Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad?


Let’s take for in instance, you just felt like baking and you remembered that you still had a quarter-filled bottle of vanilla extract you leftover in your kitchen cabinet from your last baking. It that has been there for few month and you are unsure if it’s still in perfect condition to go ahead and continue using for your baking or not.

So you may be wondering, does vanilla extract go bad? Well continue reading to find out whether vanilla extract can go bad or not.

The aim of this post will be to to precisely answer your query about the shelf life, storage guidelines of your vanilla extract.

However, moving forward you will have to ascertain whether you have the pure vanilla extract or the imitation.

Here’s how it works, the synthetic or imitation vanilla normally has only a single compound vanillin whereas the pure vanilla extract possesses many more compounds and has quality fragrance and richer flavor etc.

Normally the pure vanilla extract is more expensive than the imitation.

However to ascertain the difference between a pure and imitation vanilla extract it is important to duly note that the pure vanilla extract is more expensive than the imitation and the pure vanilla extract normally comes with a ‘pure vanilla extract’ label. 

So if your vanilla extract doesn’t have that label then I’m afraid to say it might be an imitation.

In my experience, both the pure vanilla extract and the imitation vanilla extract is very okay to use, however you already know that original is always better than the imitation.

So without wasting much time, let’s dive into the topic of the day:

Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad? 

It’s very unlikely for a vanilla extract to go bad because vanilla extract normally has an indefinite shelf life and doesn’t give a conducive environment for bacteria to grow.

It is also to go note that vanilla extract always has an alcohol base which can slightly evaporate after the bottle have been opened the first time.s

How To Tell If A Vanilla Extract Is Bad

If your vanilla extract was stored properly it can barely go bad but you can  ascertain if your vanilla extract is bad in the following ways:

1. if you notice a suspicious or unpleasant smell after opening the bottle the get rid of it.

2. If you notice that the liquid noticeably lost it’s structure, then don’t hesitate to get rid of it because it’s likely that something have went wrong with it.

3. If you start noticing some mold growth or development then you’d should equally discard it.

NOTE: The smell and flavour of a pure vanilla extract varies slightly from that of the imitation, so you should not be caught off guard while analyzing the smell and flavor of the pure vanilla extract from the imitation extract.

With all the above said, if both the liquid structure, smell and flavor looks okay, then you can go ahead and use your vanilla extract to bake.

How Long Does Vanilla Extract Last?

Pure vanilla extract can last for several years dues to the high alcohol content that comes with it. Most people says that it lasts up to 10 years while some said that it lasts indefinitely if stored properly.

However the imitation vanilla extract normally comes with an expiry date label, the imitation vanilla extract can last between 2 to 4 years but if proper stored well it should last for a longer period.


How To Store A Vanilla Extract

The storage of a vanilla extract is not so hard, you can store a vanilla extract in the following ways:

1. You can store it in a room temperature.

2. Do not freeze or refrigerated the vanilla extract.

3. Keep it away from any form of heat.

4. Make sure you tightly seal the bottle after use.

Conclusion: Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad?

At this point we have come to the end of this topic does vanilla extract go bad?

The best way to store a vanilla extract is to simply store it in a cool, dry place 

It is important to note that the pure vanilla extract would most likely retains it content quality for several years or likely indefinitely.

However the imitation vanilla extract can only retain its content quality for just a couple of months or sometimes years.

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