Think about this: You cleaned out your pantry and found a few packets of pastas, so you invited some friends for a pasta night.
Great idea, right? It would’ve been except for one little problem—your dried pasta is already past the printed date!
What should you do? Can you still serve the pasta?
But most importantly—does dried pasta go bad?
And under some circumstances, it may spoil too. So before you decide to cook your pasta dishes, make sure to read this article first!
Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dried pasta—and whether or not, you can still consume the ones in your pantry.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get your party started!
Does Dried Pasta Go Bad?
Dry pasta doesn’t go bad or expire. However, it tends to lose quality over time.
This is because this type of pasta is dried out before being packaged. The drying process gets rid of excess moisture so bacteria and mold can’t thrive in the pasta and cause it to spoil.
However, the pasta loses its quality over time because of the following reasons:
Changes in temperature and exposure to oxygen will destroy the pasta’s nutritional content. So while the pasta is still safe for consumption, it won’t have any nutritional value anymore.
Some dried pastas are dehydrated and dried via frying. On the other hand, some pastas contain natural oil.
The unfortunate thing is that these pastas’ oil content will eventually become rancid, especially when the pasta is exposed to heat and air. The rancidity will cause the pasta’s flavor, texture, and smell to change as time goes by, diminishing its quality in the process.
How Long Does Dried Pasta Last?
Unopened dry pasta can last for up to 2 years after the time of purchase. On the other hand, opened dry pasta can last up to 1 year after opening.
But wait, what about the printed on its packaging? What is that for?
The printed date on the pasta’s packaging is probably the best-by date and not an expiration date.
This date is the manufacturer’s guess of when the pasta can maintain its peak freshness. Past by this date, the pasta is still safe for consumption, but its quality may have already started to diminish.
So can you still eat dried pasta past the best-by date? Yes, you can, as long as there are no signs that it has already gone bad.
How to Tell if Dried Pasta Has Gone Bad?
So what signs do you need to look out for to ensure that the pasta is still safe to consume? Here are some of them:
- Discoloration (Lighter shade)
- White or black spots (mold growth)
- Crumbly and brittle texture
- Presence of insects and bugs inside the box
- Rancid smell
If dried pasta is shelf stable, then why will it go bad? If your dried pasta exhibits any of the signs mentioned, below are some of the potential causes:
Exposure to moisture
The main reason why dried pasta lasts long is that it has little to no moisture. Once it’s exposed to moisture, there’s a high chance that bacteria and mold will grow, causing it to spoil.
Not properly sealed
If there are holes or tears in the pasta box or plastic, it will absorb odors and be exposed to contaminants causing its taste and smell to change.
There’s also a high chance that pantry bugs and other pests can get inside the box, infecting the pasta, which may lead to changes in taste and texture.
How To Store Dried Pasta For Long-term Use?
If your dried pasta to last longer, you’d need to remove it from its original packaging and place it in a much more suitable container. This is because the pasta’s packaging is not designed to protect your pasta from moisture, air, contaminants, and odors.
To keep it properly protected, you should transfer the dried pasta to any of the following containers:
These are the best long-term storage containers to save on space and money. Aside from being affordable, you can easily fit these bags anywhere in your pantry.
If you are storing only a small amount of dried pasta, airtight jars are the way to go.
On the other hand, large amounts of dried pastas are best stored in buckets. Make sure to use gasket lids to keep the buckets airtight.
Frequently Asked Questions
So, Does Dried Pasta Go Bad?
Dry pasta won’t expire or go bad, but it will lose its quality as time passes. However, since it has no moisture content, you can enjoy dried pasta even 1 to 2 years past its best-before date.
However, improper storage can lead to contamination and spoilage earlier than expected. Because of this, it’s best to inspect the pasta carefully for any signs of spoilage before consuming it to avoid unwanted digestive problems.