Dried herbs and spices can last from 1 to 4 years, but this depends on the type of spice and how it is prepared and stored. In general, spices will lose their aroma and flavor over time. Many popular spices and herbs, such as cloves, turmeric, rosemary, sage and cinnamon, have been shown to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (2).
Whether you’re a home cook or a seasoned chef, you probably know that keeping a well-stocked spice cabinet is one of the secrets to enhancing the flavor of your dishes. What you may not realize is that spices do more than just spice up your dishes: they can also help prevent spoilage and add color and health-boosting plant compounds to your dishes. you (a trustworthy source).
Additionally, early evidence suggests that regularly consuming foods containing spices and herbs may reduce the risk of complications related to heart and respiratory disease (2).
If you have been collecting herbs and spices for a while, you may be wondering whether they have expired and when they need to be replaced.
This article explores the shelf life of common dried herbs and spices, including how to tell when they’re ready to be thrown away.
Shelf life of common herbs and spices
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines spices as “aromatic plant substances, in whole, flaked, or ground form, that have a significant function in food as a seasoning rather than as a flavoring agent.” nutrition (3).
In the culinary world, spices are spices made from the roots, bark or dried stems of plants, while herbs are dried or fresh leaves of plants. When determining the shelf life of dried herbs and spices, factors to consider include type, preparation and storage. For example, dried spices tend to last longer than dried herbs, and the more whole the spice — or the less processed — the longer its shelf life.
Dried herbs typically last 1-3 years. Examples include:
Ground or powdered spices usually have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years. Common examples include:
-crushed red pepper flakes
Whole or unground spices have the longest shelf life because their surfaces are less exposed to air, light and moisture. This allows them to retain aromatic oils and flavor compounds longer than ground varieties.
If stored properly, all spices can last up to 4 years. Examples include:
-Whole dried chili
Salt is an exception to this rule, as it can be used indefinitely regardless of its size and shape without spoiling or losing flavor. That means, if you use seasoned salt, the extra seasonings may lose their effectiveness over time.
Herbs and spices play an important role in flavoring and preserving food.
Dried herbs and spices have a relatively long shelf life, ranging from 1 to 4 years, although the exact shelf life varies depending on the type of spice and how it is prepared and stored.
In general, spices that are past their best before date are not dangerous to consume, but they will lose their aroma and flavor over time.
Always store your spices away from heat, light, air and moisture to maximize shelf life, reduce waste and further optimize your food budget.