Like other dry goods, there are a lot of questions surrounding how long nutritional yeast can keep. In this article, we’ll answer the question, ‘does nutritional yeast go bad?’ as well as other common nooch shelf-life inquiries.
Nutritional yeast is a pantry staple for many vegans. Like other dry goods that tend to sit on the back shelf, they can be forgotten about from time to time. If you’ve just uncovered a lost jar of nooch, you may be wondering if this plant-based favorite can spoil.
So, does nutritional yeast go bad? The short answer is yes, nutritional yeast does expire and it certainly can go bad. But the timeline around this depends on many factors.
Keep reading to find out how long nutritional yeast keeps, how to tell when it’s gone bad, and to learn a few tricks to extend Nooch’s shelf life.
How Long Does Nutritional Yeast Keep?
In general, a new batch of nutritional yeast will keep for about two years with minimal risk of going bad. Nooch that was purchased in an air-tight container or jar is likely to last a little longer than bulk nutritional yeast flakes and powder that have been transferred from one container to another.
This is because bulk yeast is more likely to have been exposed to oxygen more often. And oxygen is one of four things that hastens the degradation process of nutritional yeast and other dry product foods. In addition to oxygen, exposure to moisture, heat, and light will also increase how quickly your nooch goes bad.
How Long Is Yeast Good After the Expiration Date?
Like the expiration dates printed on many dry goods, the expiration date on bottles of nooch is just an estimate of the minimal amount of time the product will last.
If the nutritional yeast was kept away from light, heat, moisture, and oxygen, odds are, it will last a lot longer than the date printed on the packaging. How long, exactly, again will depend on the source of the nooch and how you have stored it.
Instead of going off an exact timeline, your best bet is to use your senses to determine if the nooch is still good before you use it. More on how to tell if nutritional yeast has gone bad in a minute.
Can Unopened Nutritional Yeast Go Bad?
Packaged nutritional yeast is sealed against invading oxygen and moisture. This type of product is much less likely to spoil quickly than nooch from the bulk bin.
Even if the package is never opened, prepackaged Nooch can eventually go bad.
Most of the degradation it will experience will come from exposure to light and heat, which will cause nutrient damage but shouldn’t make the product dangerous to consume.
But even a sealed package can let minute amounts of oxygen in overtime. With this oxygen comes tiny amounts of moisture that can speed up the spoiling process.
Once again, two years is a good place to start as a cut-off for how long you should keep unopened nutritional yeast before throwing it out.
How Long Is Nutritional Yeast Good After Opening?
Once you open a prepackaged container of nooch, you immediately introduce oxygen and moisture into the environment. How much oxygen and moisture is introduced throughout using the nooch will determine how long nutritional yeast flakes and powder will last after opening.
If stored in a dry, dark location in an air-tight container, most Nooch will stay good for two years after being packaged. Assuming your storage methods are adequate, this remains true even if the container has been opened.
Can I Use Expired Nutritional Yeast?
Dry goods don’t immediately go from perfectly fine to rotten overnight. So, it makes sense that you have a little leeway when it comes to expiration dates.
What the expiration date of your favorite cheese substitute is telling you is when your product is likely to stop tasting as fresh as it should.
If you notice changes in taste, smell, and, most importantly, consistency, it is time to toss out your nooch and replenish your supply with a fresh batch. This is true whether the expiration date has come to pass or not.
Is Nutritional Yeast Supposed to Be Refrigerated?
Nooch does not need to be refrigerated. It is a shelf-stable product that should be stored in a dark, dry place. That said, storing your nooch in the fridge can help prolong its life.
The fridge offers two things that are beneficial for extending the shelf life of nooch. One, fridges are pitch-black most of the time, which means limited exposure to degrading light. And two, refrigerators are nice and cool.
The nutrients and enzymes in nooch are more likely to stay good for longer in a cool environment.