How long do raisins last? Can They Go Bad?
Raisins are sweet, dried, shriveled, bite-sized grapes that are mostly enjoyed as a nutritious snack. They never taste like the fresh grapes you love, though. Instead, it tastes even sweeter, fruitier, and sort of gritty with a touch of tartness due to its concentrated fruit sugar.
These brown to purplish raisins are either eaten as a snack, added in cookies (Walnut & Raisin Oatmeal Cookies), cakes, bread, and other baked goods (Date & Walnut Muffins), and cooked in savory dishes. Raisins come in different types too. To name a few, we have currants, Monukka, Muscat, flame seedless, golden seedless, and sultanas.
Raisins carry tons of healthful benefits, and it is nutritiously packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can boost your iron levels and improve bone density. And, raisins are rich in fiber, which aids in digestion.
Knowing that raisins are being dried and dehydrated, you may wonder how long it can last? For instance, you have bought extra packs of raisins for your occasion’s baking needs. Later on, you realized that you just have more than you needed after preparing your dish. So, you just end up keeping the rest in the storage, hoping you might use them soon before it goes bad.
For sure, raisins have a longer shelf life than fresh grapes. Som where do you think it is ideal for storing them? Does it ever spoil? If raisins do rot, how will you know if they are not suitable for consumption anymore?
If you have these queries in mind, we will back you up with the answers! Because this article will dive into the storage, shelf life, and signs of spoilage for raisins. Read on to learn more.
How To Store Raisins?
Whatever kind of raisins you have, the storage method applies the same.
Note that raisins are shelf-stable since it contains little to no moisture after it has been dried or dehydrated. Hence, you can safely keep it in a cool, dry place like your kitchen cabinet or the food pantry. Just make sure not to store your raisins in a hot or humid area.
It could be a little problem if you happen to live in an area where the environment is humid. Excessive humidity will create condensation. If that happens, the more your raisins will hold moisture. Instead, this will prevent them from drying out, resulting in hardening.
Furthermore, see to it that you keep your raisins away from the storage area of your rice, flour, and other grains because these products may have already been infested by insects. You’ll never know when they’re going to creep into your raisins, but we’re sure that natural sugars in raisins will lure them in.
Can I freeze raisins?
Yes, there’s no harm freezing them. Apparently, if you wish to keep it for an extended time, freezing the raisins would be the best option.
As a dried or dehydrated fruit product, raisins have low water content. Hence, this makes them ideal for freezing. The best part of freezing raisins, it is like you just halted its aging process. Once it comes out of the freezer, they will still look the same as how they were when it went in. Once defrosted, you can treat them as if you just bought them recently from the store.
Here is how to freeze raisins.
- Spread the raisins on a tray or baking sheet. Make sure you break-up the larger clumps as well.
- Put the tray with raisins in the freezer and freeze it for one hour.
- Once the raisins are all frozen, keep them in an airtight container.
In thawing your frozen raisins, you can leave it on the countertop or put it under refrigerated conditions.
Can They Go Bad?
Yes, raisins can go bad if you don’t store them properly. Though raisins don’t spoil quickly as its fresh version, it is still considered a perishable item. But, they are shelf-stable as long as you haven’t opened the pack. But once you open it, its quality and shelf life will start to diminish.
How Long Do They Last?
Like any dried fruit products, manufacturers ensure that the product’s label comes with a “best by” or expiration date.
The shelf life of your raisins depends on various factors: the storage condition and drying methods used.
Unopened packs of raisins can last in your pantry for at least six months to 1 year past the printed date. In the refrigerator, you can keep it as long as one to two years. And in the freezer, raisins can stay for an indefinite period.
How To Tell If Raisins Have Gone Bad?
You should inspect the color of the raisins and taste its flavor and texture.
The following are the signs of spoiled raisins:
- Mold growth. Mold growth rarely happens on most dry fruit products like raisins. However, than can still occur if moisture was able to get in touch with the product. Discard the raisins if you notice black or blue-green spots all over them.
- Change in color. Inspect for any signs of discoloration in your raisins. If you have noticed either lighter or darker spots, it means that your raisins are starting to rot. At this point, the flavor is already compromised.
- Unpleasant odor. Smell the raisins before tasting it, especially to the ones that have been stored for months already. Sniff the raisins after doing the visual inspection. If it smells sour or rotten, then that’s a sign of spoilage.
- The raisins became hard and chewier. As time passes, you might notice that the raisins you have stored in your pantry may harden, and it will become less sticky. Note that when you have stored raisins for a long time, its moisture evaporates, to the point that it becomes so hard to chew it.
Remember that raisins tend to harden over time. If you think it looks, smells, and tastes okay, you can still revive these hardened raisins by soaking them in hot or warm water to rehydrate them.
- Pest infestation. Beetles, moths, their larvae, or any Insects and other pests would love to drown themselves in the sweetness of raisins. If you see them feasting on your raisins, discard it immediately.
- Loss of flavor. A bad batch of raisins will taste sour and rotten. For your safety, you should throw them away.
If you have observed any of these signs in your raisins, just throw everything away immediately.