Does Canola Oil go Bad?

Does Canola Oil go Bad

Canola oil is one of the most essential ingredients you would need in your pantry. Starting from frying, sautéing to taste-enhancing, it provides you with a variety of usage options as per your choice. It is often compared with vegetable oils and olive oil to find out which one is healthier. Although, being vegan, you must first wonder on the fact that whether Canola oil is vegan or not with this article and then move ahead.

Now, if you are a health-conscious person, a jar of canola oil usually gets stored for long in your pantry. You occasionally need it and then find out looking at the label that the oil has expired. So, will you prefer to use it or waste it? More importantly, does canola oil go bad?

Here we have resolved your query whether it is safe to use expired canola oil. Starting from the shelf life of canola oil to a proper storage process, here is everything you need to know. These suggestions will surely help you to use and store canola oil for long.

Can Canola Oil go Bad?

shelf life of canola oil

Yes, just like any other oils, canola oil can go bad. It has a limited shelf life, which is mentioned in the label. Yet, it doesn’t really rot like the other food products and you cannot understand it too easily. There are other signs that will indicate to you if it is going bad.

The best way to check is through the smell and taste of most oils including canola oil which changes when it is close to going bad. It occurs as the oil goes rancid, which makes the smell and taste unpleasant. Secondly, the canola oil expiration makes the color go dark.

When the molecules of canola oil are exposed to heat, air, light, or other external detriments, oxidation takes place. Oxidation makes the oil go rancid. Though there are various methods of consuming oxidized fats, health experts will suggest you not to consume it for the following reasons.

When someone consumes a dish that has rancid oil in it, her/his health is at risk. Cell damage, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes are highly risky consequences while there are also chances of digestive distress and the depletion of the main vitamins, like E and B.

How To Store Canola Oil?

how long is canola oil good for
  1. Choose a cool and dark location: We have already discussed that it is essential to store canola oil in a cool, dark place. Using an airtight container is also important. The interaction of the fat (in oil) with air will cause oxidation that might make it rancid and to prevent the same, you need to keep the oil away from heat and light.
  2. Avoid storing near the stove or oven: Storing canola oil near your gas, stove, or induction is not encouraged. The heat generated from the ovens can make the oil go rancid faster. Then, if you choose a glass container, go for the one with dark color as it will reflect light and heat. If you store the canola oil following the said instructions, it should last for a year or two.
  3. Check for rancidity: Over time, canola oil may develop a rancid smell or taste. It is advisable to periodically check for any signs of spoilage. If the oil has an off-putting odor or taste, it’s best to discard it and replace it with fresh oil.
  4. Refrigeration (optional): While not necessary, refrigerating canola oil can help extend its shelf life. If you choose to refrigerate the oil, ensure it is stored in a tightly sealed container to prevent absorption of any strong odors from the fridge.

Shelf Life Of Canola Oil

The shelf life of canola oil is mostly determined by factors such as storage conditions, exposure to light and heat, and oil quality. Unopened canola oil can be kept in a cold, dry, and dark area for up to two years. Canola oil can be kept in an airtight container in a cold, dark area for up to six months after it has been opened.

Heat, light, and air, on the other hand, can cause canola oil to grow rancid and degrade faster. Storage of canola oil in a cool, dry, and dark environment away from direct sunlight and heat sources is the best approach to extending its shelf life. It is also critical to limit the amount of time canola oil is exposed to air, especially after opening the container.

To guarantee the safety and quality of canola oil, examine its smell, taste, and look on a regular basis, and discard any rancid or spoilt oil.

Storage ConditionsShelf Life
Unopened bottleUp to 2 years
Opened bottleUp to 1 year
RefrigeratedUp to 1-2 years
FrozenUp to 2-3 years

How Do You Know If Canola Oil Is Close To Going Bad?

There are indicators like the smell, color, and textures to tell you if canola oil is close to going bad. You need to check whether there is an unpleasant smell or whether the color has gone darker or the oil has become thicker. When you notice such changes, you need to consider replacing it.

There are various indicators when canola oil has gone bad. A rotten odor is the most prevalent sign of bad canola oil. When oil is exposed to air, light, and heat, it oxidizes, causing the breakdown of its lipids and the creation of off-smelling chemicals. If your canola oil smells sour, musty, or stale, it has probably gone rancid and should be thrown away.

Another way to know whether canola oil is bad is by tasting it. If the oil tastes sour or unpleasant, it might be rancid or ruined. Furthermore, any discoloration or cloudiness in the oil might be an indicator of deterioration. Any cloudiness or sediment in fresh canola oil may indicate the presence of pollutants or rancidity.

If you’re not sure if your canola oil has gone rancid, you may do a simple test by pouring a tiny amount of it into a white plate and analyzing the color and clarity. Fresh canola oil should be clear and golden, whereas rancid oil will be darker or hazy. You may also test the consistency of the oil by rubbing a tiny quantity between your fingertips. Fresh oil should be smooth and free-flowing, but rancid oil may be heavy or sticky.

Can You Use Canola Oil After The Expiration Date?

Canola oil should not be used after its expiry date. The expiration date on the bottle shows how long the oil is expected to remain fresh and of high quality. The oil may begin to grow rancid and lose nutritional value, taste, and scent after the expiration date. Using expired canola oil may also be hazardous to your health.

It is crucial to remember, however, that the expiration date is not a precise date and might change based on factors such as storage conditions and oil quality. If your canola oil is reaching the end of its shelf life and has been properly stored in a cold, dark area, it may still be safe to use.

You may examine its smell, taste, and appearance before using it to confirm that it is still fresh and safe to consume. If the oil smells foul, tastes rotten, or appears murky or discolored, dump it.

Uses For Expired Canola Oil

It is not recommended to use expired canola oil, as it may have gone rancid and can potentially be harmful to your health. However, if you have expired canola oil and are unsure what to do with it, there are a few alternative uses:

  1. Use it as a lubricant: Canola oil can be used as a lubricant for mechanical tools, hinges, or even for sharpening blades.
  2. Use it as a cleaning agent: Expired canola oil can be used as a natural cleaning agent to remove stubborn stains or grease. Mix it with some baking soda or vinegar to make a natural cleaning solution.
  3. Use it as a fire starter: Canola oil is highly flammable and can be used as a fire starter for your grill or campfire.
  4. Dispose of it properly: The best and safest way to dispose of expired canola oil is to pour it into a sealed container and dispose of it with your regular household garbage. Alternatively, you can also contact your local recycling center or waste management facility to inquire about proper disposal methods for used cooking oil.


Canola oil is unique for its fatty acidic profile. It has low levels of saturated fatty acids, high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, and considerable levels of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids. Many people prefer this oil right after olive oil (Read Olive Oil’s vegan status with us) as it has multiple health benefits.

However, there is a growing concern since this oil contains unsaturated fats. The health experts suggest these fats are healthy and safe. Just like any other ingredient in your pantry, canola oil goes bad. If you want to preserve canola oil in a proper way to extend its shelf life, you need to follow the above methods. Also, click here to learn how to store Almond milk and for the tortillas storage methods, read this blog post.

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