Can spices and herbs expire? How to know if they have gone bad

Can spices and herbs expire?

Cooking is an art and what takes this art up a notch is the addition of spices and herbs. So, whether you are a pro at cooking or a beginner, keeping a pantry full of spices and aromatic herbs can amp up your cooking experience. But what about the shelf life of spices and herbs? Do they expire? Here’s a low down on the shelf life of spices and when exactly you should discard them or replace them! Read on…

02/6​What makes spices and herbs so essential?

Spices and herbs do a lot more than just seasoning the food with their enchanting aroma and adding a punch of taste and flavour to the delicacies. Most spices and herbs have potent medicinal benefits, which help in preventing ailments, reduce inflammation, heal pain and prevent spoilage of food by working as a natural preservative.

What’s more, the addition of spices and herbs in diet can boost up metabolism, improve respiratory health and keep the heart healthy. However, it is always advised to add spices and herbs in moderation as an excess of spices can increase the Pitta dosha in the body according to Ayurveda and lead to several other digestive problems.READMORE

03/6​How do you know the spices in your stock are not fit to use

Stocking up on dried herbs or spices is a common household affair, but whether to use or throw old spices and herbs or just toss them up to reuse is a big question! Dried herbs and spices usually do not expire and have a long shelf life of 1-4 years depending on the type of spice or herb, storage, exposure to moisture and method of processing.

Traditionally, spices were considered unfit for use only when they lost their aroma, taste or clumped up due exposure to moisture or due to bad storage. But despite these conditions consuming such spices and herbs does not impact health or make you sick. The spices and herbs simply lose the aroma, flavour and potency, which is when they need to be either tossed or in some cases discarded depending on the type of herb or spice.READMORE

04/6​How to check the freshness of spices and herbs?

We know that spices do not usually expire or go bad, but in case of store bought spices there’s a timeline mentioned, which usually defines the freshness of spices, flavour, aroma and potency of a spice or herb. To check the freshness of dried herbs, crush or rub a little amount in your hand and if the aroma is weak and the texture appears clumped up, it is surely time to revive the flavour or replace them.

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