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I have a tub of nutritional yeast with a "best by" date of February 2012 (at the time of this posting, it's about a month past that). Is it still good to use? It still looks and smells the same as it always has.

In general, what is the shelf life of nutritional yeast?

Does nutritional yeast ever expire or otherwise go bad? Or just lose nutritional value?

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Several sites say 18-24 months, but I haven't seen any reliable sources. Red Star seems to get the nooch they sell from Lesaffre - maybe you can ask them? lesaffrehumancare.com/others/contact.html –  paul Apr 11 '12 at 7:27
    
@paul, thanks! Yeah, I did a decent amount of internet searching before posting this and found the same thing -- a lot of people said 12 to 24 months, but a few sources said several years. In any case, none of the sources seemed reputable enough or scientific enough to trust, which is why I posted here ;). I also tried contacting one supplier and they sent back a canned marketing email that didn't answer my question at all. I'll try Lesaffre, thanks! –  Ben Lee Apr 11 '12 at 15:17
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6 Answers 6

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Your question: is it good to use. My answer: yes.

  1. You say it smells and looks normal. That's an important clue.

  2. We are talking about a dry product. No moist means no growth, no toxins...

  3. Best before date. Wikipedia:

Most shelf life dates are used as guidelines based on normal and expected handling and exposure to temperature. Use prior to the expiration date does not necessarily guarantee the safety of a food or drug, while a product is not always dangerous nor ineffective after the expiration date

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Nutritional yeast is different from bread making yeast. It s deactivated thus it does not expire like regular yeast.

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I'm not sure about an expiry date, but I have been told by an employee at a health food store to keep it in the dark as it is negatively affected by prolonged exposure to light.

Also, growing up, my mom always kept it in the freezer and I do likewise now. I use it straight out of the freezer, and some that I currently have had in there for at least a year in a tightly closed plastic bag stil tastes great when I use it.

As mentioned by others, it is not active like bread yeast, so that will prolong its life. Also, it seems quite salty to me, so whatever is adding the salty aspect to it may also be helping preserve it.

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Nutritional yeast can turn quite bitter tasting if stored at room temperature for more than a a week or two. So I keep it in the fridge and it will last a few weeks, sometimes a few months (depends how long the seller has stored it before I came along, I guess?). I let my tastebuds be my guide.

Also, the fresher it is, the lighter in color it seems to be - but not always. Also, it seems more flaky and has a "lighter" tang when fresh, compared to a little more matted, and sharper taste when it's been stored awhile (effect of moisture in the air?).

Hope that helps.

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I was looking for the same information about storing nutritional yeast and found some good info here: http://www.ehow.com/how_7849400_store-nutritional-yeast-flakes.html.

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That link includes good information, although it only tangentially answers the question. Consider that links have a way of going bad. Can you pick relevant information from that source and use that info to directly answer the question? Of course proper credit to the original source is expected, but there is nothing wrong with a bit of copy and paste. –  Jolenealaska Oct 21 '13 at 8:44
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The shelf life of yeast is approximately two years. The yeast will become inactive after that time. Reference: http://www.redstaryeast.com/lessons-yeast-baking/yeast-shelf-life-storage

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Do you have a reference? –  Sobachatina Apr 2 '12 at 22:25
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First, your link is about dry yeast, and the question is about nutritional yeast. Second, it only tells us how far the "best by" date will be from the date of production. The OP asked what happens to yeast after the date passes. –  rumtscho Apr 3 '12 at 12:26
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