Does Almond Extract Go Bad? (And How Long Does It Last)

Does Almond Extract Go Bad

Almond extract is an intensely flavored liquid made by combining almond oil from bitter almonds with ethyl alcohol. Almond extract is used in the same manner as vanilla extract, to add flavor usually for baked goods and desserts. But if you only need a tiny bit for one recipe, will the remaining almond extract go bad?

Almond extract goes bad after 4 years when you store it well and make the container airtight. However, it can go bad and even evaporate in under 6 months if you don’t cover your almond extract. You can tell that your almond extract has gone bad if it smells like alcohol when you open the container.

In this article, we will discuss whether almond extract goes bad over time, as well as how to properly store almond extract. We will also highlight alternatives to almond extract. Let’s dig in!

Does Almond Extract Go Bad Over Time?

The shelf life of almond extract relies significantly on how well it’s stored. Manufacturers use alcohol to make almond extract, so an unopened bottle can retain its quality for quite some time. The use-by-date will typically be about a year after purchase. However, if you take proper care of the storage conditions, you can make it last longer without it losing its flavor.

However, over time, the flavor of an opened bottle of almond extract will start to fade and eventually the liquid may disappear altogether, especially if the bottle was not closed properly.

Does Homemade Almond Extract Go Bad?

When making homemade almond extract it is very important to store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, such as a pantry or cabinet. The extracts are typically ready for use about 6 weeks after conception. If you’d like you can strain the raw ingredients from the extract bottles. Extracts– even homemade– stay good for at least several years. As long as it still has its flavor it is still good.

How To Make Your Own Homemade Almond Extract

Though you can buy almond extract at grocery stores, you can also easily make your own.

To make your own homemade almond extract, you will need vodka and unsalted almonds. Simply slice half a cup of raw unsalted almonds into thin slivers. Add the slivered almonds into a small jar or glass with a tight lid, preferably amber in color and then add 8 ounces vodka.

Amber bottles are ideal as they prevent any light from penetrating the bottle. However, you can also use clear bottles as well. Both plastic and glass bottles are acceptable to use for your extract.

Allow the mixture to sit at least five to six weeks before using. It needs to sit for at least five or six weeks in order for the rich flavor to develop. Store it in your pantry in a cool, dark area away from sunlight.

Before every use, make sure to shake your homemade almond extract before every use. The contents will settle over time. If desired, you can also strain your extract to ensure that is fine.

How To Properly Store Almond Extract?

Although, manufacturers recommend consuming almond extract before the “best by” date you can extend its shelf life quite a bit by storing it properly. Here are a few steps that will help you do so!

  1. Be sure to store the almond extract in a cool dark place such as a dark cabinet, cupboard, or pantry.
  2. Keep the almond extract away from direct sunlight. Humidity can ruin the composition of the almond extract and dim the flavor.
  3. Make sure to keep the almond extract in an airtight container to preserve the quality, especially if you are creating your own.
  4. If purchasing a commercial almond extract, close the container tightly when you are not using the extract.

How Can You Tell If Almond Extract Has Gone Bad?

If you are purchasing a commercial almond extract it will have a “best by” date on the label. It is safe to assume that after that date the extract will begin to lose some of its qualities. Although you can extend almond extract’s shelf life, it will eventually lose peak quality such as taste and smell.

If there is a strong alcohol smell coming from the bottle, it has likely gone bad. Manufacturers use water, bitter almond oil, and alcohol to create their extracts. However, as time passes the almond aroma will diminish and you will begin to smell a strong alcohol odor. If your extract is giving off this smell it would be better to discard it.

If you don’t store your extract properly it will also lose its flavor. If you can no longer taste the almond it is a sign you should replace it. Airtight containers are a crucial part of preserving the flavor of your extract.

You can also tell if the almond extract is bad by its appearance. If you notice any color changes accompanied by a foul odor it would be safer to replace it with a new one.

Does Almond Extract Go Bad After Opening?

If you leave your almond extract open, it can lose its flavor and smell pretty quickly. It can also be ruined if kept in the refrigerator. Be sure to avoid sunlight or heat too. Some people have even mentioned seeing mold on their almond extract if they did not store it properly. It is very important to make sure you store your almond extract properly to avoid it going bad quickly. If stored properly, you can save your extract for over a year.

Can You Get Sick From Bad Almond Extract?

No, it’s highly unlikely that you will get sick from expired almond extract. Many people believe because alcohol is used, expired extract could give you an upset stomach. However, you would have to consume large amounts of it for it to cause adverse health effects. Many recipes do not call for much, but it will certainly ruin your baked goods if the flavor is no longer at its peak.

Does Almond Extract Have Dairy?

No, pure almond extract is made from almond oil, alcohol, and water. Therefore, almond extract and many other extracts are vegan and gluten-free.

Alternatives To Almond Extract

Some almond extracts can come packed with additives and preservatives to make them last longer. Some manufacturers even use imitation almond oil rather than pure, which can be higher in sugar content. We’ve gathered some of the best alternative brands of almond extract to help you enjoy the almond flavor without all the extra fluff.

Angel Bake Almond Extract

PURE California Almond Extract for Baking and Mixology. 100% Natural. Keto Friendly. Vegan and Gluten Free. (Almond, 2 Oz) This pure almond extract has a creamy, nutty, bitter almond flavor. There is no synthetic flavoring used and the ingredients are 100% natural. It is free from thickening agents, emulsifiers, and preservatives. It is keto-friendly with no sugar added.

Native Vanilla – All Natural Pure Almond Extract

Native Vanilla - All Natural Pure Almond Extract - 2 oz - Perfect for Cooking and Baking, and Dessert Crafting Made with 100% pure almond oil Native Vanilla offers naturally derived flavors from organically grown bitter almonds. There is no sugar added to their recipe. It is made with only alcohol, water, and pure almond oil. There are no additives or preservatives added.

Simply Organic

Simply Organic Almond Extract, Certified Organic | 2 oz Simply Organic Almond Extract adds a warm, mellow almond flavor to your baked goods and desserts. Simply Organic believes in pure and potent flavor that is grown at the source. All of their products are grown and processed without the use of toxic pesticides, irradiation, or GMOs.

Frontier Co-op Almond Extract

Frontier Almond Extract Certified Organic, 4-Ounce Bottle Frontier offers a certified organic almond extra that has a pure, heavenly taste and aroma. It is made from bitter almonds and has no added sugar. The smooth flavor adds just a hint of almond to all of your baked goods. Using Frontier Co-op ensures you’ll bring out the fullest flavors in your recipe without any artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Related Questions

Can Almond Extract Be Toxic?

It is important to know that almond extract is not meant to be used as a beverage. You should only be using small amounts in recipes. In large amounts, it can be toxic. You should not consume more than 7.5mL of bitter almond oil (the oil used in almond extract) as it would be lethal.

Can Almond Extract Cause Allergic Reactions?

Because almond extract is made from almond oil, we do not suggest using it if you have a nut allergy. Though the extract isn’t made from almonds, it is still important to use extreme caution or consult your doctor before you try almond extract.

Does Almond Extract Have Cyanide?

Because almond extract comes from bitter almonds, many people believe it will contain cyanide. Cyanide is a chemical compound that can be lethal. However, almond extract includes no cyanide, only a byproduct of the enzymatic reaction that produces cyanide when the almonds are crushed. Crushing releases the water-soluble cyanide, which is carried off in the water.

What Is the Difference Between Pure, Natural, And Imitation Almond Oil?

Pure almond extract should contain natural oil from bitter almonds, which is a colorless fluid. Natural extract is usually flavored with benzaldehyde made from cassia, a relative to cinnamon. Imitation extract uses synthetic benzaldehyde which is manufactured from a petrochemical.

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Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

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