Does Peanut Butter Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on September 21st, 2022

Joseph Rosefield invented the method of churning peanut butter in 1922 to lower the possibility of oil separation. This keeps the food fresher for extended periods and uniformly distributes the oil with the peanut particles.

Because of its delicious flavor and smooth consistency, peanut butter is a widely used spread. Additionally, it’s a fantastic source of vital elements, including vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Many are unsure if peanut butter spoils because of its lengthy shelf life.

brown powder in brown round container

Does Peanut Butter Goes Bad? Lifespan

Generally speaking, peanut butter has a longer shelf life than other spreads. This is because peanut butter has a high-fat content and a low moisture level, both of which provide adverse circumstances for bacterial development.

Other important variables can also impact the shelf life of peanut butter. Commercial peanut butter has added stabilizers and preservatives, extending its life to 6–24 months in the pantry if unopened and 2 months if opened. Its shelf life can be extended further if you store it in the refrigerator.

A product must contain at least 90% peanuts to be branded as natural peanut butter. Because they often do not include stabilizers and preservatives, they have a shorter shelf life. However, stabilizers may be used in certain natural peanut butter to stop the oil from separating.

To maintain freshness, several natural peanut butter products, which include peanuts and salt, advise consumers to “refrigerate after opening.”

Due to the inclusion of various components, the shelf life of natural peanut butter might fluctuate significantly between brands. Therefore it’s crucial to review the best-by date on the container.

Storing peanut butter

It’s essential to store your peanut butter properly if you want it to last longer. Although refrigeration is not necessary, chilly temperatures guarantee that it lasts longer. If you don’t want to refrigerate your peanut butter, put it somewhere cold and dark, like the pantry.

Always screw the lid securely on the container of peanut butter. Long-term exposure to the air might hasten the deterioration of peanut butter. Additionally, while using peanut butter, be careful to use clean utensils. Cross-contamination from used or filthy utensils might introduce undesirable microorganisms and hasten deterioration.

Also, powdered peanut butter must be kept in a cold, dry, dark area, like the pantry. If you made creamy peanut butter by combining powdered peanut butter with water, you might keep it in the fridge for up to 48 hours in a firmly sealed container.

Signs you can still consume your peanut butter

  • Check the texture. The ideal peanut butter is smooth and creamy. Drying out and hardening occur with used peanut butter. If you discover this is the case, your peanut butter is doomed. It’s better to throw it away.
  • Check the color. The color of rancid peanut butter may have changed to a deeper tint.
  • Check the smell. The peanut butter will smell terrible due to oxidation. Throw away your peanut butter if it doesn’t smell like peanuts.
  • Check the taste. Like bad odors, rancid peanut butter may be identified with a little tasting test. We advise putting it in the garbage if you detect odd or unpleasant flavors.

Is peanut butter healthy?

All three primary macronutrients are present in peanut butter, making it a reasonably balanced energy source. 100 grams of peanut butter, or 3.5 ounces, contains:

  • 22 grams of carbohydrates (14% of the calories)
  • 22.5 grams of protein (14% of the calories) 
  • 51 grams of fat (72% of the calories)

Despite having a significant amount of protein, peanut butter is lacking in the amino acid methionine. The legume family also contains beans, peas, and lentils, including peanuts. Compared to animal protein, legume protein has substantially less methionine and cysteine.

Frequently asked questions

Is it OK to consume peanut butter past its use-by date?

As long as it doesn’t come into touch with water or other impurities, peanut butter seldom goes bad. After its expiration date, it is often still safe to eat. However, the quality might not be as good as it once was.

Is peanut butter free of gluten?

Peanuts, salts, and a few additions like stabilizers, coloring agents, etc., are used to make peanut butter. These ingredients naturally do not contain gluten. However, to be on the safe side, always check the label for allergy information or contact the manufacturer.

Final thoughts

When kept in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer, peanut butter may last very long. Although it seldom breaks down, it can become tasteless and rancid to the point of being useless. The secret to its lasting usage is proper storage, as discussed above.


Editorial Staff

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