Canola oil is a very popular vegetable oil around the world. Canola oil contains just 7% of saturated fat, which makes it a healthier choice compared to other oils like sunflower oil, corn oil, and olive oil.
Canola oil has a positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels in the body and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is the main reason why so many people include canola oil in their diet and choose it amongst other vegetable oils.
In addition to its health benefits, canola oil is quite cheap and gives food a fantastic flavor.
If you’re on a diet, or just don’t like fried food, you likely have a bottle of canola oil collecting dust in the kitchen cupboard. You bought the bottle of this oil some time ago, used it a few times, and then forgot you ever bought it.
After some time, maybe while doing some cleanup, you rediscover the half-full bottle of canola oil. The first thing that will cross your mind is usually something like ‘’I could use it to make salad today’’ or ‘’Today I’ll make some French fries.’’
But, after giving this idea some thought, you’ll definitely have some questions about the canola oil. How long is it lying there? Is the canola oil still good? Can canola oil go bad? What are the signs that canola oil has gone bad?
In this article, we’ll cover all your questions, and also talk about how long does canola oil last, and how to store canola oil.
Does Canola Oil Go Bad?
Just like all vegetable oils, canola oil does go bad.
You maybe expect that mold and rot can occur in the bottle of canola oil, but that is incredibly unlikely. It can happen, but that is usually due to some outside factors rather than the canola oil itself.
Even though it’s unlikely for rot and mold to form in canola oil, the main spoilage issue is rancidity. Rancidity in vegetable oils occurs when the molecules from the oil become oxidized. The oxidation can be due to exposure to air, light, and heat.
You should never consume expired canola oil. Excluding the fact that rancid canola oil has an unpleasant taste, it’s also harmful to your health.
How Long Does Canola Oil Last?
Just like all groceries, canola oil has a best-by, and use-by date stamped on the label. The best-by date tells you approximately how long the canola oil will retain its freshness, while the use-by date shows you when it’s time to throw the canola oil away.
An unopened bottle of canola oil usually has a best-by date of 6 to 12 months, depending on the quality of the product and the brand.
When it comes to an opened bottle of canola oil, the use-by date is roughly around 6 to 12 months if stored properly.
These dates don’t tell the exact time when the canola oil expires because it’s really hard to tell. So, you should always double-check if the canola oil is still good. We’ll touch upon signs of spoilage a bit later in the article.
An opened bottle will, in most cases, get bad quicker than an unopened bottle of canola oil. An opened bottle of canola oil has access to oxygen, which speeds up the oxidation process.
This means that an opened bottle of canola oil will get rancid much quicker than an unopened bottle.
Canola oil will last much longer if stored properly. It can even be still good after the expiration date if kept under perfect conditions.
If you keep your bottle of canola oil properly sealed up, that will result in a relatively slow oxidation process. This means that the oil will retain perfect quality for a longer time.
Also, if the bottle of canola oil is exposed to sunlight for too long, it’ll go bad even before the use-by date. We’ll talk about how to store canola oil a bit later in this article.
Signs That Canola Oil Has Gone Bad
Like every vegetable oil, canola oil doesn’t go bad that easily. What’s more, the usual types of spoilage like mold are unlikely to happen.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it never happens. So, if you notice any usual type of spoilage like mold, rot, change in color, or an odd smell, it’s time to throw the canola oil away.
The most common sign of spoiled canola oil is when the oil goes rancid. Rancidity occurs due to prolonged exposure to oxygen, sunlight, moisture, and bacteria.
You can easily notice if canola oil has gone bad by its smell. If the canola oil has become rancid, it’ll have an odd smell. So, we recommend you take a whiff of the bottle before you use it for anything in the kitchen.
Note that rancidity doesn’t have to mean that the canola oil is not safe to use. You can continue using canola oil, but we don’t recommend it.
Rancid canola oil will affect the taste of your food and give it an odd flavor. In most cases, it’s not a big health risk if you accidentally used rancid canola oil. But if you know the canola oil is spoiled, we recommend you don’t use it. Better safe than sorry.
How To Store Canola Oil?
Canola oil should be stored just like all other vegetable oils, in a cool and dark place, with the bottle properly sealed.
Many people store canola oil or other vegetable oils, near the stove. That isn’t recommended. The canola oil should have minimal contact with light, oxygen, and heat to slow down the oxidation process. So, you can see why keeping it near the stove isn’t the ideal place.
A properly stored bottle of canola oil can have a really long shelf life. Sometimes even up to 2 years, which is 1,5 years more than the date on the label says. Of course, you shouldn’t rely on the possibility that your bottle of canola oil will last that long, so always check before using it.
You should also keep in mind that the bottle of canola oil you bought could be lying in the store shelf for up to 6 months. If you purchased such a bottle, the canola oil would likely go bad even in perfect storing conditions. So, don’t be surprised if it goes bad after just one month with no apparent reason.
Once you open the bottle, the canola oil is exposed to air, which means that the shelf life decreases. An opened bottle of canola oil that is stored properly will last from 6 to 12 months.
We recommend you always buy canola oil in a dark glass bottle or a canister. Why? Because such containers reduce the exposure to light, keeping the canola oil at perfect quality longer.
This doesn’t mean that you should never buy canola oil in a clear glass or plastic container. It just means that you should store it in a darker place. The pantry is the ideal place for storing canola oil.
Refrigerating And Freezing
If you want your bottle of canola oil to last as long as possible, you should refrigerate it. By keeping the container of canola oil in the refrigerator, you prevent it from becoming rancid as quickly as it would at room temperature. But note that refrigerating the canola oil won’t extend the shelf life of it for more than one year.
Although you can freeze canola oil, it’s not recommended. Freezing canola oil won’t extend the shelf life beyond a year. What’s more, freezing canola oil will change its structure, making it go rancid quickly after you defrost it.
Just like any other vegetable oil, canola oil can go bad!
Thankfully, it takes quite a long time for canola oil to go bad. A bottle of canola oil will last you from six to twelve months before it finally spoils. If you keep the bottle in the dark, cold place, you can extend its shelf life for another year.
Even if you keep your canola oil in the fridge, you won’t extend its shelf life by much. One thing you should never do is keep it next to a stove. The heat will make the oil go bad quickly because of the heat that comes off the stove.
You can easily find out if canola oil has gone bad. All you have to do is give it a quick smell. If it smells unpleasant, it has gone bad.
You can still use spoiled canola oil, but we advise against it. Even though you won’t get sick if you eat it, any meal you prepare with spoiled canola oil will taste bad and smell even worse.
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