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Does Flax Seed Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Flax Seed is quite nutritious. They are an ideal option for anyone trying to get extra protein in their diet. The question though is whether they go bad or not, cause you sure don’t want to eat that expired flaxseed in the cupboard.

This is why we are explaining everything concerning Flaxseed. Explaining and going into the details of how to store flaxseeds as well as the shelf life of it. So, stay tuned.

Does Flax Seed Go Bad?

Perhaps you have a bag laying there that you haven’t checked for ages. You wonder if it goes bad or not, and this is why you are here.

To cut to the chase, Flax Seed does go bad. The reason for that is the rich content of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are what make the flaxseed a great option for many people aiming to improve their diet.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that these healthy fatty acids go rancid quite fast, which causes the spoilage of the whole flaxseed.

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How Long does Flax Seed Last?

Now that we know that they definitely go bad, it’s only a matter of when.

How Long does Flax Seed Last

We have first to understand the difference between whole flaxseed and ground flaxseed, cause each to have their own shelf life.

Whole Flaxseed

Those are flaxseed that hasn’t been grounded and processed. They have all the parts of the seed intact and thus are hard to digest. Yet, they last way longer than grounded ones.

Grounded/Milled Flaxseed

To make the flaxseed much more smooth and easier to digest. Manufactures usually grind them thoroughly.

You lose on the high shelf life, yet, you manage to have a simple to eat and consume flaxseed that happens to be much more nutritious than the whole one.

After knowing the difference, here are the shelf life of each type of flaxseed:

  • Whole Flaxseed: These last the longer thanks to the other parts of the plant that protects it. It can remain in the cupboard for as long as 6 months past the use-by date. This should make you consider buying this variant more than the grounded one due to it’s lasting shelf life.
  • Grounded Flaxseed: The shortest shelf life due to the grounding process that makes the seeds more prone to spoilage. It can last you a week past its expiry date, which is not much, but can reach up to a month or even two if you store it properly.

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Flaxseed Shelf Life [Full Chart]

Flax Seeds - Unopened6 – 12 months
Flax seeds - Opened6 – 12 months
Ground flax seeds - Unopened1 – 3 months
Ground flax seeds - Opened3 months

How To Store Flaxseed?

The way you store your flaxseed can be essential for it to not go bad. There are few advices that would definitely improve the shelf life of your seeds.

How To Store Flaxseed

Let’s start by packaging, flaxseeds usually come in normal bags. They aren’t airtight so you don’t have to worry so much about sealing it.

Now to the place, the fridge is your best friend. Cold flaxseeds usually last way longer than ones stored in the room temperature. Keep the bag in the fridge in a cold and dark place to ensure it can last much longer.

Despite the fact that sealing it won’t help much, but simply protecting it from contamination can help it go a long way. Make sure to use a good package that protects the seeds.

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How To Tell If Flax seed Has Gone Bad?

Let’s assume you didn’t do your best and forgot to store the flaxseed properly, but somehow it was past the expiry date, how do you know that it has gone bad or not?

How To Tell If Flax seed Has Gone Bad

If you are lost on that matter, here are few hints that can help:


Smell is your best friend when it come to flaxseed. This is why you should take a whiff and see how it turns out, if you happen to feel it toasty, then you have good flaxseeds. Once the smell deteriorate and you start to feel it getting more rancid of a smell and you should just dispose it away.


Just because it smells good, doesn’t mean it will be good. This is because sometimes the seeds can go rancid. Taste a single seed and see how it tastes, if it feels rancid and dusty, perhaps discarding it away seems like the better option.

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Wrapping Up

Perhaps after knowing all of this, you can feel rest assured that the flaxseed you are consuming is safely stored. You also now know how long it takes for it to spoil as well as how to make sure you are eating good ones.

If you have any questions you wanna ask, simply leave them in the comments and we will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading.

Can Flax Seed Go Bad

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About the author

Michelle Ivory

Hello! My name is Michelle Ivory. I am a health-conscious who also happens to enjoy writing about food! Did you know that almost 40% of all food in America is wasted food? That's right! this is because people are unaware If their food has really gone bad or not. This is why it's my job to guide people on how to tell if their food has gone bad or not. which is why I decided to create this website to help people make an informed decision on their food and whether they should throw it away or not.

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