I am sure that most of you have a bottle of oil in your home because oil can be used for so many purposes and one of them is cooking. Aside from olive oil, sesame oil, or rapeseed oil, canola oil is also one great cooking oil.
It is a vegetable oil with a smooth texture and light flavor and a high smoke point, making it incredible for cooking. Aside from that, it is also very healthy.
However, just like any other food, you have to properly handle canola oil in order to enjoy its benefits. From there, some questions arise and one of them is “Does canola oil go bad?”.
Unfortunately, the shelf life of canola oil isn’t infinite and it goes bad at some point.
But, if you want to learn more about that, continue reading.
Does Canola Oil Go Bad?
As I already said, nothing in this world is infinite and that is especially true when it comes to food. Oils are not an exception and one of the oils is canola oil.
So yes, canola oil does go bad at some point, but it can stay good for quite a long period of time if you handle it properly.
In order to handle canola oil the right way, you have to know the exact shelf life of canola oil, the right storage conditions, and some other important pieces of information that will be revealed in this article.
But, before we head to that part, I will first tell you why canola oil goes bad and what that means for you.
Why Does Canola Oil Go Bad?
Actually, there are a few main reasons.
If canola oil is left for too long in some place (longer than it should be) or if it comes into contact with air, heat, or sunlight for some time, it will go bad.
Actually, it will end up rancid due to the rancidification process caused by air, moisture, or light.
That rancidification process is characteristic of oils and fats and it causes them to produce unpleasant odors and flavors which are the main signs of rancid oil.
But, what does that mean for you? Well, although rancid canola oil won’t hurt you if you consume only a small amount, long-term consumption may cause health problems and that is the reason why it is important to know when your canola oil is rancid.
How To Recognize A Bad Canola Oil?
There are several signs of spoilage of your canola oil and it is very important to know them in order to avoid the consumption of canola oil that will potentially ruin your health.
• Strong Odor: The first sign of rancid canola oil is definitely a bad smell. Fresh canola oil doesn’t have some specific smell, i.e. it is rather neutral.
So, if you sense any strong odor that smells like detergent or paint, from your bottle of canola oil, you should discard it for your own good.
• Discoloration: You have to know that it is a clear oil with a pale golden color. So, based on that, if you notice any discoloration of your favorite oil, you shouldn’t consume it because it is probably bad.
• Bad Taste: Another clear sign of spoiled canola oil is if it tastes different. Just like is the case with smell, canola oil should have a neutral taste.
So, if you are not sure about that, you should taste just a little bit and, if you notice a strong sour taste, you shouldn’t continue drinking it, but rather discard it.
• Mold: Aside from food taste, texture, smell, and color, mold is also a major sign of spoilage for most types of food. However, oil can not get moldy.
However, when you accidentally store your canola oil in a bottle that is not entirely clean, mold can easily grow. If that happens, I would recommend you get rid of that oil because of the potential bacteria infiltration.
• Changes In Texture: Although it is not a real sign of spoilage, crystallization or cloudiness of your canola oil is a sign that it has been sitting in a cold place for a long time.
In that case, it shouldn’t be consumed until it reaches room temperature again. After that, you can freely continue consuming it.
How Long Does Canola Oil Last?
One thing is different with canola oil shelf life and that is the fact that it is usually stored in a pantry.
Unlike other types of food, it is not so common to store canola oil in the fridge and especially in the freezer. You can store it in the fridge, but you can not extend its shelf life beyond the maximum amount of time that it can stay in the pantry.
So, how long is canola oil good for?
Well, if you store unopened canola oil properly at room temperature, it will last for up to 2 years.
On the other hand, if you are dealing with an opened bottle of canola oil, it will last for up to 6 months.
As you can see, there is a huge difference between an opened and an unopened bottle of canola oil when it comes to shelf life, so you should be really careful about that.
Does It Expire?
As you could have seen, canola oil can go bad after some time, mainly depending on the way you handle it and store it. And, it can expire as well.
However, there is a huge difference between spoiled and expired canola oil. The general rule of thumb is that canola oil expires when it is past the printed date. Many people think that it is the canola oil expiration date.
However, that is actually not true. That is a best-by date. And that best-by date actually tells you when the oil will retain its best quality, not when it will go bad.
So, most food safety and food storage experts agree that canola oil can be consumed for a couple of months past that date.
So, if you are dealing with unopened canola oil, the rough estimates are that you can keep it in the pantry for about 6-12 months past the best-by date.
However, if you open the bottle, this rule becomes irrelevant. Opened canola oil should be consumed within 6 months regardless of the best-by date.
How To Store Canola Oil Properly?
When it comes to storing canola oil, you should first know that it is perfectly fine to store it in the pantry, i.e. at room temperature.
There is no real need to refrigerate or freeze your canola oil because that won’t extend the storage time, but it will most likely destroy the texture of your oil.
That is especially the case with freezing. The freezing process is not recommendable at all when it comes to canola oil. You can refrigerate it if you really want, but there is really no point in doing so because you won’t extend the shelf life of canola oil.
On the other hand, due to the low temperature in the fridge, your oil will crystallize and become cloudy and you will have to warm it up at room temperature again.
The real home of canola oil is the pantry. However, you can not store it in the pantry any way you like.
First, the bottle of canola oil must be sealed properly to prevent air from getting into contact with it, as it can cause an oxidation process and accelerate the spoilage of your oil.
After you make sure that the bottle of canola oil is sealed properly, you must put it in a dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources because canola oil doesn’t like high temperatures.
Aside from that, it must be a cool and dry place because excess moisture is not ideal for canola oil as well.
No matter whether you are using it as a cooking oil for grilling, baking, and stir-frying or for your salad dressing and marinades, or as an avocado oil substitute, canola oil is a great type of oil that will enrich your dish with flavor and texture, as well as nutrition.
However, just like with any other type of food, there is a risk of spoilage when it comes to canola oil. And the question is “Does canola oil go bad?”. I am sure that you were able to conclude that canola oil can go bad after a certain time.
However, you could also easily conclude that, if handled and stored properly, canola oil can preserve its freshness and quality for quite some time, i.e. unopened canola can last up to 6 months, and opened canola oil can last up to about 6 months.