Uncovering the Shelf Life Of Seed Oil

By Tom Seest

How Long Does Seed Oil Last?

At SeedOilNews, we help people who are curious about seed oils by collating information and news about seed oils.

Seed oils such as grape seed oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, and linseed oil are commonly used in commercially processed food products and contain polyunsaturated fats, which some health experts claim could lead to inflammation.
But, whether these allegations are valid remains to be seen; while some studies link omega-6 fatty acids with chronic diseases, others do not.

How Long Does Seed Oil Last?

How Long Does Seed Oil Last?

Extending the Shelf Life of Seed Oil: How?

Seed oil has an extended shelf life when stored correctly; up to one year in an airtight bottle in a cool place is possible, while other methods of storage could limit its existence to several months or less.
Store seed oil in an airtight bottle made of dark glass for optimal storage conditions. Avoid contact between unsterilized objects and your oils, as this will prevent rancidity from setting in.
Store vegetable or flower seeds properly to maximize longevity and quality when pressing. Storing them correctly will enable your seeds to yield high-grade oil when pressed.
Store your seeds in an ideal environment to protect them from contaminants such as foreign objects and weed seeds so as to produce the highest-quality oils possible and make pressing easier.
When it comes to seed storage, darkness is key. Opaque containers may provide optimal conditions, but even placing your seeds in an opaque plastic bag will help minimize light exposure and protect them from contamination.
Keep your seed storage area as dry as possible to prevent moisture damage to seeds, mold growth, and fungus growth, and damage caused by mold and mildew.
Sub-freezing temperatures should not be used to store seeds, as this can kill some embryos within them and eventually rot them out. You can store your seeds in a refrigerator instead; just ensure the temperature remains 40 degrees or lower.
When storing seeds for extended periods, it is crucial that they are completely dry prior to storage. You can do this by either removing any gels from their surface or by drying them thoroughly.

Extending the Shelf Life of Seed Oil: How?

Extending the Shelf Life of Seed Oil: How?

How Long Does Seed Oil Last After Its Expiration Date?

No matter whether you use seed oil for culinary or topical application, knowing its expiration date is critical to staying within safe guidelines and not wasting any product or money.
Store seed oil in an airtight container away from sunlight and moisture to extend its shelf life and avoid oxidation and spoilage, which could make it quickly rancid.
Most vegetable oils don’t expire, allowing you to enjoy them up to one year after their expiration date on their labels. Grapeseed oil stays fresh up to two years later!
However, the quality of your seed oil will determine its shelf life. Poor-grade oils tend to go bad quickly and should be thrown out promptly, while higher-quality ones may still be usable months past their expiration date but may taste and smell differently from when purchased.
If you want to buy seed oil that won’t go rancid quickly, opt for cold-pressed or expeller-pressed options instead of ones produced using heat during production. While they will be more costly than their heated counterparts, cold-press will provide greater health benefits for you and your family.
Avoid purchasing processed foods that contain seed oils, as these oils have often been refined, bleached, and deodorized during manufacturing processes – which makes them less nutritious.
Seed oils contain polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to increase your risk for chronic diseases as well as inflammation-related ailments.
Seed oils contain not only polyunsaturated fats that may cause adverse health consequences, but they may also contain carcinogens or toxic compounds that are easily absorbed through the skin, potentially leading to liver damage and potentially cancerous tumors.
While there are various strategies available to you for limiting the consumption of seed oils, doing so may not always be straightforward. Many processed food products contain them; to minimize exposure, purchase products that are clearly labeled.

How Long Does Seed Oil Last After Its Expiration Date?

How Long Does Seed Oil Last After Its Expiration Date?

What Impact Does Moisture Content Have on Seed Oil Shelf Life?

The moisture content of seed oil is an integral component in determining its quality and lifespan, which in turn determines seed quality and life span. This aspect is closely tied with factors like seed maturity, harvest time, mechanical damage caused by mechanical harvesters, economics of artificial seed drying systems, and insect/pathogen infestation.
Seeds that are too wet can produce poor-quality products when pressed, particularly if not stored in a cool environment.
Pressing seed oil releases water-borne oils from seeds, extracting approximately 90-92%. Of this oil, however, only about 9% remains usable; hence, it is important to dry it to the proper levels before pressing.
Drying can be accomplished using various equipment available. Although certain methods may be safer and better suited for certain environments, the final moisture content must fall between 3-7% for long-term storage purposes.
An accurate way of reducing the moisture content of seeds is roasting them at a constant temperature and air drying them afterward, which has been approved by IBSTA as the only practical approach in seed testing laboratories.
However, this approach can be costly and difficult to manage. A far easier and faster method for reducing the moisture content of seeds is using an oven – this recommendation comes directly from IBPGR’s Advisory Committee on Seed Storage.
This method is safer than direct air drying and should be employed when storing large quantities of seeds in warehouses or storage bins. It will reduce moisture content to levels that won’t compromise their viability and can even be utilized on different species where direct air dryers aren’t readily available.
Flax can present unique difficulties when trying to store it at low moisture content for an extended period due to its high oil content and heat sensitivity, leading to hot spots or spoilage of seeds. Therefore, grain dryers may be preferable in reducing flax’s moisture content.

What Impact Does Moisture Content Have on Seed Oil Shelf Life?

What Impact Does Moisture Content Have on Seed Oil Shelf Life?

How Does Storage Temperature Affect Seed Oil Shelf Life?

Seed oil has an extended shelf life when stored properly in a cool, dark location away from oxygen. However, prolonged sunlight or heat exposure may cause it to oxidize and runcid over time, turning yellow or brown in color while giving off an aroma similar to oil paint or spoiled nuts.
Seeds should ideally be dried and stored with a moisture content of 7 percent or lower for safe storage, ideally avoiding mold growth risks. At temperatures higher than 50 C, the increased temperature increases the potential risk of oil quality changes such as free fatty acid production or color change.
Temperature and relative humidity both play an integral part in how seeds should be stored. Summer months feature relatively lower moisture contents for seeds, while fall and winter may see much higher amounts; this can alter how seeds store, potentially jeopardizing their integrity and germination ability.
Seeds should be stored in an airtight container and an ambient environment for up to one year at room temperature or longer if living in warmer climates; alternatively, they can be kept in a pantry or cold storage room where temperatures remain consistent year-round.
Within the first week or so of storage, seeds may develop a gel-like coating that needs to be dislodged by shaking or stirring each day. Over time, this coating should dissolve itself, leaving behind seeds that are ready for planting.
Furthermore, seed sterols such as b-sitosterol, campesterol, and avenasterol can become degraded through exposure to moisture.
Therefore, rapeseed should be dried and cooled immediately following harvest to minimize the risk of deterioration and germination failure. While this won’t ensure all seeds remain viable, it should help slow deterioration significantly. It is also crucial to test for TZ or germination measurements after an extended storage period to monitor for quality losses.

How Does Storage Temperature Affect Seed Oil Shelf Life?

How Does Storage Temperature Affect Seed Oil Shelf Life?

Be sure to read our other related stories at SeedOilNews to learn more about seed oils.