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

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on December 18th, 2022

Are you looking for the answer to how long sesame seeds last? Do you have a bag of sesame seeds in your pantry for an unknown time? If so, this blog post has all the answers you need! We’ll discuss how to store sesame seeds when they go bad and more.

Sesame Seeds: How Long Do They Last?

Sesame seeds are popular in many dishes, such as tahini, hummus, and sesame chicken. They are also used to make sesame oil and sesame paste. But how long do sesame seeds last?

white ceramic bowl with sesame seeds

The shelf life of sesame seeds depends on the type of seed and how they are stored. Store-bought sesame seeds have an expiration date printed on their label. It is usually a few months away from the packaging date. That means you’re getting about 15 to 18 months of good-quality sesame seeds from the time of packaging.

Unopened sesame oil will last 1-3 years, whereas opened sesame oil will only last around 6 months. If stored correctly, unroasted sesame seeds will last up to two years, while roasted sesame seeds will last up to one year.

It is important to store sesame seeds properly, as they can lose their flavor and nutritional value over time. It is best to store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, such as a pantry or cupboard. If you wish to store them in the refrigerator, seal them tightly in an airtight container.

In the pantryIn the freezer or refrigerator
Raw sesame seed (Opened or Unopened)1-3 years1-3 years
Roasted sesame seeds6-12 months1 year
Tahini4-6 months6-12 months

Shelf Life of Unroasted and Roasted Sesame Seeds

Regarding the shelf life of sesame seeds, there are two types to consider – raw and roasted. When stored properly, raw sesame seeds have a longer shelf life, typically up to one year. Roasted sesame seeds have a shorter shelf life, typically lasting up to six months when stored properly.

It’s important to note that the exact shelf life of the sesame seeds will depend on several factors, such as how they were stored and the quality of the sesame seeds when they were purchased. To maximize the shelf life, it’s important to store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you need to store large quantities of sesame seeds, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

How Long Do Sesame Seeds Last in the Open Air?

If sesame seeds are not adequately packed, they might become sensitive to external forces. Therefore, if sesame seeds are left open, it is in your best interest not to establish a practice of closing the container containing the sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are susceptible to mold if exposed to dampness. Although sesame seeds are not particularly sensitive to moisture, they should not be exposed to wet conditions regularly.

Pests such as larvae, weevils, beetles, and moths infiltrate and lay eggs in the seeds from outside or from food production. Pests are more likely to be found in open packaging or spilled food since they are simpler to obtain.

Moisture intrusion and insect infestation are only two reasons to keep your sesame seeds unopened. However, it should be a habit for most foods that arrive in containers, particularly grains.

How Long Can Sesame Seeds Be Stored in the Fridge?

The refrigerator is a good location to store sesame seeds since it is chilly and free of pests and dampness. Depending on the type of sesame seeds, the refrigerator may be the ideal location to keep them.

Raw sesame seeds may be stored in the refrigerator for a year, twice as long as they can be stored in the pantry. In addition, it may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a year beyond the written use-by date as long as the sesame seeds are not damaged.

Regardless of the storage situation, roasted sesame seeds last longer than raw ones. When roasted, sesame seeds can be stored in a pantry or freezer for up to a year or three years past their expiration date.

How Long Can Sesame Seeds Be Stored in the Freezer?

Sesame seeds last roughly the same time in the freezer in the refrigerator. So it may last a bit longer, but it should last about the same time.

Raw sesame seeds may be stored in the freezer for up to a year after expiration, even if they aren’t sealed. This is still longer than it would have lasted in the pantry and will be kept in a more stable atmosphere.

Roasted sesame seeds will keep for a year to three years after the expiration date on the package.

Sesame seeds may be stored in the fridge or freezer to make them last longer. However, if you have them, it is recommended that you place them there.

What Are the Signs of Spoiled Sesame Seeds?

Bad sesame seeds will usually have a bitter taste and a chemical odor that may remind you of old paint or nail polish remover and may be discolored. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the sesame seeds and purchase a new batch.

If you’re unsure if the sesame seeds are still good, you can always roast a few in a dry pan over medium heat. If they taste nutty and slightly sweet, they’re still fresh and safe to use. However, if they taste bitter or off, throw them away and purchase a new batch.

Consuming Unhealthy Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds that have gone rancid or have gone rotten can be consumed. It’s only that when combined with the dish you’re making, it may not provide the flavors or taste you’re seeking for. Instead, it might damage the taste of the food.

Before using them in your cuisine, examining whether the suspicious seeds have gone bad is essential, bad or rotten sesame seeds can be eaten on their own without causing harm to your health.

The Dangers of Eating Expired Sesame Seeds

Consuming outdated sesame seeds is unlikely to make you sick since the expiry date on the box is the date by which the sesame seeds are most likely to retain their quality and flavor. However, the situation may be different if you swallow rancid or moldy seeds.

Researchers discovered that ingesting rancid oils may cause liver damage in an article published in the ‘Journal of Oleo Science’ in 2008.

Nonetheless, eating a handful of rotten sesame seeds, or even fewer, is unlikely to have detrimental repercussions. Consuming expired sesame seeds frequently while knowing that they have gone rancid is, on the other hand, not a smart idea.

Similarly, consuming excessive moldy sesame seeds may result in negative outcomes. Molds are infamous for secreting toxins, which have been linked to allergy and respiratory issues in certain people.

In short, if you accidentally add a pinch or two of outdated sesame seeds to your cuisine, you should be alright. But, on the other side, too much of it may offer several health hazards.

Different Uses For Leftover Sesame Seeds Before It Expires

Sesame seeds are so versatile that you can use them in sweet and savory dishes. Even if your sesame seeds have passed their expiration date, you can still put them to good use. Here are a few ideas for using leftover or expired sesame seeds:

  • Sprinkle sesame seeds over salads and stir-fries for added crunch and flavor.
  • Toast sesame seeds and sprinkle over oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Make a savory snack mix with roasted sesame seeds, nuts, and dried fruit.
  • Use sesame seeds as a coating for fish, chicken, or tofu.
  • Make a sesame seed paste by grinding toasted seeds in a food processor with a bit of oil. Use it as a condiment or spread on toast.

– Toast sesame seeds and mix them into your favourite cookie or cake recipe for added crunch and flavour.

The Best Way To Store Bulk Amounts Of Sesame Seeds

Storing your sesame seeds in bulk can help you save money and ensure you always have some on hand. It’s important to store them properly to ensure that they remain fresh and will last as long as possible.

The best way to store sesame seeds is in an airtight container. This will keep them away from other food items and moisture, which can cause them to spoil quickly. It’s also important to store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct light. This helps prolong their shelf life and keeps them from going bad too quickly.

If you have sesame seeds, you may consider freezing them for longer-term storage. This is especially true for roasted sesame seeds, as they tend to go bad quickly if not stored properly. Place the seeds in an airtight container or freezer bag, then store them in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Increasing the Shelf Life of Roasted and Unroasted Sesame Seeds

The shelf life of sesame seeds depends on how it is stored. Unroasted sesame seeds can last up to a year in the fridge, while roasted sesame seeds can last up to three years. To extend the shelf life further, store the sesame seeds in an airtight container or bag and keep them in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cupboard.

This will ensure that the sesame seeds stay fresh and flavorful for longer. You can also freeze sesame seeds to extend their shelf life even further. When you thaw the frozen sesame seeds, use them immediately, so they don’t go bad.

Refrigerating or Freezing Sesame Seeds

If you want to store sesame seeds for longer than the shelf life mentioned above, you can always refrigerate or freeze them. Refrigerating sesame seeds will extend their shelf life to 6 months while freezing them will extend to 1 year. It is important to note that once you freeze them, they will not last as long as when they are refrigerated.

It is also important to remember that if you are freezing sesame seeds, they should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the coldest part of your freezer. This will prevent them from absorbing any odors from other foods. Additionally, it is recommended that you write the date on the container to track how long it has been in the freezer.

When it comes to thawing sesame seeds, you should do this in the refrigerator overnight or place the container in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes. It is important to note that sesame seeds should not be refrozen once thawed, as this could affect their taste and texture.

Can Sesame Seeds Be Frozen?

Sesame seeds can certainly be frozen. But on the other hand, Moisture is one of sesame seeds’ worst enemies. So, before storing the freezer bags, press out the air and carefully seal them.

Furthermore, repeatedly removing sesame seeds from the freezer and refreezing them is not ideal. So, if you buy sesame seeds in bulk, keep a container of seeds in your pantry cabinet for daily use and the remainder in the freezer.

If you’re making sesame seed cookies or other recipes that require cooking, you may use the frozen seeds without defrosting them.

If you use them in prepared dishes and baked goods, give them a brief roast in a skillet first. Finally, a good freezer tip for you is to always label your food and ingredients with a name and date before storing them.

Sesame Seeds: How to Freeze Them

You may be wondering what sort of containers might be good for keeping sesame seeds, so here are a few alternatives.

  • Container: One method for freezing sesame seeds is to place them in a hard container. Keeping goods like sesame seeds in a container properly includes being healthy, saving money, and protecting the environment.
  • Sesame seeds in an airtight bag: Putting sesame seeds in an airtight bag should do the trick when it comes to freezing. But, of course, sesame seeds, like anything else, must be properly sealed.

How Should Sesame Seeds Be Thawed?

After you have frozen the sesame seeds, you can use them in one of two ways.

  • Take them out: You may remove the sesame seeds and set them aside till it thaws. Depending on how many sesame seeds are in the bag and how warm the room is, it might take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to defrost.
  • You can use them frozen: Sesame seeds, unlike most other foods, do not need to be thawed if you do not want to. If you like, you may take them out of the freezer and cook them while frozen. The only difference is that it may take a little longer to cook or may need to be cooked at a higher temperature.


Sesame seeds may be stored in good condition if they are sealed and kept from heat and humidity. If you don’t want moldy and hard-to-eat sesame seeds, store them in a place where pests and moisture can’t get to them, such as the freezer or pantry, and take careful care of them.


Editorial Staff

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