These Are The Ingredients That Don’t Expire
Have you ever noticed that there are some ingredients that seem to last forever? Have you ever wondered if salt even expires?
We wondered about these, too and discovered a few fantastic ingredients that, in fact, do not expire at all.
According to an article on Reader's Digest, there are at least 11 ingredients that don't expire. These ingredients have special properties that prevent it from going bad so you might actually be throwing out perfectly good ingredients too soon.
However, don't rejoice just yet because even though these ingredients do not expire, there are ways for it to be less than edible. Some of these ingredients may not normally show the tell-tale signs that these ingredients should be thrown away. Your biggest enemy when it comes to these ingredients is really pests and infestion. While ingredients that don't expire may lose its original taste and its potency may suffer over time, pests and insects that have infested these ingredients are the most visible and immediate indicators that the ingredient is no longer good for consumption and should be thrown out.
If you're curious what some of these ingredients that don't expire are, check this list:
Salt is one of the few ingredients in the world where most bacteria cannot thrive. Salt in its pure form is a mineral and as such, does not expire. In fact, salt is considered as having anti-bacterial properties and has long been used as a natural preservative! While not all bacteria cannot live in salt, the added feature of cooking the food to a certain degree of heat usually does what the salt cannot do.
What does expire are the additives added to the salt. This means the iodine in iodized salt may become bad, which is why iodized salt packages have expiration dates.
Just like salt, sugar does not expire. The biggest problem with sugar may be an infestation of ants which are lured to these sweet granules that sweeten our desserts, drinks, and otherwise, add and enhance other flavors in a dish.
Did you know that honey found in the ancient Egyptian tomb in the pyramids were still edible? That just goes to show that when stored correctly, honey can last indefinitely. How do you store honey right? The best way to store honey is to place this viscous liquid in a container that can be sealed tightly. Not only that, you need to also ensure that whatever spoon, knife, or whatever utensil you dip into the honey is clean. While honey is also considered an antibacterial ingredient, it cannot prevent food particles from being introduced to it.
4 Soy sauce, vinegar, and fish sauce
You'll notice that vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce (all fermented ingredients) don't need to be refrigerated but did you also know that these ingredients also don't expire?That'sbecause these ingredients either have a high concentration of salt or acidity in these liquids that will prevent and even kill the bacteria from even forming in it.
5 Corn syrup
Just like sugar and salt, sugar is natural preservative and when dissolved into this thick gooey consistency, the high concentration of sugar plus its thick consistency prevents it from going bad. However, that's also why any contaminants introduced into the liquid can make it taste off, bad, or even become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria to form, just like with honey.
It's been said time and again that if you have spices that have been with you for longer than one year, these should be thrown out. However, we would like to amend that and say instead, if it has been stored correctly in airtight containers and has not been infested with pests, you may want to hold on to that expensive bag of whole coriander seeds or sumac powder you purchased on your trips abroad.
Why? While we do agree that spices have a shelf life, that shelf life is really about the lessening power of its flavor. Sure, its flavor may have lessen but unless you will be able to get another bag of these precious spices again, keep it. Unless you know you will not be using these spices again or are comfortable throwing it out, make a vow instead of start using these neglected but nonetheless hard-to-find ingredients more often in your cooking.
7 Dried beans and rice
The same issue with pests and insects will be the challenge when storing dried beans and rice. Ants, as well as weevils and other insects, are the biggest worry when it comes to storing these dried and preserved food for long periods of time! Airtight containers are your best friend in these cases.
When you do store these dried ingredients properly, these basically last and don't expire until exposed to water or moisture which can mold and otherwise lure those pesky creatures to your stash.
These are just the more common ingredients that we think are more commonly found in your kitchen. Want to learn what other ingredients don't have an expiry date? The Eat This website has a full list of other ingredients you may want to know if its shelf life is indefinite, too.