Does MCT oil go bad? How long does it last?

Does MCT oil go bad How long does it last
Image: Lucky Belly

Recently, MCT oil has been very popular among health and fitness enthusiasts. Well, why wouldn’t it be? Anyone who takes a look at its health benefits would immediately be tempted to add it to their grocery list.

But if you’re one step forward and have already stocked up on this oil, you might be wondering how long do they last. Let’s find out!

Does MCT oil go bad?

As MCT oil is used in a very small amount in recipes, a bottle of MCT oil goes a long way. If you’re someone whose everyday diet is incomplete without MCT oil, there’s nothing to worry about.

However, if you’re on the other side of the spectrum and just drizzle a small amount of MCT oil on days when you feel fit and fancy, your MCT oil bottle might have been resting in the cupboard for too long.

If you think that MCT oil will ultimately go bad, you’re right. Though it doesn’t develop molds or spoil, they do go rancid. However, oils have a very long shelf life, and when stored properly, you can use your MCT oils way past the packaged best-by date.

How long does MCT oil last?

How long does MCT oil last
Image: Lucky Belly

In the pantry
MCT oil (Unopened)

Best-by + 2 years

MCT oil (Opened)

Best-by + 1 years

Oils are generally not a great substrate for molds and bacteria. Moreover, fatty acids in the MCT oil have been shown to reduce the growth of yeast and bacteria. However, MCT oils do go rancid.

When exposed to air, light, or moisture, oils begin to undergo a process called oxidation. This process results in an unpleasant taste and smell. The same is the case for MCT oil.

If you’ve been storing your oil for too long, you will notice a rancid smell, and the taste also won’t be great either.  Due to these reasons, you’ll be compelled to trash the oil that has been stored for too long or stored improperly.

Most of the MCT oils in the market comes with a best before date. Generally, manufacturers claim that their MCT oil has a shelf life of 2 years. But this timeframe often indicates the time until the oil maintains its top-notch quality and has nothing to do with safety.

However, if you store your MCT oil properly, it will remain of good quality for few more years even past its expiry date. After that, the oil might not taste as good and fresh, but will still be safe to consume.

4 Tips to Tell if MCT oil has Gone Bad

4 Tips to Tell if MCT oil has Gone Bad
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The primary tip when it comes to telling if your MCT oil has gone bad is your intuition. You know how long the oil has been stored and how properly or improperly have you been storing it. So, if you feel like it’s time to get rid of that bottle and buy a new one, do so without a doubt.

However, there are a few tips for you to tell if your MCT oil has gone bad. If you notice any of these signs, you should trash the oil.

1. Smell and taste

You can trust your senses when it comes to distinguishing bad MCT oil from a good one. Rancid oil will expel a very unpleasant and rancid smell.

Likewise, the taste of the oil will not be appealing either. If you realize that the oil’s quality and flavor has gone bad, you shouldn’t consume such oil.

2. Color

Rancid MCT oil or MCT oil that has been degraded might look quite discolored. Degradation in the vibrancy of the color might be an indication that the quality of the oil has decreased.

Sometimes, oil might be discolored yet safe to drink. In simple terms, degradation of color alone cannot be an indication of a bad quality MCT oil. So, remember to search for other indications as well to be sure.

3. Clarity

If you notice any change in the oil’s clarity, you shouldn’t take any risk and discard the bottle right away!

4. Consistency

MCT oil has a very light-weight and thinner consistency, just like olive oil. Spoilt MCT oil, however, might have a quite thicker consistency. So, if you notice that the oil’s consistency has changed, discarding the bottle will be the best decision for you.

2 Tips to Store MCT oil

2 Tips to Store MCT oil
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We often seem to neglect the fact that MCT oil, or any food item in general, will not last long if they’re not being stored properly.

Not only do they lose their quality faster, but improper storage might lead to food being spoilt before their actual use-by date. The same is the case for MCT oil.

Though manufacturers claim that their oil retains its quality for 2 years and should be consumed within that timeframe, there are various other ways of elevating MCT oil’s shelf life. These tips are simple yet extremely effective.

1. Refrigerate your MCT oil

Many people love making mayo with MCT oil, and some even love adding a teaspoonful of it to their cold coffee. If you love doing either of these or if you want to chill your MCT oil for some reason, that’s completely doable.

Storing the MCT oil in the refrigerator is great for its storage. This way, you’ll prevent it from sunlight and heat as well. However, make sure that your MCT oil bottle is airtight and always tightly capped during storage.

Another important note for you is that don’t keep your MCT oil bottle on top of dishwashers, any other electronics, or stoves. Such areas tend to be hot when in use, and MCT oil must never be exposed to such heat.

2. Store the oil away from moisture, heat, and sunlight

Always store your MCT oil in a dark and cold place in your pantry. You might not be aware that heat, moisture, and sunlight accelerated the process of oxidation. If you don’t store the MCT oil away from such triggers, it will end up being rancid much sooner than you’ve expected.

In a study, it was found that light affected dietary oils and fats quite significantly. Thus, to prevent your MCT oil from going rancid, you must be mindful of its storage.

The Risk of Consuming Expired MCT oil

The Risk of Consuming Expired MCT oil
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As we’ve discussed before, expired MCT oil can also be safely consumed as the expiry date on the packaging denoted the date until which the oil retains its best quality and freshness. However, you cannot expect the quality of expired MCT oil to be the same as that of a newly-bought bottle.

Nevertheless, with the storage tips mentioned in this post earlier, you can increase MCT oil’s longevity.

MCT oil doesn’t go bad easily, and by the time it does, you’re likely to finish the entire bottle. Even if you consume rancid oil, a low amount will probably inflict no harm on your health. However, day to day consumption of rancid oil might be harmful.

Besides expelling a strong and unpleasant odor, rancid oils are also known to contain carcinogenic free radicals. So, consuming rancid MCT oil will probably cause no health issues overnight. However, continuous and long-term consumption of such oil might develop various diseases.

So, it’s probably best for you to trash the bottle of rancid MCT oil and use fresh oil instead. Why invite unwanted health risks when you already have an option to avoid it, isn’t it?

Can you freeze MCT oil?

Can you freeze MCT oil
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If you’re using your MCT oil regularly, storing it in the pantry itself is enough to make it last. But if you need your MCT oil to be cold, you can also refrigerate it. Remember that MCT oil will remain liquid even when stored in the refrigerator.

On the other hand, freezing MCT oil is not a very common practice. Freezing is an option for long-term storage. But when it comes to items that retain their quality for years, even at room temperatures, such as oils, freezing them doesn’t quite make sense.

However, if you want to freeze your MCT oil, you absolutely can! You can simply store your MCT oil in the bottle that they came in. Most importantly, make sure that the bottle or the container you’re storing your MCT oil in is freezer-safe.

Freezing doesn’t bring about any change in the flavor or texture of the oil. MCT oil becomes pure white and solidifies at sub-freezing temperatures.

So, it is quite likely that your oil will remain liquid despite freezing it. If you notice solidification, the MCT oil might not be as pure as it could be. Thus, freezing does preserve your MCT oil and keeps it cold, but the refrigerator does almost the same work.

Summary

By now, you might have decided whether or not to trash that bottle of MCT oil that has been lying on your cupboard for years. If you notice any sign of rancidity, we highly recommend you to use a new bottle instead. As we all know, the fresher, the better!

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