Gelatin is used in many desserts, and if you have a packet sitting around the house waiting for your next dessert project, you may be wondering if gelatin goes bad.
No, packet gelatin does not go bad. Most gelatin will be able to be used indefinitely. The gelatin should be used within the first year to keep its potency in your projects but can still be used with little change indefinitely after its best buy date. Gelatin-based snacks and homemade goods should be used within a week of being opened to avoid spoiling.
If you cannot use up all your gelatin in one project, you may be wondering what the best ways to store it are and the best practices for it to last. Read on to determine the best ways to keep your gelatin.
Does Gelatin Go Bad? How Long Does Gelatin Last?
Depending on how you store the gelatin and what kind of gelatin product it is, you can determine its expiry date and the best way to store it.
How Long Does Gelatin Last Outside?
If you have unopened dry gelatin packages, they can last up to a year past their expiration date. The expiration date will not affect the gelatin as long as the gelatin is stored away from moisture.
An opened packet of gelatin should be used within three months of it being opened to get the best results. The opened gelatin should be stored in a cool dark area away from moisture and sunlight.
If you have unopened gelatin snacks, they should be used within a month of their expiration date. These are the only gelatin items that can be stored in the pantry without going bad.
How Long Does Gelatin Last in the Fridge?
Ready-to-eat gelatin snacks and homemade gelatin desserts are the only things that should be stored in the fridge. You should follow the expiration dates on the products due to the possibility of them mixing with other ingredients.
If unopened, you can place gelatin snacks in the fridge to become cold. You should eat them within one month of their expiration date. Opened snacks should be consumed within one week of them being opened to avoid soiling.
You should eat homemade gelatin foods within one week of them being made to keep the freshness and help them from spoiling. This is because the jello is mixed with other ingredients that have lower shelf life expectancies.
How Long Does Gelatin Last in the Freezer?
Gelatin should not be stored in the freezer unless it is in popsicle form. Freezing gelatin can cause the consistency to change and make the products lose their jelly-like consistency.
If you choose to freeze gelatin popsicles, they can last for up to 24 months in the freezer. Because they are frozen when made, they will hold their consistency for a longer time.
If you choose to freeze gelatin, it can last indefinitely in the freezer but may lose its shape. The flavors may also dissipate and create a separation between the liquid and the gelatin.
Depending on the type of gelatin product, it is best stored in the fridge or pantry to keep it useable for longer. Gelatin is a hearty product that you can use for a long time as long as you store it properly.
How To Tell If Gelatin Has Gone Bad / How To Know Gelatin is Fresh
If you are curious if your gelatin is still useable, you can look for a few different things.
Appearance: If your gelatin has gone bad, you will notice mold or a color change. A color change will happen slowly and will represent that the gelatin is degrading, and it is your choice if you eat it or not. Mold may either be specks or in the form of mold growing on top of the jello.
Consistency: The consistency of bad gelatin will be more watery than fresh and lose its structure when made. It is near impossible to know if powdered gelatin is bad unless it is made. The powder will not change consistency if left in the packet.
Odor: A bad gelatin powder or gelatin product will develop a sour odor that shows it has gone bad. The smell will be sharp and overwhelming. If jello is put into other recipes, the smell may smell like other rotting ingredients as well.
Taste: If you are unsure of the best buy date, you can taste the gelatin. If it has gone bad, the gelatin will maintain a sour taste quite like the odor. If other ingredients are used in the gelatin, they may have disintegrated and lost their flavor.
How to Store Gelatin?
All gelatin products are sold at room temperature (unless they are popsicles). This means that they can be stored in these few ways.
Pantry: Unopened gelatin products and gelatin packets should be stored at room temperature in a cool dark environment such as a pantry or cabinet. This will keep the moisture out of the product. If the gelatin packet is opened, it can also be stored in the pantry, but it should be tightly sealed.
Fridge: Any homemade or gelatin products should be stored in the refrigerator. They need to be placed in an airtight container and used within a week to keep them fresh and avoid spoiling.
Can You Freeze Gelatin? How?
It is possible to freeze gelatin, but it is not recommended. Freezing can change the structure of the gelatin and cause it to lose its shape. To freeze gelatin, you need to do the following:
Use an airtight container: Place your gelatin product in an airtight container and make sure it is tightly sealed. This will cause less moisture to get to your product.
Freeze: Once your product is sealed tight, you can place it in the freezer. If you are freezing anything in the gelatin, it can not freeze depending on the other ingredients’ freezing point.
How to Thaw Gelatin?
You can thaw gelatin in one of two ways, either using the fridge or at room temperature.
Room Temperature: Place a dish under your gelatin to catch any of the water that may come off the item when it is thawing. You can then place the gelatin at room temperature and allow it to melt.
Refrigerator: If you are going to thaw jello overnight, you can place it in the fridge. The temperature change will allow it to melt slowly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gelatin’s Shelf Life
Can expired jello make you sick? Expired jello cannot make you sick unless moisture has gotten into the package causing mold. Jello-based products need to be used sooner due to the addition of other ingredients.
Can the container gelatin be stored to help with expiration? The containers used to store pre-made jello are made from colored plastic. This will limit the exposure of light, air, and fluctuating temperatures, making jello go bad quicker.
Gelatin has a tentative expiration date and can be used for years. Knowing how to store your gelatin properly can help you make jiggly desserts for ages to come!