.

How To Recognize If Chia Seeds Have Gone Bad?

  • Bitter Taste

If chia seeds undergo degradation, their flavor could be unpleasant, indicating degradation in freshness and quality.

Chia seeds that have gone rancid or damaged might taste bitter or sour. It may be caused by the degrading of the natural oils they contain or from oxidation.

Bitter Taste chia seeds

Chia seeds with an unpleasant flavor may not be appealing and cause stomach discomfort and other negative consequences.

  • Texture Changes

Chia seeds’ texture can focus on providing clues to their freshness and the possibility of loss. Chia seeds have a dry, crisp texture.

If they’ve become stale, their texture might change significantly. Soiled chia seeds could turn slippery, sticky, or form a clump.

Texture Changes Chia Seeds

These changes in texture may result from growing mold or moisture. It is excellent to throw away Chia seeds since they might not be suitable for consumption.

  • Off Smell

The smell of chia seeds could be a reliable indication of their high quality. Fresh chia seeds should possess a light, nutty scent. When they go wrong, they can release a strong, rotten smell.

Off Smell Chia Seeds

A distinctive smell that is not the usual odor may indicate a rise in mold, oxidation, or the degrading of natural oils within the seeds.

  • Discoloration

Fresh chia seeds have a uniform dark shade, ranging from black to dark brown. But, any variations in their original color might suggest their staleness. The color shifts can range between gray, green, and white patches of discoloration.

Mold growth and exposure to water can cause discoloration, leading to degradation in the safety and quality of Chia seeds. The development of mold on chia seeds may produce toxins that are dangerous to eat.

How To Store Chia Seeds To Keep Longer

There are three critical factors to prolong the shelf-life of your Chia seeds. Store your chia seeds inside the dry, airtight container in a cool, dark, and dry location. Don’t expose the peas to sunlight.

Place them in a sealed container. When you have purchased the chia seeds, remove them from the bag and put them into a sealed container for storage. 

Seal the container. Ensure the container where you store the chia seeds is sealed. If air is allowed to enter the containers, it could increase the rate of rancidification.

Avoid spooning when handling the chia seeds. Do not use spoons to scoop out the contents of the container, as this could cross-contaminate the seeds and accelerate the process of rancidification. Instead, pour them into your dish or use a clean, dust-free spoon.

Can You Freeze Chia Seeds?

Yes, Chia seeds can be frozen. If you have a lot of Chia seeds, you may put them in freezers. They’ll last at least ten years! But ensure the container you keep them in remains sealed and dry against air.

Can You Freeze Chia Seeds

Instead of storing all the chia seeds in one place in one container, you can freeze them in smaller containers for use in the coming months. This will prevent taking the bag out and opening it to let air in or moisture.

It is important to remember that if the chia seeds come into contact with frozen water, they will become reactive and expand. This will cause the seeds to form a gel, and you won’t be able to utilize them.

Risks of Eating Bad Chia Seeds?

Consuming chia seeds past the expiration date might not necessarily cause disease if they don’t exhibit indications of spoilage. If you drink the seeds once they’ve gone through the process of spoilage, you may be afflicted with stomach pain and other signs of food poisoning.

Chia seeds consumed in amounts of two teaspoons or more every day for a prolonged period could cause digestive issues, low blood pressure, or blood loss.

If you experience allergic reactions that are not common, It is important to stop consumption immediately.

It is crucial to remember that chia seeds could cause negative interactions with medicines for diabetes or high blood pressure. If you’re taking any of these medications, it is recommended that you talk with your physician before including chia seeds in your diet.

Final Thoughts

Chia seeds are an excellent food item to include in any diet. They can be consumed in a variety of ways. Their impressive shelf life makes them much easier to keep and use whenever needed. 

However, as with all food items, Chia seeds need to be looked after since they can spoil if they are not stored correctly.

The most important thing to do to keep the chia seeds in good shape is to store them in airtight containers, free of sunlight. The most important thing to be aware of when conserving chia seeds is to keep them from accumulating moisture. If you have moisture, the chia seeds will rot quickly.

FAQ

Do Chia Seeds Expire?

Chia seeds have a long shelf life, lasting between two and five years, depending on the storage method. At a minimum, store the seeds inside an airtight container in a dry, cool area such as an open pantry.

How Old Can You Eat Chia Seeds?

Around Six Months

What is the best time for babies to eat Chia seeds? Chia seeds can be given to babies as soon as the baby is ready to begin eating solids, which usually occurs at around six months. Be aware that dry chia seeds can pose a danger of choking because they expand when they come into contact with water (such as saliva) and can join in clumps.

How Many Chia Seeds Can You Eat Every Day?

There isn’t an RDA for Chia seeds. However, they can be consumed in 50 grams per day, approximately five tablespoons. 2 tablespoons add all the benefits mentioned above. Chia seeds soaked in water have the texture of gels.

What Happens If You Use Expired Seeds?

Many seeds can be used long after being “packed for” a year. However, it’s also true that when seeds get older and become less useful, they are less practical — and therefore less likely to grow.

Can Seniors Eat Chia Seeds?

Seeds are a great source of nutrients that can help older adults and keep them healthy. Check out the incredible health benefits of these tiny but powerful seeds and ways to incorporate them into your loved ones’ diets.

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