Do Chia Seeds Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

Chia is a Mexican plant that is related to mint plants. Its seeds are edible and high in antioxidants. Unlike other plants in its family, Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor.

Chia seed recipes call for a modest amount of this item, generally half a teaspoon. You won’t be able to spend a box quickly. Therefore you’ll undoubtedly wonder if chia seeds go rancid. Several things influence the answer. Let’s see what happens.

yellow and white round cake on silver round plate

Do Chia Seeds Go Bad?

Chia seed has an extremely long shelf life. However, because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, they will grow rancid over time if stored poorly.

Still, rotten seeds are not ruined; yet, rancidification alters their flavor and fragrance. Unfortunately, they will also lose vitamins and nutritious characteristics to the point where ingestion is no longer necessary.

Chia seeds will not go bad even if stored for years, although their quality will deteriorate with time. As a result, it is critical to discover a means to preserve their freshness and flavor for as long as feasible.

Why do chia seeds go bad?

Because of the oil in it, chia is similar to nuts. When this oil is exposed to air, the seeds oxidize and deteriorate. As a result, chia storage needs well-sealed tanks.

What exactly are chia seeds?

Chia seeds may be little, but they pack a powerful nutritional punch. The seeds are well-known for their health advantages. They are commonly used to assist digestion as well as to aid in the weight reduction process.

Nutritional information

Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and calcium. These are important nutrients to include in your everyday diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation.

Chia seeds are often referred to as a ‘functional food’ or a ‘functional component’ due to their high nutritional content.

Energy462 kcal
Protein15.38 g
Fat30.77 g
Carbohydrate38.46 g
Fiber30.8 g


Chia seeds can be eaten raw or as a garnish for various foods. When these nutritious seeds are soaked in water, they form a thick shell around the seed.

The seeds are frequently included in cereal, yogurt, protein drinks, and salad dressing. Chia seeds have a pleasant and nutty flavor. Because their flavor does not compete with other ingredients, they pair well with beverages and baked items.

As long as there is enough moisture to contain the seeds, chia seeds may be added to any food to increase the number of nutrients consumed.

Can chia seeds be cooked?

Chia seeds include omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. Chia seeds can be eaten raw or cooked. However, they should be combined with another meal or soaked before consumption.

What Is the Difference Between Black and White Chia Seeds?

There isn’t much nutritional or storage difference between black and white chia seeds. In other words, all the advice in this article applies to both kinds.

The price difference is perhaps the most obvious. White chia seeds are more expensive than black chia seeds because they are more scarce.

If white-colored seeds appear better in your recipes and you’re willing to spend a little extra for them, go ahead and get them. Otherwise, it’s most likely not worth it.

Where Can I Buy Chia Seeds?

  1. Compared to earlier years, chia seeds are now widely available. Furthermore, with the growing popularity of online shopping, you may purchase them and have this unusual meal delivered to your home.
  2. These seeds come in two types (black and white), but their nutritional content is the same. Avoid purchasing seeds of any other hue since they may be of poor quality.
  3. Purchase chemical-free or organic chia seeds from reputable firms or retailers that are recognized for supplying high-quality items.
  4. Grounded seeds should be avoided in favor of whole seeds.
  5. Check that the package is vacuum-sealed, has no evidence of maltreatment, and is in good condition.

How many chia seeds should you consume per day?

It is recommended to consume one and a half teaspoons of chia seeds twice a day. Include these seeds in your regular diet to increase your nutritional intake. To enhance the wholesomeness of your meals, sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal, smoothies, or beverages.

Chia Seeds: How Long Do They Last?

Chia seeds have a longer shelf life than other nutritional seeds like sunflower and flax. This is due to antioxidants, which prevent rotting. Chia seeds may be stored in the cupboard for nearly two years after the best before date.

Because chia seeds are resistant to environmental changes like temperature and humidity, the package indicates Best before rather than an expiration date. Although the producer always publishes the best product quality date, the seeds can be eaten for a long time after that.

Chia seeds may be kept in the fridge for up to three years if stored properly. However, by-products of chia seeds, such as gel or pudding, have a short shelf life.

Chia Seeds Storage chart

Chia seedsPantryFridge
FreshOne year3 years
SoakedUnsafe3 to 5 days
Chia puddingUnsafe5 to 7 days
Chia flour6 monthsUnsafe

Chia gel and pudding must be kept in the refrigerator at all times. If anything is left in the pantry for more than a day, it will degrade, whether it is a store-bought or homemade product.

Chia seed flour and chia seed flour with other seeds can be stored in the cupboard for up to six months beyond the expiration date.

Is it necessary to keep chia seeds refrigerated?

Normally, no. However, this procedure works to keep the gel created for them. To make such a gel, add the seeds to the water, not the other way around, mix, and let aside for fifteen minutes. Stir once more and chill in a tank with the lid tightly covered.

How long do chia seeds keep in the refrigerator?

Keep in mind that when you refrigerate chia seeds as a gel, they will only be edible for two weeks!

Chia Meals with Chia Flour: How Long Do They Last?

Chia flours, chia meals, and chia seed powder are all the same. Chia seeds, ground They’ll barely survive a few months in the pantry. To preserve the finest quality of ground chia seeds, store them in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 years.

What is the shelf life of Chia Seed Gel and Chia Seed Pudding?

When storing chia seed gel or chia seed pudding in the fridge, the general rule of thumb is 4-5 days. Consider the expiration date of the almond milk or coconut milk and the other components in the chia pudding. It’s ideal to consume your chia gel within an hour or two after leaving it at room temperature.

Is it necessary to refrigerate Chia Seeds once they have been opened?

Chia seeds have a long shelf life and are more durable than other nuts and seeds owing to their high antioxidant content. Although putting them in the refrigerator will increase their shelf life and keep them fresher for longer, it is unnecessary.

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last After Soaking in Water?

Chia seeds that have been soaked in water do not survive as long. The maximum storage time in the refrigerator is roughly two weeks.

If you’ve soaked your chia seeds in water and are wondering how long they last, the answer is that they won’t survive nearly as long as dried chia seeds. Chia seeds in water (that have formed a gel) should keep at least 5 days to a week, but probably up to two weeks, if stored covered and in the fridge.

Can Chia Seeds Be Frozen?


All you need to do is ensure that the freezer container or bag does not contain any additional air or moisture.

You can divide the seed package into smaller halves that you will thaw once or twice a month.

Keep in mind that crystalline water molecules react with the seeds while thawing, causing them to expand and exude mucus-like material. If you freeze wet, soaked, or washed seeds, you will receive chia gel instead of crispy dry seeds after thawing.

Homemade chia pudding may also be frozen. It will keep in the freezer for up to two years. Remember that the liquid may separate after thawing, so whisk it thoroughly before serving.

Allow the chia seeds to come to room temperature overnight before removing them from the freezer. Sprinkle them on a paper towel in the morning and let them aside to dry for an hour or two before using. Put the seeds in a glass jar and keep them in the cupboard.

How Long Can Chia Seeds Be Stored in the Freezer?

Chia seeds may be stored in the freezer for up to ten years.

Chia seeds may supposedly be stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life. Keeping seeds in the freezer or refrigerator is a traditional seed and nut storage approach since it helps keep seeds and nuts fresher for longer.

How long will they be in place? Chia seeds may be stored in the freezer for up to ten years.

The benefit of chia seeds is that they stay considerably longer than the usual seed, so you don’t have to bother storing them in the refrigerator or freezer if you don’t want to. Just make sure they’re stored correctly in a cold, dry area.

How to Determine Whether Chia Seeds Have Gone Bad

In rare situations, the quality of chia seeds is so poor that keeping or consuming them is pointless. There are a few obvious signs that you need to purchase a new bundle.

  • Smell – After a few years, chia seeds might become rancid. The most noticeable difference is the severe, unpleasant response that indicates oxidation has happened. Although the product is not harmful, a distinctive odor indicates that the chia seeds have lost their nutrition due to rancidification.
  • Lumping – When chia seeds get stale, moldy, or rotten, they begin to lump. Open the container and shake it vigorously. Throw away any seeds that attach to the walls, one to another, or are mostly glued on the bottom.
  • Sliminess – Chia seeds are dry in general. If you pick up some seeds and they are sticky and adhere to your fingers, they have expired and are no longer safe to use.
  • Pantry bugs — Because pantry bugs cannot infect chia seeds, they pose no risk to your health. The prospect of using seeds with bugs crawling across them might be revolting. You may keep such seeds by freezing them for a day or two and then cleaning them of pests once they have thawed. It is easier, in my opinion, to toss away a full jar and buy fresh seeds.
  • Chia seeds have a moderate, neutral, yet distinguishable flavor. If you detect bitterness when preparing them, they have ruined. A flavor change might occur because they are vile, polluted, or contaminated with germs. In any case, avoid eating these seeds.
  • Mold – If you expose your seeds to wetness for an extended period, they will develop mold and a white scrum. Consuming moldy food may be dangerous to your health; therefore, avoid using such seeds.

how to store Chia Seed

Chia seeds, for example, are a long-lasting snack that is simple to store. A weekly amount can be stored in the pantry, and bigger portions can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Regardless of which of these three storage places you utilize, the following basic storing principles and advice apply:

Container made of glass

After purchasing chia seeds, move them from their original package to a glass container, such as a Mason jar. A plastic plate can also be used, but glass offers more stable conditions and prevents spoiling.

Furthermore, any visible alteration on your seeds in a clear jar will be obvious. At the same time, if you can see the contents of the jar, you will be more likely to remember to use it than if it is in inconvenient cardboard or plastic wrapping.

Never Scoop the Seeds

If you have an arm’s length of chia seeds, you should pour them immediately into your cereal dish or cooking pot.

You’ll avoid contaminating the whole box by scooping with a spoon that may have dust or remains from previous foods. Alternatively, pour the seeds onto a spoon or measuring cup instead of dipping a utensil in the jar.


It is critical to tightly close the container containing the chia seeds since extra air might hasten the rancidification process. Furthermore, this is the best approach to avoid mold growth and pantry insect infestation. Use resealable zip lock bags if you keep seeds in the fridge or freezer.


You should inspect chia seeds regularly, regardless of whether they are still fresh. Crush two to three tablespoons of seeds in a Mortar and Pestle and check for spoilage. If you find that your seeds are becoming rancid, freeze them right away to extend their life.

Aluminum Foil

This foil may be used to line the container in which you store your chia seeds. After pouring, don’t forget to cover them from above. The foil will protect the chia seeds from moisture, extending their life even more.

soaked Chia Seeds

Chia seeds that have been soaked require refrigeration and a tight seal. That holds for soaked chia seeds, juice, chia pudding, and everything else you can think of.

Leaving any of them on the counter is not a smart idea, and you should observe the 2-hour rule: if anything remains at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it is not safe to consume. This is especially true if the soaked chips are in an open dish or anything else that isn’t well sealed.

While you don’t have to follow the 2-hour guideline to the letter (I don’t), you shouldn’t leave wet chia seeds on the counter if it’s not required.

Is it possible to become sick from rotten chia seeds?

A modest amount of rotting chia seeds is unlikely to make you sick. In the worst-case situation, the flavor will be bland, and most nutrients will be lost.

However, if mold is present, it may cause some foodborne sickness, but only in tiny concentrations. There may also be stomach troubles, so if you discover any symptoms of rancidity, throw out the seeds since it is better to be safe than sorry.

The Dangers of Eating Expired Chia Seeds

As previously stated, you may eat chia seeds even after they have passed their expiration date. The most dangerous risk is a flavor that is no longer appealing to ingest.

However, there are certain hazards associated with consuming too many chia seeds. More than two tablespoons of seeds per day might induce gastrointestinal issues, blood thinning, and low blood pressure.

If you are sensitive to mint, chia seeds may cause an allergic response. Symptoms may include puffiness, watery eyes, a runny nose, and breathing difficulties, depending on the severity of the response.

What should I do with old chia seeds?

There are several methods to use chia seeds as long as they are not spoiled. Here are a few examples.

  • Make some chia water. Soak your chia seeds for 30 minutes, add a splash of lime juice to taste, and drink.
  • Toss them into your stir-fry. Chia seeds are delicious when combined with savory meals.
  • You may bake them in your bread. Looking for a new method to consume chia seeds? When baking, use them as an ingredient.
  • Mix these into your pancake batter. Chia seeds are a nutritious addition to pancakes.
  • Put them in your soups. Chia seeds can be used to thicken soups.

Chia Seeds: How to Eat Them

Because chia seeds are high in nutrients, you must incorporate them into your diet. Here are some ideas for how to eat chia seeds.

Create chia pudding.

Chia pudding is simple to create by combining a quarter cup of chia seeds with fruit juice or almond milk. I especially enjoy them with almond milk. To enhance taste, add a few toppings of your choosing.

Blend them into your smoothie.

Chia seeds can be added whole to your smoothie or ground into a powder that you can stir.

Use them as a salad garnish.

Chia seeds make an excellent salad topper. They are high in essential nutrients, making your salad healthier.

Mix them in with your yogurt or porridge.

Enjoy your yogurt or porridge with chia seeds.

Can I have chia with milk?

You very certainly can. Several recipes call for a milk and chia combination. Alternatively, you may use either regular milk or its vegetarian substitute (e.g., almond or coconut milk).


Chia seeds are extremely nutritious and have a long shelf life. They may be stored for years in a pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. When improperly stored, they get rancid, lose quality and nutrients, and even mold can harm them. In such a circumstance, it is preferable to discard them.


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