Nuts are healthy nutrient kernels packed with antioxidants, high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They make the perfect snack, whether raw or roasted. They can be a lovely topping to a healthy breakfast meal or add the needed crunch to a gourmet meal.

These versatile superfoods are easily found, yet they are precious and need tending to. Some are found organic and in their original state (raw) or you can purchase roasted nuts for an aromatic boost of flavors. However, storing nuts and preserving them is delicate.

In this article, we will explore how long nuts last and provide some useful tips on how to store them.

Understanding Nut Shelf Life

Nuts have different shelf lives depending on the type of nut, its condition, and storage methods. External factors such as heat, light, and humidity can also affect the nuts shelf life. Packaged nuts typically come with instructions and expiration dates, but raw nuts have a different shelf life.

How Long Do Nuts Typically Last?

The general rule is that most nuts retain quality for a few months. However, this does not mean that nuts will remain in good condition for an extended period. Shelled nuts stored at room temperature are expected to last six to nine months. Non-shelled nuts will last for four to six months.

Shelf life of roasted nuts

Oils are commonly found in nuts. When chopped, roasted, or ground into creamy nut butter, the oil breaks down and is exposed to oxygen, reducing nuts' shelf life. Roasted nuts typically last for about a month. They have a shorter shelf life than raw nuts and should be consumed within two weeks for the best quality.

Shelf life of raw nuts

Unprocessed raw nuts have a longer shelf life than roasted nuts. Depending on the type, they can range from six to nine months when stored in a pantry or other dry place. However, some types, such as pine nuts, have a shorter shelf life of approximately two months. On the other hand, almonds can last the longest, approximately nine to twelve months.

Q: Does storage affect nut longevity

A: Nuts can be affected when exposed to certain elements. For example, storing them in humid areas or areas with light can affect their texture, taste, and shelf life.


Tips For Keeping Nuts Fresh

Store your nuts in a kitchen cupboard or a pantry to keep them fresh. The main idea is to keep them cool and dry. Dry and cool conditions will prevent the nuts from becoming rancid, which is when fatty acids in the nuts go bad if stored for too long or in poor conditions, such as high humidity, exposure to bright light, or sunlight. You can use a freezer bag to keep the nuts cool and away from fresh air.

Another option is to use containers with airtight seals, such as glass jars or plastic ones, to ensure the nuts maintain the proper moisture level. If you keep nuts at room temperature, ensure they are away from direct heat; this will maintain their freshness for up to 3 months, considered short-term storage. However, you can keep them longer, up to 6 months.

Storage Techniques For Extended Freshness

As mentioned earlier, to store nuts for a longer period, you can freeze or refrigerate them. However, some nuts are sensitive to light exposure. Exposure to excessive light can lead to a decline in quality and flavor. Therefore, keep them away from direct sunlight or bright artificial light when storing them. Additionally, light exposure can lead to faster rancidity, and the nuts may lose their natural crunchiness. And don't forget that nuts prefer to stay in the shadows.


Air Circulation

Another factor to consider when storing nuts is air circulation. Good airflow is the answer to how to keep nuts fresh. It helps to prevent moisture build-up. Adequate ventilation is very important when storing your nuts, so if you use airtight containers, open them periodically or have ventilation holes that allow the nuts to breathe fresh air.

Dos and don'ts for nut storage

Kernels contain moisture of about 2.5% and less than 2% oxygen concentration. It is important to store nuts in temperatures between 4 to 15 °C and place them in dark places. Nuts can easily absorb other odors, so keep them away from high-odor food when storing them.

Can you freeze nuts? Do nuts need to be refrigerated? Do not leave nuts at room temperature for too long; keep the pantry fresh and empty of nuts. Store nuts in a refrigerator to increase their shelf life for a relatively longer period or within the freezer. Since different types of nuts have a different shelf life when storing them, consider placing name tags on each bag and dates to keep track of and easily identify them.

Nuts have a certain concentration of moisture within kernels; when taking out a bag of frozen nuts, it is crucial to let them warm to room temperature to lessen the chances of absorbing access water.

When purchasing nuts, it is important to consider the source; buying from bulk pins is a no-go; most likely, these nuts have been exposed to air and rarely replaced; opt for fresh nuts or air-sealed bags.

Q: Do Nuts Expire?

A: Nuts can't expire; however, they can change in taste or go rancid. Nuts contain much-unsaturated fat, an oil that makes nuts likely to go rancid. Nuts spoil faster when exposed to light, air, or heat. No fuss; cool, dark, and air-sealed are the three trifectas to storing nuts properly.




The general rule is that most nuts retain quality for a few months. However, this does not mean that nuts will remain in good condition for an extended period. Shelled nuts stored at room temperature are expected to last six to nine months. Non-shelled nuts will last for four to six months.

How to store nuts for long term storage? ›

Spoilage is accelerated even more in the presence of light, oxygen, and heat. Storing nuts (and seeds) in the fridge or freezer limits their exposure to all three of these, and will result in your nuts tasting less bitter and more flavorful for a longer period of time.

What is the shelf life of nuts? ›

Even if the bag's been opened, shelled nuts should last an entire year, and in-shell nuts will last about a year and a half. If you're going to use your nuts in the immediate future, it's fine to keep them in a cool, dark spot in your pantry.

Can you eat nuts 2 years out of date? ›

A: Nuts can't expire; however, they can change in taste or go rancid. Nuts contain much-unsaturated fat, an oil that makes nuts likely to go rancid. Nuts spoil faster when exposed to light, air, or heat.

Which nuts are prone to mold? ›

All nuts (except for coconuts) are suspect for mold: Brazil nuts, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews are some of the worst offenders, even though they're some of the healthiest fats for weight loss.

How to store nuts so they don't go rancid? ›

The Best Way to Store Nuts

The refrigerator, yes, but specifically, LaMarita recommends refrigerating nuts in air-tight glass jars. Store any extra nuts in the freezer in the bags they came in, he says. (If you don't have the original bags, consider using a freezer-safe air-tight container instead.)

What is the best container to store nuts in? ›

Best Overall

The Rubbermaid Brilliance containers—available individually or as a set—offer a stackable line with airtight lids that latch in place, and each has a slight rim that keeps the containers secure when stacked.

Is it OK to use expired nuts? ›

If a nut is really oxidized, I guarantee you you're not going to get it past your mouth because it just tastes so awful,” says Schaich. But if you do, for some reason, eating the occasional spoiled nut is “no big deal,” because we have enzymes in our stomachs that can essentially incinerate the oxidation byproducts.

What to do with expired nuts? ›

If a nut is only slightly stale, says Kanney, it can usually still be toasted to revive some of its previous glory and (crunch). However, Kanney says, “If a nut has spoiled or gone rancid, recognizable by a sour or bitter flavor, the nut is no longer good and should be thrown away.”

Do nuts expire in the freezer? ›

But the freezer is really where it's at when it comes to storing nuts, as they can easily last up to a year in there—with some experts saying up to two years! Plus, you won't even notice that your nuts have been frozen.

Do almonds expire? ›

A cool temperature of <50°F/<10°C is optimal, but a higher temperature that does not stimulate insect activity may work as well to control moisture migration (and also minimize lipid oxidation). Almonds are a shelf-stable nut that can have more than two years of shelf life when stored at the recommended conditions.

Can you freeze nuts to keep them fresh? ›

You may think it's a nutty idea, but the best place to keep nuts is in the freezer! Nuts contain a lot of oil and can become rancid if stored in the pantry. Instead, place them in separate airtight containers or sealable plastic bags, then label, date and freeze for up to six months.

How to remove aflatoxins from nuts? ›

Roasting between 90 and 150 °C for 30 to 120 min reduced AF concentrations in peanuts and pistachio by 57–90 and 93%, respectively [42,43]. The cooking of maize can decrease AF content by 51 to 85% [44].

What nuts have mycotoxins? ›

Mycotoxins, mainly AFs, are a public health concern, with peanuts and pistachio nuts as the main source of AF intake through the diet.

How long will nuts last in mylar bags? ›

That oxygen absorber will keep in the inside of the bag's integrity while keeping the product fresh and edible. Because of their moisture content, things like nuts or brown rice can only be kept for a year, while beef jerky or crackers can last up to three years.

Can you store nuts long term in mylar bags? ›

Most foods can be successfully stored in Mylar bags, but some are more suitable for long-term food storage than others. Foods that are high in fat, for example meat, nuts and legumes, will turn rancid in just 3-12 months, regardless of how they're stored.


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