Does Coconut Cream Go Bad? Read This First Before Anything Else!

image of Coconut Cream shelf life, expiration date, and storage tips

With its creamy and velvety texture and ultra-rich flavor, it’s not surprising that coconut cream has become a pantry staple. So whether you’re professional chef or just a cooking enthusiast, chances are you have a can of it in your cupboard.

But what if that can have been sitting there for months? Or even years?

Well, you might be wondering—does coconut cream go bad?

Quick Answer:

Due to its high-fat content, coconut cream goes bad. In fact, it only has a short shelf life.

So how short are we talking about? Keep on reading to discover the answer!

Does Coconut Cream Go Bad?

Yes, coconut cream goes bad. Since it has up to 24% fat content, it’s prone to rancidity.

So what to do with coconut cream once it has gone bad? Once the coconut cream shows signs of spoilage, the best thing that you can do is throw it out right away.

Consuming rancid coconut cream is not recommended as it can negatively affect your health. (*)

How Long Does Coconut Cream Last?

Because of the amount of fats that the cream has, it’s not shelf-stable and relatively has a short shelf life.

So how exactly short its shelf life is? The answer varies depending on a variety of factors including the type (homemade or canned), whether it has been opened or not, and the way it’s stored.

With that said, here’s a simple table that highlights the coconut cream’s expected shelf life:

Homemade1 to 2 days5 days1 to 2 months
Canned (Unopened)18 to 24 months (Expiration date)18 to 24 months (Expiration date)—-
Canned (Opened)2 to 3 days5 to 7 days2 to 4 months

Reminder: Keep in mind that these are just estimates.

There are a lot of factors that may cause the product to go bad faster or later than expected. That’s why it’s important that you inspect the cream for any signs of spoilage before you use it.

How to Tell if Coconut Cream Has Gone Bad?

To determine if the item is still safe for consumption, you need to familiarize yourself with the cream’s common signs of spoilage.

But before we dive into that, it’s important that you know what it’s supposed to look like first—creamy and milky white liquid with a semi-thick consistency.

With that said, here are the signs of spoilage to watch out for:

Changes in Appearance

A coconut cream that has gone bad will take on a darker color. Instead of a milky white to grayish shade, it will have a light to dark brown color.

Mold Growth

In addition to color changes, mold growth is the easiest sign of spoilage to spot. It’s characterized as dark spots or green fuzzy growth on the liquid’s surface.

Texture Changes

As mentioned, coconut cream has a thick liquid consistency. Once it starts to spoil, two things will happen. It may either start to curdle or take on a watery texture.

Foul Smell

The most obvious sign of all is the change in the cream’s smell. If the cream has already spoiled, you can give a strong whiff of the chemical-like, sour, or pungent odor once you open the can.

Weird Taste

This should be your last resort but if you’re still in doubt, get a small amount and taste it. If it tastes sour or bitter, it means it has already spoiled.

If the product shows any of these signs of spoilage, it’s best that you discard it immediately.

How to Store Coconut Cream the Right Way?

The best way to preserve the cream’s freshness and quality is to store it properly. To do that, here are some of the tips you need to keep in mind:

Store unopened canned products in a dry, cool, and dark place.

Heat facilitates rancidity, and that’s why it’s important that you protect it from heat as much as you can.

That’s why unopened cans or cartons should be stored in a dry, cool, and dark place like your pantry or kitchen cupboard.

Make sure it’s stashed away from any sources of heat and light like your stove, oven, or your kitchen windows.

Store the cans vertically.

This is the best way to prevent the fat from separating from the water and ensure that the cream will retain its creamy and thick consistency.

Refrigerate opened store-bought and homemade coconut cream.

The product gets rancid faster once opened, and that’s why you should store it in a colder place like your refrigerator.

Transfer the content of the opened can or carton to an airtight container. Make sure that the container’s lid is tightly sealed so no dry air will get inside.

Freeze coconut cream if you want it to last longer.

Can you freeze coconut cream? It’s actually a controversial issue since doing so can alter the product’s texture and may even cause the water and fat to separate.

If you’re okay with the potential texture changes, then proceed with freezing the item.

To do this, transfer the cream to ice cube trays first then freeze it for a few hours. Once frozen, you can transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bottom Line

Does coconut cream go bad? Yes, it can certainly go bad.

In fact, you can enjoy it for only a few days (opened and homemade) up to a few months (unopened).

Because of this, it’s important that you learn how to store this ingredient properly, and you can do that by following the steps we’ve shared with you.  

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