Do Sesame Seeds Go Bad? How Long Do Sesame Seeds Last?

Sesame seeds are filled with fiber and ripe with minerals. They are just like sunflower seeds in terms of protein.

They make a nice topping with fries, burgers, steaks or just about anything. You can even use them to create some finger-licking tahini to use in hummus or just as a dip.

Whatever the use, sesame seeds have found their way into our hearts.

Want to try some this very moment? Go right ahead! Just keep their freshness in mind.

All good things go bad, and sesame seeds are no exception. Eating rancid food will prove to be detrimental to your health, as noted by The Dallas Morning News.

So, you might be thinking about the shelf life of these seeds and wondering, do sesame seeds go bad? Carry on reading to get the answers.

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Do Sesame Seeds Go Bad? How Long Do Sesame Seeds Last?


Referring to the main question, sesame seeds do indeed go bad like all other seeds.

In terms of longevity, sesame seeds fall somewhere in the middle of flax seeds and chia seeds. Roasting them can increase how long they last.

Here’s a measure of how long raw sesame seeds typically last:

  • Over 6 months in the pantry
  • Up to a year in the fridge

On the other hand, roasted sesame seeds last for 1-3 years in both the pantry and fridge.

The prime factor that spoils sesame seeds is rancidity. This occurs when oils and fats in food (especially seeds with high oil and fat content like sesame seeds) oxidize due to the heat and moisture in the air.

This is why refrigerating and toasting sesame seeds help prolong their Best By date. Doing so decreases the moisture contact with the seeds.

However, keep in mind that keeping your seeds all those years in the fridge may make them lose their taste.

You need to remember that rancidity is a natural process and is bound to happen eventually. No need to fret, though, as these seeds are readily available whenever you want them.

How to Tell If Sesame Seeds are Bad? Sesame Seeds Shelf Life!


Sesame seeds give several indications that they have gone bad.

Some of them might not be apparent at first glance, but with a bit of careful inspection, these signs become more obvious. Here are some signs for sesame seeds going bad:

  • A different smell than the normal nutty scent
  • Growth of mold in the container
  • Degradation in taste

Nuts and seeds are high in lipids. The same is true for sesame seeds, according to the research at NCBI.

This means that they are just as prone to rancidity as other seeds. Rancidity is what causes that bitter and unpleasant taste in sesame seeds when they go bad.

Furthermore, leaving them unused for too long can cause mold to grow. In such a case, it’s far better to dispose of the seeds instead of trying to salvage what’s left.

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Sesame seeds are a great treat with their wholesome nutrition, economic value and decent shelf life.

Rancidity might make them lose their flavor, but by following the steps mentioned above, you can get the most out of them.