Sesame Seed Shelf Life: How Long Do Sesame Seeds Last?

Raw6-9 Months12 Months12 Months
Roasted3-5 Years3-5 Years3-5 Years

Storage Life of Sesame:

Sesame is the seed from the plant of the Sesamum genus. They are one of the oldest categories of nuts known to us. They are used in a variety of dishes all over the world and are also used for extracting oil out of them. Their nutrient quantity contains 80 different nutrients and have a high antioxidant content and helps keep us warm in colder weather. However, proper storage of sesame seeds is important to maintain its complete nutrient richness.

The storage life of sesame depends upon a number of different factors. Usually, sesame seeds have a best before the date written on their packet. If the sesame seeds are stored in a cabinet or pantry, they can be consumed 6-12 months after their best by date. Similarly in a refrigerator, and can last up to 1 year after the best by date. Sesame seeds can be toasted as well to enhance their taste. For the case of roasted sesame seeds, they can last up to 1-3 years after their best by date in a pantry or in a refrigerator. With this information, you have plenty of time to store them and use whenever you want.

Purchasing Sesame Seeds:

Purchase of sesame seeds is important as they have oil content so they can easily go rancid. Smelling the sesame seeds will indicate how fresh they are. If the sesame seeds you are buying are not packed, you should smell the sesame seeds. If they give rancid type odor, they must not be bought.

However, if they are in a can or packaged, you should look at the best by date. Same in the case for sesame seed spread like Tahini. Sesame seed oil is also widely used. For purchasing sesame seed oil, again check the aroma and specially color of the oil. If there are a rancid odor and the bottle is sticky with oil, don’t purchase it. They should look fresh and not stick to each other.

Storing Sesame Seeds:

Sesame seeds once opened, should be carefully kept somewhere to have a long life. A good way to store them is in an airtight jar or container to prevent oxygen from impacting the seeds. They must be kept in some cool, dry place with a consistent temperature and away from direct sunlight. After opening, if they are kept in the refrigerator, they can be stored for a longer period of time even up to a few years. Sesame oil is more stable, and it can be stored for a longer period. Sesame seeds can also be frozen as well in an airtight jar to last longer.

How to Handle Sesame Seeds:  

Sesame seeds might have impurities like stones or dust in them. Packed sesame seeds are usually cleaned, sifted and packed so they can be used directly. But, sometimes thorough cleaning of them is also necessary. To have clean sesame seeds, first, pick out any stones or impurities by hand, then wash the seeds under running water for further cleaning. Let dry. Cleaned toasted sesame seeds can be made by drying them in the pan with low heat. For the packed sesame seeds, you can use them directly in any dish you’d like. However, proper storage techniques must be taken to maintain their flavor.

Cooking Sesame Seeds:

Sesame seeds are available in many supermarkets and are used in different dishes across the world. They are very rich in nutrients especially in vitamin E. It is a commonly used ingredient especially in Asian cuisines. Untoasted or toasted sesame seeds are sprinkled over bread, burger-buns, or during baking, and can also be used for sandwiches. Cookies and spreads such as tahini are also made from sesame seeds. Different types of sesame oils are available which are used for flavoring and frying. Sesame seeds are also using in seafoods, salads, pretzels, etc., to enhance their taste.