If you’re frequently using stevia powder or stevia liquid as your alternative sweetener, you might have instances of finding a few old boxes stored in some parts of your storage cabinets for many months.
Then, you noticed that some packets were about to expire while the others were already hardened.
At this point, you might wonder: does Stevia go bad? How to tell if it is still suitable for consumption?
Helpful Tip To Remember:
Technically, Stevia does not go bad if it is stored correctly.
It can become lumpy when exposed to moisture, but it does not mean it will cause unwanted health effects if you consume it at this state.
In this post, we will answer the following questions:
Are you ready? Keep reading to learn more!
Stevia is widely known as a popular sugar substitute that is free of calories. It is 100 to 200 times sweeter than sugar, and it is one of the most common artificial sweeteners used for weight loss and calorie reduction diet. Stevia in the Raw and Truvia are two popular sugar substitute options. (*)
How Stevia is Made?
The stevia sweeteners are derived from the sweet leaves of Stevia rebaudiana of the chrysanthemum family. The process involves extracting the chemical compounds responsible for the sweet taste of the leave called steviol glycosides. (*)
Uses of Stevia
Like your regular table sugar, Stevia is used to sweeten food and drinks such as juices, coffee, teas, smoothies, dishes, and baked products.
Market Forms of Stevia
The market forms of stevia sweetener products are available as dried stevia leaves, stevia powder, and liquid Stevia. The ones kept in packets or jars are in powdered form while the liquid form is sold as stevia extracts.
The US FDA identified highly refined stevia extracts as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS). However, this is not the case for the whole stevia leaf or even the crude leaf extracts.
If you live in a semi-humid to high humidity, sub-tropical climate (where temperatures typically range from -6 degrees C to 43 degrees C), you can grow your own stevia plant and make homemade stevia powder or Stevia extract!
How Long Does Stevia Last?
We all know that sugar is an ingredient that gives sweetness to the food and even prolongs its shelf life. As your ordinary table sugar can last for an indefinite period, does it apply the same idea to this type of zero-calorie artificial sweetener?
Let’s find out about stevia leaves, stevia powder, and stevia extract.
Dry Stevia leaves kept in good storage conditions can stay long at room temperature for up to 12 months.
A commercially prepared pure form of this artificial sweetener can last up to 3 years. Stevia extract containing other ingredients holds a maximum shelf life of 1–2 years. We advise you not to consume this product if it has passed its expiration date for your safety.
Powdered Stevia can typically last up to 3 years, as reflected in the “best by” date. You can even still consume your powdered Stevia after its expiration date as long as it is kept under the best storage conditions.
However, keeping powdered Stevia for an extended period may become clumpy if exposed to moisture or high temperature. But, that does not mean you cannot use it anymore.
Does Stevia Go Bad?
You must be aware of any food’s spoilage signs to prevent health-related side effects. Stevia can last for a few years, but it can spoil before its expiration if not stored properly.
Not all stevia products have equal formulations. You might notice that some stevia products taste mild with a bitter aftertaste. That is actually normal. Stevia does not usually go bad, but its flavor and quality depreciate over time.
Learn more: Your Common Food Ingredient’s Shelf Life – A Comprehensive Guide By Groups
How to Tell if Stevia Has Gone Bad
When identifying the spoilage signs for this sugar substitute, just do a quick sensory evaluation.
If you spot discoloration and changes in its smell or taste, you better have to discard it immediately.
The cause for stevia powder to lose its quality is if it is exposed to moisture. The powdered form tends to attract and hold moisture resulting in caking or clumping. As long as it looks, smells, and tastes okay, then you can use dissolve the hardened powder in your favorite drinks.
How to Store Stevia Properly
Stevia is easy to store! Here’s our advice on how to preserve its shelf life to the maximum limit:
1. Store stevia in an airtight container
The container provides protection from contamination and pest infestation. If you have purchased the refill pouches, you have to transfer the contents to an airtight container. Make sure to close the lid tightly to prevent moisture from getting into the powder.
We recommend that you use dry utensils to scoop out the amount of Stevia you need for your recipes. Never use a wet scoop nor leave it inside the jar, as the powder will absorb the moisture from the scoop and form clumps. Don’t forget to close the lid tightly after each use.
2. Keep Stevia under room temperature.
Your pantry, cupboard, or kitchen cabinet are the best places to keep your Stevia – as long as it is cool and dry. Just make sure you separate your opened pack or jar of powdered Stevia away from spices and aromatic ingredients as it may absorb their smell.
Whether you have powdered Stevia or Stevia extract, you don’t need to keep it in the refrigerator unless stated in the package.
3. Process and Storage of Stevia Leaves
You need to dry the leaves under low heat with good air circulation for your home-grown stevia plant for two days.
After drying, separate the leaves from the stems. Lastly, keep the leaves in an airtight container and store them in a cool and dry place or at room temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Stevia products are fantastic alternatives for sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners.
Stevia leaves, powder, and liquid are easy to store. If your old liquid Stevia or powdered does not look normal after keeping it for a long time, we advise you to just risk using it and throw it away.