Does Avocado Oil Go Bad?
Avocado oil is a popular ingredient in many cooking and beauty products, but like any oil, it can go bad over time.
Understanding the shelf life and proper storage of avocado oil can help ensure that it stays fresh and safe to use.
Published: January 18, 2023.
What is Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil is made from the flesh of the avocado fruit, which is cold-pressed to extract the valuable oil. Avocado oil can be "virgin oil" or"extra virgin oil," or it can be "refined avocado oil."
Virgin or extra virgin avocado oil is unrefined avocado oil - it tastes and smells very much like avocado. Refined avocado oil is pretty much like any similar vegetable oil and can be used as such.
Avocado oil, especially extra virgin oil, is high in monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamins, making it a healthy addition to many dishes and skincare products.
However, it is also sensitive to light and heat, which can cause it to degrade and go bad over time. Avocado oil is low in polyunsaturated fats (typically, avocado oil contains 70-75% monounsaturated fat, 10-15% polyunsaturated fat, and 10-15% saturated fat), and although it can go bad over time, this process is slow, especially when the oil is unopened and stored properly.
How Long Does Avocado Oil Last?
The shelf life of avocado oil depends on several factors, including the exact type of oil, the storage conditions, and whether or not it has been opened.
Unrefined avocado oil has a shorter shelf life than refined avocado oil because it is less processed and contains more natural compounds that make it taste and smell like avocado.
Unrefined avocado oil typically lasts for 6-8 months when stored in a cool, dark place, while refined avocado oil can last for up to 18-24 months. Once opened, unrefined avocado oil should be used within 4-6 months, and refined avocado oil within 9-12 months.
Note: every time we open a bottle of avocado oil, some fresh air containing oxygen enters the bottle and, over time, causes oxidation of the oil.
How To Store Avocado Oil?
To ensure that your avocado oil stays fresh for as long as possible, it is important to store it in a cool, dark place, away from heat and light sources.
The ideal temperature for storing avocado oil is between 50-60°F (10-15°C), but it can be kept in a pantry or cabinet, in a dark-colored, opaque container to block out light, away from windows, and away from the stove or other heat sources.
Another way to prevent avocado oil from going bad is to purchase it in smaller sizes - if You are not going to use the entire bottle of oil within a few months, typically 4-6 months, consider purchasing a smaller package/bottle.
Avocado oil is a fairly stable oil and doesn't have to be refrigerated. But, if it is stored in the fridge, it behaves very similar to olive oil - the oil can become cloudy and can form a flakes-like sediment on the bottom of the bottle, which is normal and doesn't reduce the oil's quality.
Note: if the avocado oil, olive oil, or similar oils are refrigerated, before use, take it out of the fridge for a few hours to slowly and gradually warm up to room temperature.
How To Tell If The Avocado Oil Is Bad?
First of all, avocado oil can go bad, but that is a slow, gradual process.
It is important to pay attention to the oil's appearance, smell, and taste:
- Appearance: When the avocado oil has changed color or texture, the chances are that the oil is gone bad. The only exception here is the refrigerated oil which usually does have signs of cloudiness and even crystallization.
- Smell: extra virgin avocado oil has a slight avocado fragrance, while refined avocado oil has almost no smell at all. If the avocado oil has bad, stale smell, it is gone bad.
- Taste: some rancid oil can't harm a human being, so if You are unsure if the oil is bad, try it - if the taste is unpleasant, it is definitely gone rancid and should not be used.
Avocado Oil Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about avocados and avocado oil:
Can avocado oil go rancid?
Yes, despite having very low amounts of polyunsaturated fats, avocado oil can go bad/rancid.
How do I know if avocado oil is bad?
Check the oil's appearance, smell/aroma, and taste. Virgin avocado oil has a pleasant smell and aroma, tastes nice, and it doesn't show signs of cloudiness and crystallization except when refrigerated.
How long does avocado oil last after the expiration date? Is it safe to use expired avocado oil?
When avocado oil is not stored properly, it can go bad even before the expiration date. But, if the avocado oil has a normal appearance, smells good, and tastes nice even after the expiration date, it can be used safely.
Note: if that happens to You more often, consider buying smaller bottles of avocado oil.
What happens if You use expired avocado oil?
Generally, nothing will happen if You use expired avocado oil - expired avocado oil can be good even after the expiration date, but it can also go bad before the expiration date.
If unsure, check the oil's appearance, taste, and smell/aroma, and if it is unpleasant, don't use it, even if it is within the expiration date.
Should I refrigerate avocado oil?
There is no need to refrigerate avocado oil, especially if it is possible to store it in a dry, cool, dark area.
Few Final Words
Avocado oil can go bad over time if it is not stored properly or has been opened for an extended period.
Proper storage can help prolong its shelf life and ensure that it stays fresh and safe to use. If You are unsure if the avocado oil is bad or not, check its appearance, smell, and taste, and if it is gone bad, don't use it.
Be mindful of the storage conditions and purchase smaller sizes, if needed.