Does Tahini Go Bad? Shelf Life Explained

Quick summary: Tahini will ultimately go bad, but it’s unlikely to spoil in a classic way. It will rather become rancid and lose its flavor. Homemade tahini, on the other hand, can go off relatively fast.

Tahini is a Middle Eastern seasoning made from ground sesame seeds. Some manufacturers toast the sesame before grinding, while others do not. In any case, the main additional ingredients apart from sesame are oil and salt. Many will say that this condiment is a natural source of energy and that it is very healthy to consume.

You probably assume that the shelf life of this product is relatively long, and you are undoubtedly correct, but how long is that frame? And can tahini ultimately go bad? We bring you all the details you want to know.

How Long Does Tahini Last?

Sesame seeds are full of antioxidants and thus are pretty durable. In addition, the tahini preparation method guarantees a long product life and a fairly long-lasting quality. Tahini, in the classic sense, will hardly go bad. It may become rancid, or the quality could drop. But without a doubt, you can count on a purchased jar for a long time.

Unopened tahini

You’ll need to look at the date written on the label for guidance on the tahini you buy because it can vary greatly. Some manufacturers put a shelf life of one year, while others stretch it up to three years. It all depends on how long the manufacturer guarantees you quality. But that date is really only a guideline for the rate. It in no way indicates the moment when the product will become spoiled or unsafe for consumption. In fact, you can extend that period for a few more months after it expires without fear.

Opened tahini

Opening the tahini should not significantly affect the quality. Some unwritten rule is that the product should last until the expiration date written on the back, regardless of when you opened the jar. However, some manufacturers may write instructions to use the product within a certain period after opening in order to have the best quality. And you are free to extend that deadline to at least an additional month.

Homemade tahini 

You can easily make tahini yourself, which is why we give you instructions on the durability of such a product. Considering that you probably do not use the pasteurization process when making it, we advise you to use up the tahini within a month at the latest. Be sure to keep it in the refrigerator, and after a week or two, keep your eyes open for possible signs of spoilage.

Can Tahini Go Bad?

You will hardly ever experience tahini spoiled in a way that causes you indigestion. But you never know with food. Everything is possible under certain circumstances. Here’s what you need to watch out for if you already have old tahini. 

Sign 1: It is rancid

You are most likely to experience rancidity when keeping tahini for longer than the suggested time. You should be able to tell by the smell, which is solid and stinky. If the scent doesn’t give it away, you should notice after the taste test that it no longer has a pleasant sesame aroma. Although this kind of product is not necessarily unsafe, we advise you to throw it away.

Sign 2: Notice the mold

Sesame paste is not the first choice for mold, but you never know. It is possible that external impurities got into the paste, so the development of mold occurs more easily. If you notice any organic growth that wasn’t there before, trash the product.

Sign 3: The paste is too dry

After a long time, the sesame paste will simply dry out. Again, this is not a sign of spoilage, but it is definitely a reason to throw away the product. You won’t achieve much with too dry tahini. If it just happened that the oil separated from the rest of the mass, you can easily solve this by mixing everything well and blending again into a fine spreadable paste.

If your last jar of tahini is off, don’t panic, we have perfect tahini substitutes ideas you can count on.

Which is the Best Way to Store Tahini?

Tahini belongs to the group of super easy foods to store. Here are some basic rules.

Tip 1: Store at a comfortable temperature

Tahini should be kept at a comfortable temperature and in a dark place. A pantry or a kitchen cabinet away from the heat source are all decent solutions. You can put tahini in the fridge, but there’s really no need for that if you don’t intend to keep a jar open for more than a year, especially because the tahini will harden in the fridge so that it won’t be smooth and spreadable.

Tip 2: Take care of hygiene

Make sure that the hygiene of the product is satisfactory. This means always using clean spoons, not double dipping, no matter how tempting it may be, and sealing the jar well before putting it away.


How long is tahini good for after the expiration date?

Tahini should be perfectly good for at least a few months after the expiration date if it has been appropriately stored.

Can tahini cause food poisoning?

This scenario is unlikely to happen unless you have eaten moldy tahini.

How can you tell if tahini has gone bad?

Tahini should not spoil in the true sense of the word to become unsafe. But you can experience it becoming rancid or so dry that it is no longer usable. Rare forms of spoilage could be the appearance of mold.

Tahini is a finely smooth and spreadable paste made from sesame seeds. You can use it alone or as an addition to other dishes. It has a nice aroma, and many will say that it is very healthy for consumption. 

Since it is not used in large quantities, the good thing is that it is a very long-lasting product that will probably be good for several months after the expiration date. 

You do not need to store it in the refrigerator. Just make sure that it is at a comfortable temperature and that the hygiene of the product is satisfactory.

*image by EllSan/depositphotos

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