MCT Oil’s Shelf Life: Does It Go Bad? How To Tell

You just made a fantastic discovery: MCT oil can help you lose weight.

And so, you went ahead and bought a whole bottle of it, ready to shed off the few extra pounds that you have.

But upon further research, you learned that you only need a few teaspoonfuls of the oil every day, so you might not be able to finish that big bottle before its expiry date.

Does MCT oil go bad? You need to know. You feel like banging your head against a wall to search for answers. Well, you don’t have to look for it any longer.

Here’s the deal: MCT can go bad. The good news is that it contains medium-chain triglycerides, making it one of the most shelf-stable oils in the market, so it has a very long shelf life.

So how long does MCT oil last? Well, we’re going to find out in this article.

We’re also going to share with you all the essential details about this sought after oil, including these questions:

  • Does MCT oil go bad? (we’re going to expound the answer to this!)
  • How long does MCT oil last?
  • How to tell if MCT oil has gone bad?
  • How to store MCT oil?
  • …and other related questions about it!

Do you want to know the answers to these questions?

We know you do, so let’s get down to business!

Does MCT Oil Go Bad?

image of mct oil's shelf life

Generally, oil is resistant to mold and microbial growth. This is most especially true with MCT oil as it contains medium-chain triglycerides that can reduce the risk of bacterial and yeast growth.

Despite this, MCT oil can still go bad, and it can go bad in two ways.

First, it can go bad to the point of rancidity when it’s stored longer than its expected shelf life. On the other hand, it can go bad to the point of spoilage when it’s not stored correctly.

This is all because of the process called oxidation, which takes place when the oil is exposed to light, air, and heat.

How Long Does MCT Oil Last?

Considering all these, you might be wondering: what is the MCT oil’s shelf life? How long does MCT oil last?

We’d have to start with the printed date on the label to answer this.

Fun Fact: The printed date is not an expiration date, but rather a best by date or use by date. The use-by-date and best by date are dates that indicate how long the product will retain its best quality.

As long as you follow proper storage conditions, you can still use the oil months to years past the printed date. With that in mind, what is the shelf life of MCT oil? Check out the following shelf life guidelines to know the answer:

  • Unopened Bottle of MCT oil: Best by date / Use by date + 2 years
  • Opened Bottle of MCT oil: Best by date / Use by date +1 year

How to Tell if MCT Oil Has Gone Bad?

Even though rancid oil has a weird taste, it can still be used without little to no risk. However, bad MCT oil is entirely different as it can cause various unwanted side effects.

With that said, it’s always a must that you inspect your oil before using it. Below are the signs of bad MCT oil that you should watch out for:

1.  Strong Flavor

MCT oil is tasteless. If you notice that your oil has a strong flavor or weird taste, it means the oil has already gone bad, so you should dispose of it as soon as possible.

2.  Off Smell

MCT oils are virtually odorless, so any strong unpleasant scent indicates spoilage. This is especially true if it already gives off a sour and pungent aroma.

3.   Discoloration

MCT oil typically has a pale yellow color. If your oil looks discolored, it may be a sign of spoilage. However, it’s not a reliable sign of rancid oils as discolored oil can still be safe for consumption at times. To be sure, it’s recommended that you still look for other indications before throwing the oil away.

4.  Turbidity

Like most oils, MCT oil is clear. However, if you notice that it started to become cloudy or turbid, err on the side of caution and discard it right away.

5.  Thicker Consistency

Same with olive oil, the consistency of MCT oil is thin and lightweight. Once it starts to spoil, it takes on a thicker and more viscous consistency. If you notice any changes in its consistency, the best step is to get rid of the oil right away,

How to Store MCT Oil?

Your MCT oil becoming a rancid MCT oil is inevitable, but you can prevent your MCT oil from getting spoiled. All you need to do is follow these proper storage tips:

1.   Keep it away from heat.

If you want your MCT oil to stay fresh for longer, you need to protect it from high temperatures. Because of this, it’s a must that you store it from a cool place like your kitchen cabinet or cupboard.

Pro Tip: Make sure that the storage place is not near heat sources like dishwashers, stoves, or ovens. It must also be kept away from electronics as those tend to emit heat.

2.   Protect your oil from air and light.

Both air and light accelerate the process of oxidation that can trigger the oil’s rancidification process. Considering all these requirements, the best storage place for MCT oil is no other than your kitchen cupboard or pantry that’s located far from the kitchen windows.

3.  Refrigerate your MCT oil

If you have adequate space in your refrigerator, refrigerate the oil, there might be a good idea. In this way, you can hit two birds with one stone—keep it away from both heat and light.

Pro Tip: Just make sure that you keep the cap tightly sealed at all times to protect the oil from moisture and humidity.

Other Related Questions

1.  Does MCT powder go bad?

Same with MCT oil, MCT powder will go bad eventually, too. Typically, the shelf life of MCT Powder is about 1 year after purchasing.

The best telltale sign of an old protein powder is clumpiness.

2.   Should you refrigerate MCT Oil?

Refrigerating MCT oil is unnecessary, but it’s not forbidden either, as refrigeration won’t negatively affect the oil. Please note that it won’t also prolong the oil’s shelf life either.

3.  Does MCT oil solidify when refrigerated?

Unlike coconut oil, MCT oil doesn’t solidify when refrigerated. So if your oil solidifies inside the fridge, it might not be pure MCT oil.

4. Can you freeze MCT oil?

Yes, you can, but with refrigeration, freezing MCT oil is unnecessary as it won’t extend its shelf life.

5.   Is it safe to consume expired MCT oil?

Aside from the weird taste, consuming expired MCT oil has no short-term unwanted side effects. However, rancid oil can be a health hazard because it might form free radicals, which may cause cell damage in the long run. (*)

The Bottom Line

Just like most oils, MCT oil can go bad over time. It can go rancid when stored for too long, and it will get spoiled when stored improperly.

So what are the next best steps? Simple. You just need to consume it before it gets rancid and make sure it’s stored properly to avoid spoilage.

All the tips on how you can do that are in this article, so it’s up to you to get things done.

image of mct oil shelf life


Up Next:

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top