Does vanilla extract expire?


Quick Answer

Pure vanilla extract has an indefinite shelf life, while imitation vanilla extract can be stored for two to four years. Because these items are labeled with a "best by" date and not a "use by" date, any issue with shelf life of these products deals with quality and not safety.

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Full Answer

Vanilla extract should have a pleasant vanilla odor. If vanilla extract does not have a strong vanilla odor, it is no longer effective as a flavoring agent. Old vanilla extract can also take on a cloudy appearance. While vanilla extract that has these qualities can still be used, it does not impart a vanilla flavor into foods.

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