Do Molasses Go Bad? When to Buy a New Molasses Jar

Molasses is used as an ingredient in some of the recipes. Yes. It might be hard to think about it, but molasses can be used in various recipes you like to make. However, because such recipes are not common, people tend to forget they even have molasses in their cupboards.

That is why some would ask, do molasses go bad?

This guide looks at molasses in detail to see if it is something you would want to use more often and how long it takes for it to go bad.

What is Molasses?

You can define molasses as a popular sweetener that is made through the extraction of sugar from sugarcane and sugar beet. The final product is a liquid with a syrupy sweet taste you will like.

As much as molasses was popular back in the 90s, people still use it in their households today. This is thanks to it being sweet and concentrated. It is why some people might use it for making goodies such as gingerbread.

You are likely to come across several molasses types. They include light, blackstrap, and dark or medium molasses.

Light molasses type is that which has not been boiled for long compared to the other types. It will also be lightest in terms of color and still has the highest content of sugar. Another feature is that molasses is also the least viscous.

Dark or medium molasses can be achieved after additional boiling of the molasses. You will notice that it is darker than the light molasses and would also contain less sugar. As for the blackstrap, it has the least sugar amount and will be black. It is mostly used as a spicy flavor, but it is not as sweet when compared to the other two options.

Molasses can be either sulfured or unsulfured. The sulfur compound works as a preservative whenever it is used in the molasses. However, the downside is that Sulphur tends to leave an aftertaste. The only good thing about sulfured molasses is that it can last longer compared to the unsulfured option.

How Long Will Molasses Last?

How long will molasses last can have many answers. Some might not be sure if it is worth using it after the sell-by or best-by date.

There are varied opinions on if you should still use molasses when the best-by date has passed. Many think that you can still use it even if the date has already passed. It is the same thing with other sweeteners, such as corn syrup. This date often has not much to do with reality.

This means that molasses can still be safe to use in food past the date on the product label. If there is no date on the label, you should assume that the molasses would still be good to use two years from when you buy it.

If you have opened it, add one year from the best-by date. Such molasses would still be good for use.

In case you decide to discard it earlier, it may be because of quality purposes and not that the molasses is spoilt.

How to Know if Your Molasses is Spoiled

Telling if your molasses is spoiled might not always be easy. This is because even the old molasses would not show signs that it is bad. Sometimes you may taste, and it seems fine. However, there are some hints to watch out for when looking at its overall state.


Whenever you notice the presence of mold spores on the jar, it is a sign that your molasses is spoilt. Molasses can attract water since it is hygroscopic. This will make the molasses prone to mold in case the user does not store it correctly.

You should check further to understand the extent of mold spots on the jar. Sometimes it can be only on the top. If the jar is not opened, it might still be a safe option. Sometimes you may think it is mold only to realize they are just slippery, glossy spots. So, proper investigation to determine if it is mold can come in handy.

As much as the molasses might still taste good or even smell nice, you should definitely discard it. All molds should be treated as dangerous.

Separated molasses

When molasses is stored in places where there are high levels of heat and humidity, you can expect that the molasses would start to disintegrate. This will happen when you store your opened jar in places where there is a lot of heat or humidity.

Also, an unopened jar might lose its viscosity when it is exposed to direct sunlight for months. So, whenever you notice the molasses develops a watery layer at the top, simply discard it. It will no longer be great for your recipes.

Crystalized molasses

It is possible that molasses in an old jar can lose its natural moisture. When this happens, molasses can easily crystalize. This makes it unsuitable to use molasses in recipes. Whenever you encounter this problem, it is best to get yourself another jar of molasses.

The smell and taste are off

Molasses can go for a long time without smelling off or tasting different. However, when this happens, you should know that something is wrong. That is why you should consider replacing your jar when it no longer tastes like molasses. Most of the time, this happens when molasses lose their freshness.

Tips for Storing Molasses

Now that you know when to tell if molasses is bad, how can you prevent it from getting bad in the first place? Below are some ideas for you to keep in mind to help maintain the molasses freshness and keep it from going bad.

Keep the jar away from direct sunlight

If you were paying attention, sunlight is not good for your molasses jar. This is because it can make it lose its freshness over time or even separate. That is why you should consider storing it in a dark location, such as a pantry where the temperature is also controlled.

Do not store it on the kitchen counter. This is a location exposed to different conditions which can affect your molasses composition.

Keep the molasses in its original packaging

If you do not interfere with your molasses jar all the time, the chances are it will remain fresher for longer. If you are not going to use it anytime soon, just leave it in the pantry. Also, storing it in its original container will make it easier for you to maintain the freshness.

You should wipe the lips of the jar to remove any excess or spills. This is because the spills can lead to molds. Also, keep the container tightly sealed to help in keeping the contaminants away.

No need to refrigerate molasses

Some people think that refrigerating everything should be the best way to keep them fresh. However, that is not always the case. As much as you could refrigerate molasses, it would not be the best way to store them.

Refrigerating can help in keeping molasses cool and fresh; however, it will lose its viscosity. This means that the molasses would be hard to pour. Well, some people would put the jar in a bowl containing warm water.

Also, molasses can pick up some of the smells from the other foods stored in the fridge. This can affect the smells of molasses when used in food.

Risks of Using Spoiled Molasses

Mold is something you should always worry about when you are looking at spoiled molasses. This is because it can be quite dangerous for your health in case you consume it. Many people get sick from eating mold spores.

Also, people are allergic to mold and can easily get respiratory problems whenever they inhale mold spores.

Well, mold on molasses is dangerous. Just throw it away.


Molasses is not something that will go bad easily. You are likely to use it for a couple of years before buying a new jar. Just ensure you keep it in a place that is free from water, air, humidity, and heat. You can keep the sweetener fresh for longer when you store it in a temperature-controlled pantry. This will help you get the best freshness even after a year of storage. Also, no need to freeze your molasses. It does not help extend its shelf life.

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