Did you know soy sauce has been used in cooking for over 1000 years? As unbelievable as that sounds, it is true!
Soy sauce originated in China and has been popular ever since. You must have bought bottles if you like to use soy sauce often.
But, Does soy sauce go bad if stored at room temperture?
A soy sauce bottle can last for 2-3 years or more if unopened. An open bottle can last for a year at room temperature if stored properly. When stored in the refrigerator, soy sauce can last up to one year.
Soy sauce comes with lots of benefits. But it is important to know how long the sauce stays fresh. This article will discuss the shelf-life and how to store sauce properly.
Does Soy Sauce Go Bad?
The best thing about fermented beverages is that they can last for years. And soy sauce is one of the shelf-stable beverages you can enjoy anywhere. But that does not mean soy sauce can’t go bad.
Soy sauce can retain quality for years but will eventually turn bland. An unopened sauce bottle will last 2-3 years past the printed date. Once opened, the peak flavor of the sauce will last a year at room temperature. Store the sauce in the fridge, and you will be good for another 6 months.
Once the date is passed, the soy sauce can still be used. However, the old soy sauce will not be as flavorful as the new one. But that does not mean the sauce has gone bad. If your soy sauce begins to show signs of spoilage, then the sauce has gone bad. Look for mold or a funny smell to know that the sauce has gone bad.
How Long Does Soy Sauce last?
Shelf life is an indicator of how long the product will last. While many packaging has an expiry date, others come with a best-by date. So, if you look at the label on the soy sauce bottle, you’ll find a ‘best by’ date. Unlike the expiry date, the best-by date does not mean the product has gone bad. It simply means the sauce will be at its peak flavor till the best date. Another good thing about the sauce is that it retains its peak flavor after the best-by date. However, the seal of the soy bottle must remain intact.
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Once the sauce bottle is opened, it will retain its flavor for about 1-2 years. You must also look at the date mentioned on the label. This will give you approx date indicating the shelf-life of the soy sauce.
If the date has passed, the sauce can last for a few months up to a year. However, the quality of the sauce will not be as good as a fresh one. Yet, the sauce can be consumed if it shows no signs of spoilage.
How to Store Sauce?
Soy sauce can be stored at room temperature for years without being spoiled. So, as long as the bottle is unopened, the bottle can sit well in the pantry. If not the pantry, storing the bottle in any cool, dark place will do the trick.
However, if you have an open bottle and rarely use the sauce, refrigerate it. Once you use the sauce, make sure to seal the lid shut. This will prevent the sauce from getting contaminated by impurities. Refrigerating the sauce will help it retain its quality for years to come.
Do You Need To Refrigerate Soy Sauce?
Did you know soy sauce is made by using a mold called kōji? Apart from kōji, a fermented paste of soybeans, brine, and roasted grains is also used. But the best thing about fermented foods- they can survive well at room temperature. So, the answer is no. Soy sauce need not be refrigerated.
Soy sauce, a shelf-stable condiment, can last for 2-3 years when unopened. An open bottle of soy sauce, without refrigerating, can last up to an entire year. However, if you have a bottle lying around for more than a year, refrigerate it. Refrigerating soy sauce will help retain its flavors, even after its best-by date has passed.
What Happens When You Consume Too Much Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce comes bearing several health benefits. But it is also loaded with sodium, and a high sodium intake can be dangerous. Sodium is often considered to be an underlying cause of high blood pressure. But excess consumption of soy sauce can trigger your blood pressure levels. So, if you suffer from high blood pressure, avoid soy sauce.
Ever wondered how your soy sauce is prepared? If your sauce is produced chemically, it might contain 3-MCPD. This is a toxic substance that damages kidneys and causes tremors. When consumed in excess, it is also believed to decrease fertility. Thus, it is best to stick to organically fermented soy sauce.
3 Sings to Tell if Soy Sauce is Bad
Soy sauce is shelf-stable, i.e., if unopened, it can last for years at room temperature. However, if the sauce has been left open for a long time, it can get contaminated. Remember, consuming expired sauce is not harmful. But consuming contaminated sauce can pose a serious threat to your health. Therefore, you must know how to identify a bad soy sauce.
1. Soy sauce becomes the breeding ground for molds
Impurities can enter the sauce if left open for a long time. These impurities can lead to mold formation, rendering the sauce useless. If you see the appearance of mold, throw away the condiment.
2. Smell the soy sauce
Soy sauce has a very distinct smell- like soy sauce. Because the sauce is fermented, it will have a vinegary odor. However, discard if the sauce smells sour or has a rotten odor. An off smell indicates that the soy sauce is no longer consumable.
3. Taste the sauce to check the freshness
Soy sauce has a unique taste. It is overpowering, yet it is a perfect addition to sushis or seafood. To check the quality of the soy sauce, give it a taste. You can use it in your dishes if the taste sits well with your tongue. However, toss away the sauce if you find the taste sour or rotten.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How long does soy sauce last after opened?
Ans. An opened bottle of soy sauce retains its peak flavor for six months. The sauce can last up to 2-3 years if stored properly in a refrigerator.
Q2. Should soy sauce be refrigerated after opening?
Ans. Soy sauce can retain its flavor and last for months at room temperature. However, if you want to store it for more than a year or two, refrigerate it. Keeping the sauce refrigerated ensures the quality and peak flavor for a longer time.
Q3. What happens if soy sauce is expired?
Ans. An expired soy sauce does not necessarily mean it is unsafe for consumption. It also does not mean an expired sauce will not show any changes. An expired soy sauce will alter color and flavor. Because the sauce undergoes oxidation, soy sauce becomes darker and stronger with age.
Q4. How long does soy sauce last past expiration date?
Ans. It is possible to store unopened soy sauce bottles for several years past the expiration date. In the fridge, an open bottle might be safe for about half a year, but at room temperature, it lasts a month at best.
Q5. How do you dispose of expired soy sauce?
Ans. Do not throw away the expired soy sauce. Instead, the expired bottle can be composted. To find out if your community offers composting services, visit the municipal recycling website. If not, then throw the expired soy sauce bottle away.
The Bottom Line
Soy sauce is one of the best beverages you can use with your meals. But before you use the sauce, it is important to know how fresh it is. Look for the smell and taste before you go all in with the sauce. Remember, the sauce does not go bad but can lose its flavor over time. Do the quality test and make sure you consume only the fresh sauce. And if you have high blood pressure, do not go overboard with the sauce.