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Shelf Life of Rice Bran Oil: everything You Need to Know
We usually overlook the shelf life of oils as we consider them long-lasting staples. Although this is sometimes true in the case of Unrefined Coconut Oil and Olive Oil, it’s not always the case.
Some oils have a shorter shelf life than you might think. A few have a 3-month storage life!
In the case of rice bran oil, it has a shelf life of 9-12 months when properly stored in a dark, cool place, unexposed to air. Once the bottle has been opened, the shelf life of rice bran oil reduces to 6 months.
This post will shed light on the shelf life of rice bran oil and how to properly store it to extend its shelf life. We’ll provide you with all you need to know about it. But first, what is rice bran oil?
What Is Rice Bran Oil?
Rice bran oil is a cooking oil extracted from the outer tier of rice grains. Oils are different from cooking fats because they are generally liquid at room temperature.
This oil is widely used in many Asian countries, like Japan and India. However, its popularity has recently increased worldwide because of its many scientifically-proven health advantages.
Rice bran oil is top-notch in terms of health benefits compared to all the popular alternatives. It’s a rich source of gamma oryzanol which many use as a supplement, especially athletes.
Gamma oryzanol can boost athletic performance and overall health. It also fights aging signs and lowers high cholesterol levels.
Like most cooking oils, rice bran oil is primarily composed of fat nutrients. Below is the nutrition fact break out for 1 tablespoon of rice bran oil.
Nutrients 1 Tbsp
Shelf Life of Rice Bran Oil
On average, most rice bran oil products have a shelf life ranging from 9 to 12 months. This is a moderate shelf life compared to most other oils.
Although the shelf life of rice bran oil is close to the shelf life of grapeseed oil and other oils like almond, hazelnut, avocado, and walnut.
Once opened, the rice bran oil is exposed to air, and the shelf life decreases to just 6 months. Still, make sure to store the cooking oil in a dark, cool place in order to make sure it does not go rancid any sooner. Exposure to heat, light, and air can make the oil go bad sooner than expected.
Below is an easy-to-follow table on the shelf life of rice bran oil:
Storage Method Maximum Shelf Life
Freezer 12 months
Fridge 9-12 months
Pantry 6-9 months
Depending on how you store rice bran oil will affect the quality of the oil. When stored in a freezer, the rice bran oil is well preserved and can last 12 months. If stored in a fridge, the rice bran oil is kept cool and away from sunlight, helping extend the shelf life to at least 9 months.
Unlike some of the mentioned oils, this one’s taste doesn’t change easily when opened over time.
So, when you consume it after months, you’ll find it tastes the same as when you first opened it.
That said, you need to store rice bran oil according to the recommended instructions. This is to get this long shelf life and taste stability.
How to Maximize the Shelf Life of Rice Bran Oil?
Conserving your rice bran oil from going rancid and maximizing its shelf life is a simple yet important task. Once the oil has gone rancid, you risk ruining a dish as well as consuming oxidized oils that may have a negative effect on your health. Still, you need to be aware of some basic principles for proper storage conditions. Here they are:
- Low Moisture: Keep the oil container away from any moisture source, as exposure to humidity can grow microbes in the oil.
- Low light Exposure: Use dark containers for storing the oil. If your product container isn’t opaque, transfer the oil to another dark one.
- Glass Container: Use glass containers to keep the oil because glass doesn’t undergo a reaction with its content.
- Reduce Sunlight Exposure: Store it in a place that isn’t reachable by direct sunlight.
- Keep Away from Heat: Don’t use it close to a high heat source. So, it’s better to pour the oil on a pan or a pot while you’re slightly away from the cooker or oven heat.
- Reduce Air Exposure: Double-check the container lid when you finish using the oil. Ensure that you firmly close the lid. This prevents air from getting inside the bottle and ruining your oil.
- Clean Utensils: Use clean utensils if they will touch the top of the oil bottle because an impure tool can contaminate the oil.
The main value in keeping these pointers in mind is being able to safely extend the shelf life of rice bran oil. Exposure to heat, light, humidity and air are the main causes of oxidation, so it is important to reduce exposure to these rancid-causing factors as much as possible.
How to Store Rice Bran Oil?
The way you store your rice bran oil has a significant impact on its shelf life. So, you should adhere to the safe storage instructions.
Here are what you need to do:
- Step 1: Store the oil in a cool place away from any heat source like the cooker, the oven, or the microwave.
- Step 2: Keep it in the dark spot away from artificial light or sunlight. This can be a closed pantry, fridge, freezer, or cupboard.
- Step 3: Preserve it in an airtight container and ensure its lid is firmly closed.
- Step 4: If it’s unrefined, it’s better to keep it in the refrigerator because oil is more prone to rancidity if left without chilling.
How to Tell if Rice Bran Oil Has Gone Bad?
There are three simple ways to tell if rice bran oil is rancid. First, look for rancidity signs. Then, if you don’t spot any of those signs, you can do two tests to assess the oil condition.
Here are how to do these steps:
1) Look for Signs of Bad Oil
If you notice one of these few signs, you are oil may be rancid:
- If your fried foods turn considerably oily instead of being crispy
- If the oil forms a foam on its surface
- If the oil smokes notably earlier than its typical smoking time
- Perform Smell and Taste Checks
If you don’t detect any of the signs above, perform these two tests to tell whether your rice bran oil is rancid.
The first is a smell test, and the second is a taste examination. These tests will provide you with a decisive answer about the oil condition.
2) Smell Test
Rice bran oil typically has a soapy aroma. That way, if it develops a strong odor, it’s probably not in good condition. To examine it, do the following:
- Pour a small portion of the oil and smell it for a few seconds.
- If it’s foul-smelling, slightly sweet, or fermented odor, odds are the oil is rancid.
3) Taste Test
To check the taste of the oil, do the following:
- Sip a small portion of the oil and taste them without swallowing.
- Inhale some air across the oil in your mouth.
- Exhale the air through your mouth and check the oil taste
- If the oil doesn’t spread flavor in your mouth, it’s likely to have gone rancid.
- If the oil also tastes bitter or sharp, it’s probably not good.
How to Use Rice Bran Oil?
Rice bran oil is perfect for high-temperature cooking like frying, sauteing, deep-frying, and baking. That’s because it has a high smoking point of 450°F (232°C). This makes rice bran oil a good substitute for canola oils, vegetable oils, and peanut oils.
It also doesn’t change the taste of the food, as its flavor is subtle. You can use it in vinaigrette, soups, dressings, and stir-fries as well.
Plus, it can add an excellent boost of healthy fats to your breakfast cereals, like granola and oatmeal. Further, you may safely mix it with other oils like canola or olive oil if you make oil mixtures.
How to Dispose of Rice Bran Oil?
Cooking oils need to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. Simply disposing of it down the drain can result in clogged drain pipes or attracting pests into your home. Some ideas to safely dispose of rice bran oil is to:
- Make DIY Rice Bran Oil Soap
- Allow it to solidify, and place the oil in a zip-lock bag
- Make DIY Candles
- Add used cooking oil to a bird feeder
- Add used cooking oil to your pet’s food
The shelf life of rice bran oil for most products ranges between 9 to 12 months. However, once the bottle is opened, the shelf life is reduced to 6-9 months. This is due to exposure to environmental aggressors such as air, heat, and light. To maximize the shelf life of your oil and preserve the taste of rice bran oil, make sure to store the oil in a glass bottle and keep it in a cool and dark place. This is a decent storage life for edible oils.
Although rice bran oil does not have a shelf life as long as coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, it still has numerous health benefits, such as vitamin E and a high-fat content that the body needs to function properly.
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