Do Coconut Flakes Need to be Refrigerated? (Quick Answer)

Quick Answer: No, coconut flakes do not need to be refrigerated. They can be stored at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. However, proper sealing is essential to maintain freshness. Refrigeration or freezing can prolong their shelf life if you don’t use them often.

Coconut flakes are a delicious addition to many dishes, both sweet and savory. Personally, I love to add coconut flakes to smoothie bowls and rice dishes. They add a unique depth to the dish. 

So, how do you store coconut flakes to keep them fresh and delicious? Do coconut flakes need to be refrigerated? While dried coconut flakes can technically be stored at room temperature, there are a few other factors you should consider when deciding how to store yours.

In my experience, there is nothing more frustrating than reaching for an ingredient that has gone stale. You want to maintain freshness so that you can enjoy your coconut flakes at peak quality. With so much information available online, it can sometimes be hard to determine which information is reliable.

Leave the research to us so you can spend more time in the kitchen doing what you enjoy! We’ve gone through the information and compiled the answers you need into one convenient article.

Follow along through this article to find out if your coconut flakes should be refrigerated, or if they are best left on the shelf. We’ll also dive into what factors you should consider when deciding the best storage method for you.

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Do Coconut Flakes Need to be Refrigerated?

The short answer is no, coconut flakes do not need to be refrigerated. Your dried coconut flakes can be stored at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Packaging that lets light through can cause your coconut flakes to lose their flavor rather quickly.

Be mindful of heat sources, such as refrigerator exhaust, cabinets near the oven, and pipes. These factors may mean that you’re not actually storing the coconut flakes at room temperature. Heat will cause your coconut flakes to spoil more rapidly.

If you are keeping them on the shelf, use airtight storage methods, whether that be in a zipper-sealed bag or a tightly sealed container. Maybe use both if you have them! If they are sealed tightly it will help maintain their freshness. This helps to keep out moisture, which can quickly ruin dried food! If you live in a more humid climate, this is especially important to consider.

Stored with these considerations in mind, your coconut flakes will stay fresh and tasty.

If you don’t use coconut flakes very often, you may want to consider storing them in the fridge or freezer anyway! Even though it’s not required, this will help prolong the shelf-life. More on that later!

This is the recommendation for dried coconut flakes. If you have a different type of coconut, there are different storage recommendations that you should abide by to keep things fresh and healthy!

What type of coconut flakes do you have?

Coconut flakes most often refer to dried coconut flakes that come in a bag, which can be sweetened or unsweetened. These dried flakes are safe to store on the shelf if you are going to use them relatively quickly. Other types of coconut may require different storage techniques.

Freshly grated coconut shavings or flakes should be refrigerated. As well, moist coconut from a can should be refrigerated and covered. Moisture can attract bacteria, so keeping it cool in the fridge helps it to last longer. Even so, it will only last about a week at the very max. Sliminess or a strange odor will indicate that the fresh coconut has gone bad.

How can I prolong the shelf life of dried coconut flakes?

We’ve all been there before – you buy a very specific ingredient for a recipe, only to have it go bad or expire before you use it again. It can be frustrating when stale food interferes with your cooking process! Not to mention, it is a huge waste of money and food.

If coconut flakes are not something you use often, there are a few different options for storage that will help preserve their shelf life, flavor, and texture. Plus, it will help you save some cash!

Shelf Storage:

If you want to store your coconut in the cupboard or on a shelf, make sure you seal it well. This will help maintain freshness! A tightly sealed bag or a container that seals airtight is your best bet for long-lasting shredded coconut flakes.


While not necessarily required, this can help the coconut stay fresh longer. Nobody wants stale ingredients, so if you won’t need them for a few months it may be best to put them in the fridge! Make sure they are tightly sealed in a container or bag to maintain freshness. In the fridge, they will last approximately 6 months.


If you are only using your coconut once in a blue moon, freezing it may be the best option. Some sources online say that coconut flakes will last approximately 1 year in the freezer.

In a peer-reviewed article by Natthaya Choosuk et al, which was published in the journal “Processes”, the storage temperature was found to be a major contributor to the shelf life of dried coconut chips. Your coconut flakes would react to temperature changes in a similar way, as they are a very similar product.

According to the article on shelf life, the dried coconut was best preserved at the lowest temperature. Temperature ranges in this article were from refrigerated to 55 degrees Celsius. The refrigerated coconut chips maintained their quality for about 6 months. Refrigerated or frozen coconut flakes will hold their flavor and texture for much longer than shelf-stored coconut! If you’re only using it on occasion, this may be your best bet.

Shelf Life Recap

The shelf life of coconut flakes depends on their storage methods. Stored in an airtight container, this is a quick guide to how long your dried coconut flakes will last. 

  • 3-4 months on the shelf
  • 6 months in the refrigerator
  • 1 year in the freezer

Freshly grated coconut flakes have a significantly shorter shelf life, as mentioned before. Make sure you know what type of product you have!

Always remember that while these guidelines are a great place to start, watch out for any signs that the coconut flakes have gone bad. We go into signs of spoilage in FAQs.

The Final Scoop

You want to get the most out of your food. With the cost of living increasing and food security being a focus around the world, proper food storage is more and more important. Know that your baking, cooking, and kitchen creations are going to be top quality in both nutrition and flavor by storing your coconut flakes right.

Coconut flakes do not need to be refrigerated. Depending on how often you use them, refrigeration or freezing may be your best bet!

Remember these factors to keep your coconut flakes in top quality. Keep these factors low and your coconut will stay fresh for your next meal!

  1. Temperature
  2. Light
  3. Moisture

We hope this article helps you enjoy your delicious, nutty recipes filled with this tropical fruit. There is so much information available online about the storage, much of it conflicting. We are happy to help you determine the best storage methods for your coconut flakes. 

We would love to hear about your coconut creations. Let us know what storage method you choose. What is your favorite way to use coconut flakes? Are they a staple in your kitchen? Share some ideas with us. We are always looking for cooking and baking inspiration and love to hear from our readers!

If you have any questions about this content, please leave a comment below. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have! We hope this information was helpful and would love to hear from you if it was.


Can coconut flakes go bad?

Yes, coconut flakes can go bad. 

Spoiled coconut flakes can produce mold and mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can lead to allergies, digestive issues, or potentially more serious health issues, according to the World Health Organization. Store your coconut flakes properly and look out for signs of spoilage to prevent getting sick. 

How can you tell if coconut flakes have gone bad?

Look out for these signs, which may signal that your coconut flakes have gone bad:

  • Rancid or sour smell
  • Discolored or yellowed (unless toasted)
  • Bitter taste
  • Mold or sliminess

Are coconut flakes nutritious?

While coconut flakes are a great addition to desserts and sweet dishes, they also hold some potency in terms of nutrition. They may be tasty, but they aren’t just a sweet treat!

The main macronutrient in coconut is fat. They also have carbohydrates, though significantly less than most fruit. Coconuts have a higher protein content than that of most other fruits, making them a popular addition to foods for vegetarians.

Most of the fat in coconut is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs have recently been a massive health trend, and for good reason.

You’ve probably heard of MCT oil before, but what is the excitement all about? Well, MCTs have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol which could help to increase cardiovascular health, according to studies such as this one.

As mentioned in their findings, more research is needed about these benefits and how they relate to coconut oil specifically. These studies are interesting, but this research is not yet widely accepted so continue to follow health and nutrition guidelines. Don’t exceed the recommended amounts of macronutrients or micronutrients as set out in the regulatory guidelines.

The nutritional content of coconut flakes is also impacted by what type you buy. Sweetened and unsweetened coconut flakes are both common. Sweetened coconut flakes will have more sugar, and therefore more carbohydrates.

Whether you are using coconut flakes for nutrition, flavor, or both, proper storage will help preserve these qualities. Luckily, being sweetened or unsweetened does not change the storage recommendations. Use the information above to help you decide the best method for you.

Learn more: Where is Shredded Coconut in Grocery Store?

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