Nuts and Seeds

Do Sunflower Seeds Go Bad? How Long Do It Last? [Best Answer] in 2023

Snacking while watching some nice show is a habit we are all guilty of. Our choice of snack varies, some of us like popcorn, others prefer to snack on a healthy meal such as Sunflower Seeds. There is a big chance you bought a packet of sunflower seeds to snack on, only to totally forget about it the whole time. Now you wonder to yourself: Do Sunflower seeds go bad?.

In this article, we will discuss if sunflower can go bad and spoil, as well as discussing the proper way of storing your sunflower seed so they can last you as long as possible. So, follow along!

Do Sunflower Seeds Go Bad?

This is a good question since sunflower seeds are quite similar to Flax Seeds, then it’s quite fair to say that they indeed do go bad.

The prolonged time of storage allows the seeds to start to decompose and spoil as more time passes by. This is why it’s quite important to learn the proper way of storage so you can avoid spoilage of your seeds.

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How To Store Sunflower Seeds?

Since sunflower seeds do go bad, it’s quite important to learn the proper storage of sunflower seeds so you can keep them fresh as much as needed.

How To Store Sunflower Seeds

Simply follow these simple tips on how you can ensure the longevity and extend the shelf life of your sunflower seeds.

Unopened Packets

The unopened sunflower seeds are the easiest to store since all they need is simply a cold and dry place such as the pantry. Make sure they are away from humidity and contamination. Just make sure that the seeds aren’t exposed to air.

However, if you want to store the sunflower seeds for longer periods of time, it’s suggested that you freeze them, or you can store them in an airtight package and remove all the air from inside, and keep it in the deepest part of the fridge.

Also, avoid exposure to sunlight while buying your seeds, or keeping them in an overly exposed place of sunlight. The more you keep the sunlight on your sunflower seeds, the more UV light will start to spoil them.

Opened Packets

These have been exposed to air, so their longevity isn’t as long as unopened. All you need is to make sure that your seeds are well sealed. There are low oxygen packages that you can use especially for the storage of sunflower seeds. Doing this would help decrease the chances of spoilage dramatically.

Storing in the freezer is also an option if you care a lot about having the longest shelf life or you have a bulk of seeds that you want to keep for a long time.

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How Long Do Sunflower Seeds Last?

so you followed the guidelines and stored your sunflower seeds accordingly. You might wonder, how long do they last?

Well, the answer to that depends on two aspects: The best-by date and the storage conditions.

How Long Do Sunflower Seeds Last

In the best storage conditions, the seeds can last beyond the printed date by few months, in the worst conditions, they would degrade in quality even before the best-by date.

There are multiple variants of sunflower seeds, each with its own longevity, let’s discuss them.

Raw Seeds

Raw seeds don’t go through the process of roasting that enhances and toughens the seeds, so they are the most vulnerable for spoilage. those can last around 3 extra months beyond the date written in the package.

In-shell and Roasted Seeds

Those are sunflower seeds that are covered with a sheath called hulls. This sheath isn’t edible and cannot be consumed, but it has its uses. This can last the longest. You can expect your seeds to stay fresh and avoid spoilage for good 6 months beyond the date written.

Shelled and Roasted Seeds

Those have the hulls removed, and thus they are edible. The roasting enhances the taste so they are a good snack while watching TV. Those can last around 3 to 4 months beyond the best-by date. That’s in case they were stored properly.

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Sunflower Seeds Shelf Life [Full Chart]

Sunflower SeedsPantryFridge
Commercially packaged (unopened)2 months12 months
(Open package, or bought in bulk)3 months12 months

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How To Tell if Sunflower Seeds Has Gone Bad?

You stored your sunflower seeds as well as you can, but you totally forgot about it. You found it again but this time, you don’t know how long it has been stored. Perhaps it went bad, how will you know?

How To Tell if Sunflower Seeds Has Gone Bad

Simply check these obvious signs of sunflower seeds spoilage and see for yourself if it has gone bad or not.

Rancid Odor

This is your sure sign that these sunflower seeds are no good for your consumption. When the natural oils in the seeds start to spoil, they go through a process called Rancidification. The exposure to oxygen enhance that process (this is why we insist on keeping the seeds in airtight container)

Once the oil breaks down and becomes rancid, you will smell a strong odor that you can tell from it that these seeds are no good for comumption.

Weird Taste

If you don’t detect the smell right away, then maybe it still hasn’t spoiled fully. So, give your seeds a taste. See if they taste weird or off. If you notice that they no longer taste as normal sunflower seed do, then it’s safe to throw them away as they started the spoiling process already.


If contamination finds its way inside your package, mold could grow and consume the seeds. Mold is highly toxic and once you see or detect any signs of it, discard the whole package immediately for your own safety.

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Wrapping Up

A lot of people enjoy snacking on sunflower seeds. This is why it’s important to know if your favorite snack can go bad or not. as well as learning how to store it so you don’t end up throwing your whole package due to bad storage. We also discussed how we can tell if the seeds you have are spoiled or not. This makes sure you don’t end snacking on rancid seeds.

If you have any questions that you would like to ask us, feel free to ask in the comments below and we will answer as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!

Can Sunflower Seeds Go Bad

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