Does Baking Powder Go Bad? Does it Expire?
Question: does baking powder go bad? Read on to find out.
You don’t bake a lot and you have an unsealed container of baking powder that has been sitting in the pantry or kitchen cabinet for a long time. This can be a couple of months or even years since you don’t use the leavening agent frequently. So, you find yourself wondering, “does baking powder go bad?”
You might be thinking that since the baking ingredient is in powder form, it will last indefinitely. This is if it doesn’t come in contact with water or moisture, then what else could happen to it?
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Although the ingredient remains safe for consumption for a prolonged time, it won’t perform its ability of leavening forever. To be more specific, there comes a time where the ingredient is mixed with other baking ingredients but they don’t rise as much as expected. Or is completely inactive. If this is the case, it’s a sign that the product has lost its potency.
If you want to know more about the shelf life, potency and storage of this leavening agent, continue reading the article.
How To Store Baking Powder
Baking powder needs to be stored in the same conditions that other powdered ingredients like baking soda, wheat flour and cream of tartar. Meaning that the package should be stored in a dry and cool area. A kitchen cupboard or the pantry would be the perfect storage areas. Similar to other powdered ingredients, its best if it’s kept away from moisture and water.
After opening the package, make sure that it is always tightly sealed. It’s as simple as that, not engineering needed here!
How Long Does Baking Powder Last?
Most baking powder containers and packages have a best-by date on them. This date is meant to let you know of the length of time or even how long the ingredient should retain the original quality. However, the date is just estimated. This means that a pack of baking powder that has already been unsealed will perform the same way it should even past the sell-by date.
Exactly how long will this be? It’s not easy to tell. Its recommended that if the baking powder is opened three months or more past the best-by date, the potency needs to be checked before use. This will enable you to know whether or not the product will perform as a leavening agent.
Most companies recommend that an opened pack of baking powder be used at least within half a year. In summary, if air or moisture get into the packaging, the ingredient will begin losing its potency much faster than expected.
|Baking powder (unopened)||Best by + 6 months|
|Baking powder (opened)||3 – 6 months|
Note that the time provided above are only estimates. When baking powder is stored in the right conditions it can last for a long time. Remember to check for the potency before you begin using it.
How To Tell If Baking Powder Has Lost Its Potency Or Is Bad?
Like mentioned earlier, the leavening agent doesn’t really get spoiled in a way that makes it unsafe for consumption, unless moisture, water as well as other unrecognized substances get in it. Unfortunately, there are no visible indications of knowing whether or not the ingredient is still potent. Luckily, you can easily confirm it for yourself.
Just add a teaspoon of baking powder into half a cup of warm water. If bubbles for in the mixture, it means that the baking powder is still potent and can be used for baking. This is how the mixture should look:
If no bubble form in the mixture, then the leavening agent lost its potency and it needs to be thrown away.
Of course, if your baking is moldy or there are other kinds of organic growth, the product should be thrown out immediately. This means that moisture or water got into the storage container.