I have bought whole flaxseeds from a stationary store. The usage directions written on container says that the whole flaxseeds need to be grounded, stored in air tight containers and refrigerated. Even then it should not be used after 4 days. They have given no reasons for it. I find this quite strange. I want to know the scientific reason behind this.

Also my flaxseeds are already over 4 days. Should I dispose them off? They are very costly.

  • Is the four days for the ground or whole flaxseeds? It would seem pretty unusual time frame for whole seeds, but might make a bit more sense for ground. – Megha Jul 25 '17 at 6:48
  • Grounded seeds, once the seal is opened, the instruction is to ground them. – Sonevol Jul 25 '17 at 7:06

Here is a quote from a "Mens Fitness" article on flax seeds:

To get the nutritional and health benefits of flax seeds, aim for 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax daily. You can purchase flax seeds whole or ground. The ground flax seeds may be easier for some folks to digest over the whole variety. Store flax seeds in a sealed plastic container in a cool, dark place for up to 4 months. To maintain freshness longer, you can also store flax seeds in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator or freezer.

That quote of 4 months for whole seed I think for un-ground seeds 4 months without loss of quality in sealed container should be safe and a fairly standard claim. They need that for shelf life for selling. 4 days after grinding might well be as they will start to lose quality due to loss of essential oils. But unless they have done something unusual I see no reason the whole seeds cannot be stored longer. If the particular source has done something like stored them long term in an inert environment requiring the entire bag be used immediately on opening, I would look for a new source myself.

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