If you have an open jar of tahini sitting idle in your fridge, they are probably still fine. Tahini usually stays edible months past its printed expiry date. If stored and preserved well, you can enjoy your tahini even after it has officially expired. This is good news considering the health benefits of tahini. Tahini can be used as a dressing, a spread, as a dip with any snack or Pita bread. Do not worry about Pita bread being Vegan, we have explained how Pita bread is vegan in our article, “Is Pita Bread Vegan and Gluten Free“.
In this article, we will talk about the shelf life of tahini in detail. Does tahini go bad at all? If so, what are the indicators? Below we have tried to answer these questions and some more. But first, it’s essential to know all about tahini before digging into tahini shelf life.
What Is Tahini?
A creamy, thick paste made of sesame seeds, tahini sports a mild, nutty flavor with a tinge of bitterness. It shares a taste similar to sesame seeds, but its taste may vary depending on whether the seeds have been sprouted, hulled, or toasted. Of course, if additional ingredients are added, that affects the taste as well. Tahini has the same consistency as sunflower seed hummus or peanut butter. You usually need to add olive oil, sesame oil, or plain old vegetable oil to tahini recipes. It is a common ingredient in the preparation of hummus.
Health Benefits Of Tahini
Tahini boasts tons of health benefits. They are often recommended for weight loss diets, so you are in luck if you are a tahini lover. Here are how tahini can be beneficial for you:
1. Rich In Antioxidants
Tahini has been proven to be particularly high in the lignan sesamin. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a compound that has exhibited promising antioxidant potential in many test-tube and animal studies. So, if you wish to avert the risks of cancer or radical liver damage, tahini is a great diet option.
2. Improves Liver & Kidney Functions
Tahini contains nutrients that help remove toxins and waste from your body, making it a great option for a healthy liver and kidney. It reduces the risk of fatty liver disease by burning the fat and decreasing fat production in the liver. So, if you are suffering from ill kidney or liver health, tahini can be a safe bet.
3. Supports Heart Health
Tahini is known to bring down high blood pressure and triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. It is also heavily recommended to reduce strokes and heart diseases since it promotes a balanced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. If you are suffering from heart conditions or simply want to take preventive action, tahini is a good option.
4. Improves Brain Health
Tahini is great for brain health. It improves the functionality of the central nervous system by reducing the risks of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. It also protects our brain cells from radial nerve and brain damage. The antioxidants in tahini can cross the blood barrier and pass onto your brain directly to positively affect your central nervous system. It also helps avert the chances of Alzheimer’s disease or the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.
5. Reduces Inflammation
While inflammation for a short period is a natural response following injuries, it could be disastrous to your health if it stays for prolonged periods. It can be indicative of something more sinister. Tahini is known to bring down chances of inflammation with its anti-inflammatory compounds. Be it a simple injury, asthma, a more serious lung disease, or even rheumatoid arthritis, and tahini can help with the pain and inflammation.
6. Highly Nutritious
In general, tahini is highly nutritious in nature. One tablespoon of tahini amounting to 15 grams contains 90 calories, 3 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 3 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 13% thiamine of the daily value (DV), 11% vitamin B6, phosphorus, and manganese of the DV. So, if you want a power-packed nutritious meal, tahini can be a great addition.
Does Tahini Go Bad?
Much like any other food, tahini does go bad. But the kicker is that tahini can last way past its expiration date if stored in proper conditions. Tahini shelf life depends largely on whether it is entirely homemade or if you have bought it from a supermarket. Supermarket tahinis usually have preservatives which homemade ones are free from. But, at the end of the day, tahini is bound to go bad after a point, quite like anything else.
If you want to enjoy an open jar of tahini for a prolonged period, make sure they are stored properly with the right temperature and conditions. If you know that your tahini has gone bad, hurl it right out immediately. While tahini is a safe bet when it comes to shelf life, taking a gamble is never a good idea.
How Long Does Tahini Last?
An unopened can of tahini can last up to 2 years following the manufacturing date or 6 to 12 months past the expiration date. If you have an opened jar of tahini, it can last up to a year if stored in the right conditions.Homemade Tahini is free from added preservatives, fillers, or artificial sugar or flavoring, so it will go bad faster than store-bought tahini.
It can be stored for up to 6 months in an airtight container. However, the benefits of pure homemade tahini make up for its low shelf life. Tahini is easy and inexpensive to make at home, making it a viable option.As for store-bought tahini, the natural oil from the sesame seeds coupled with the added preservatives helps amp tahini shelf life.
If tahini is made from raw seeds, it will last longer than the ones made of roasted seeds. An opened can of tahini lasts up to 12 months, whereas an unopened can will last for 2 years from the manufacturing date and 6 to 12 months past the expiry date.
Does Tahini Need To Be Refrigerated?
If you have store-bought tahini, it can be refrigerated but note that it is by no means a necessity. Both opened, and unopened jars of tahini can be stored at normal room temperatures. A kitchen cupboard or a pantry are good places to store your tahini. However, if you make your own tahini from sesame seeds, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. Its lack of preservatives and fillers makes it more susceptible to expiry.
Tahini Shelf Life
We have discussed the difference between the shelf life of both homemade and store-bought tahini. The shelf life of tahini also depends on where it is stored. Let’s take a look at tahini shelf life, both homemade and store-bought:
|Store Bought||4 to 12 months||6 to 12 months|
|Homemade||1 to 3 days||1 week|
|Opened||4 to 6 months||6 to 12 months|
|Sealed||6 months after expiry||More than 12 months|
Signs That Help To Know Tahini Has Gone Bad
If you are unsure whether your tahini has gone bad, a few signs here and there will help. Like every other ingredient, tahini also exhibits a few telltale signs of getting closer to turning bad. Be on the lookout for those signs to prevent any health disasters borne out of stale tahini. Here are a few points to tell if your tahini is no longer worth keeping at home:
While mold is hard to grow due to the content of the sesame oils, it is never impossible. And it is common knowledge that mold is never a good sign. If the lips of the tahini jar are left exposed to moisture and air, it can harbor mold growth. If you see mold on the jar, do not just wipe it off and continue consuming the tahini. It is best to throw it away and get or make a new jar.
2. Rancid Odor
The sesame oil on the tahini is meant to act as a mellow preservative. But if it is exposed to oxygen, it will oxidize promptly, leading to a rotten smell. Be on the lookout for a bitter, metallic, or soapy smell in your tahini.
3. Weird Taste
If you suspect that your tahini has gone bad, you can take a small dollop to taste, given there is no sign of mold anywhere near the jar. If you get a taste of overstayed cooking or even a mild petrol-like smell, it could indicate tahini gone bad.
How To Store Tahini To Make It Last Longer?
Store tahini away from humid or heat sources. A cool, dry place is the best bet for storing tahini, be it a pantry or a kitchen cabinet. Tightly close the lid of an opened tahini jar before refrigerating it. If you plan to use the tahini in a week or so, do not refrigerate it since it may come out thick and hard with an ice cream-like texture.
Keep it outside for 15 mins before using it. If it has been in the fridge, Blend it in a hand blender with some oil or water to get the consistency of tahini back.Note that organic and pure homemade tahini can separate from the oil. The oil can accumulate on the top as the solids settle below. Give it a little whisk with a hand mixer or a blender to restore its creamy nature. If a store-bought tahini jar mentions instructions on preservation, follow them thoroughly.
Final Verdict | Does Tahini Go Bad?
Yes, tahini does go bad if it is not stored in proper conditions. Tahini shelf life depends on the way it is made (store-bought or homemade), the conditions in which it is stored (refrigerated or pantry), the way it is used (stirred a lot or kept untouched), and many more such conditions. Make sure you store it as per instructions, and you should be good to go!