Coconut butter has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many uses and supposed health benefits. But like any food, all coconut butter has an expiration date. Generally speaking, coconut butter should be good for between six and 15 months past the best-before date, depending on the brand. Often, the best-before date is when the food is going to be the freshest and is not the actual expiration date.
So, let’s dig a bit deeper! How long does coconut butter last after opening? What should you know? And what might happen if you consume old coconut butter? Below, we answer these questions and more.
What is the shelf life of coconut butter?
Coconut butter is stable at room temperature, meaning you don’t need to throw it in the fridge after opening. Once opened, most coconut butter will be a-okay to consume or cook with for six to 15 months after the “best-before date,” that is, if you don’t use or eat it before then!
Generally, you’ll know if the coconut butter has gone bad. It tastes rancid, has a very oily smell, and sometimes, turns yellow or grey in color. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t go off of color alone. Smell is usually a big indicator when any food is past due.
If you’re in doubt, check the label. The label should have an expiration date or, at the very least, a “best-before” or “best-by” date. With the best-by or best-before date, you can determine whether it’s worth the risk by calculating if it’s over six to 15 months past that date. Some brands may also differ in their storage suggestions for keeping the coconut butter long-lasting. For instance, some do recommend putting it in the refrigerator. However, most coconut butters shouldn’t require this.
Of course, a lot depends on the quality of the coconut butter. Here at The Coconut Mama, we believe that the best coconut butter butter is the coconut butter you make at home, because you control the ingredients, process, and storage. (Of course, there are also great store-bought brands to choose from – here are the best coconut butters you can buy.)
Comparison of coconut butter shelf life
|Shelf life – room temperature, unopened||Shelf life – room temperature, opened||Shelf life – refrigerator, opened|
|Raw Coconut Butter||12-15 months||6-12 months past the “best by”/expiration date||6-12 months past the “best by”/expiration date (as long as moisture is kept out)|
Potential risks of eating coconut butter that has been open for a long time
If you eat coconut butter that has been open for a long time, the main risk is that it won’t taste all that great. Depending on the length of time its been open and its exposure to moisture, the worst-case scenario is that you do, in fact, get food poisoning due to the growth of harmful bacteria, such as salmonella.
On top of the above, as time goes on, coconut butter slowly loses its nutritional components (as most foods do!). Generally, if the coconut butter doesn’t smell or taste like it should (usually, it will have a rancid and sour taste), it’s best to throw it away and purchase a new one.
For the most part, coconut butter is naturally a very stable food with no preservatives. This means it often is good for a year or more. Always refer to the manufacturer’s label for the expiration date or “best-before” date. If the coconut butter has a strange smell and taste, it’s likely gone bad.
No, you do not need to refrigerate coconut butter. Coconut butter can be stored at room temperature. Just make sure it’s sealed tightly so moisture can’t get in, and it doesn’t go bad sooner than it should.
It’s best to store any coconut butter in an airtight container at room temperature. It’s very stable at room temperature; Thus, there’s no need to store it in the fridge. In some cases, you might actually need to melt the coconut butter to use it. Many find it goes solid in their pantries.
Coconut butter can be good after the expiration date. You’ll want to use your own discretion here. Coconut butter tends to be usable for six to 15 months after the “best-by” date. However, if it has a rancid smell or sour taste, it’s likely gone bad, and it’s best to purchase a new and fresh jar.
Coconut cream is basically coconut milk that has been dehydrated a bit so that it’s a thicker density. It is frequently used to add flavor and thickness to sauces, such as curries. Coconut butter, on the other hand, is made from shredded coconut, which is turned into a creamy butter. Coconut butter is often used in place of regular butter or oil, such as for baked goods, like cupcakes, used for stir-fry, and even for making coconut bark.