Buying MCT Oil in bulk is far more cost effective than smaller bottles. The downside is however, you need to store it for longer.
As with any food product, once opened it may start to degrade. The good news is MCT oil has a long shelf life.
All bottles of MCT oil will have a best before date. As a general rule, you should use your MCT Oil within 18 months of opening. If the best before date has passed the oil may still be ok to use. Check that the oil is clear, free from odors and has a neutral taste. If concerned, discard the oil.
How to Tell if MCT Oil is Bad
MCT Oil is normally a clear, smooth oil, with little to no flavor.
When MCT oil goes bad the texture, color and the clarity change.
You can tell if your MCT oil has gone rancid as an unpleasant odor and taste may develop.
There are a few reasons MCT oil may go bad:
- The MCT oil may be well past the best before date
- The MCT oil may have been exposed to higher temperatures
- The MCT oil may not have been sealed properly and been exposed to air for longer periods of time
If your MCT oil has reached its best before date, but is still clear, tastes and smells like usual, it is okay to continue to use your oil.
If you are concerned however, discard the oil and purchase a fresh bottle.
Does MCT Oil Need to be Refrigerated After Opening?
MCT Oil does not need to be refrigerated after opening. MCT oil should be stored in a cool, dry place (eg in your pantry cupboard), away from sunlight.
If you live in a very hot climate, you may prefer to store your MCT oil in the refrigerator to prolong the shelf life. Refrigeration does not damage the oil in any way.
Unlike coconut oil, MCT oil will stay in liquid form when stored in the fridge.
What is the Shelf Life of MCT Oil?
If you have opened your MCT Oil it should last for 1 year post the best before date.
If you have not opened your MCT Oil it should last for up to 2 years post the best before date.
Check your MCT oil for an odor, color changes or foul smell each time you use it.
Each MCT Oil manufacturer has different recommendations. For example, Kiss My Keto MCT Oil recommends using the oil within 18 months of opening.
Onnit recommend discarding a product 2 years after opening.
How to Store MCT Oil to Extend its Shelf Life
- Keep the MCT oil in its original bottle
- Ensure the lid is always closed tightly.
- Store the MCT oil in a cool dry place (for example, in your pantry cupboard).
- Keep the MCT oil away from sunlight and heat sources.
Does Emulsified MCT Oil Go Bad?
Emulsified MCT Oil has added flavors and preservatives. I checked out Onnit Emulsified MCT Oil (my personal favorite is almond latte). Onnit’s advice was to use any of their supplements up to 2 years after opening.
If you are concerned your emulsified MCT oil may have gone bad, try the following:
- Open the bottle and smell it. Does it smell like usual?
- What is the consistency? Is it still smooth and creamy looking? Are there any lumps?
- Try a little taste on your finger tip. Does it still taste ok?
- How does it look when you put it into your coffee or keto drink?
Being emulsified, it should mix nicely, no clumping or curdling. If you are in any way unsure about the quality of your emulsified MCT oil discard it.
Does Bulletproof MCT Oil Go Bad?
Bulletproof is simply the branding of the MCT oil. At the end of the day, it is still MCT Oil and should be stored in a cool dry place away from sunlight.
If your bulletproof MCT oil has been exposed to heat or sunlight, or is past its best before date, it could go bad.
Use my checklist above to check the quality of your Bulletproof MCT oil and don’t forget to discard it if you are concerned.
Does MCT Oil Expire?
There is no expiry date for MCT oil as such, rather a ‘best before’ date.
This means you should try and use your MCT oil before the ‘best before’ date for the ultimate freshness and quality. If you pass the best before date, the MCT oil may still be okay for consumption.
Does MCT Oil Solidify in the Fridge?
MCT oil will not solidify when refrigerated and remain in its liquid form.
This is what makes MCT oil different from coconut oil and other oils with longer chain fatty acids.
If you find that your MCT oil has solidified in the fridge it could be one of two likely reasons:
- Your MCT oil contains a proportion of coconut oil.
- Your refrigerator is set at a very low temperature causing freezing.
Does MCT Powder Go Bad?
MCT powder can go bad. General recommendations are to use MCT powder within 12 months after opening.
MCT powder is created from MCT oil, which is sprayed and bonded to a carrier powder, usually acacia fiber.
Regular exposure to air may cause clumping within your MCT powder. Ensure you place the lid back on the container straight and tight.
Like MCT oil, you can also keep MCT powder in the fridge if you prefer. Just ensure the lid is very secure and no moisture can get in.
What Happens If I Consume MCT Oil That Has Gone Bad?
There is no scientific research to formally answer this question. I believe that there could be a side effect of MCT oil that has gone rancid, just like when you get food poisoning from any other edible food. For example:
- Stomach Pain
I would assume these symptoms would be similar to food poisoning and should resolve within 24 hours.
This shouldn’t be confused with general side effects that some people experience when introducing MCT oil into their diets, such as brief bouts of nausea, stomach pain and diarrhea. If you are new to using MCT oil, read my blog post here on MCT oil side effects, and why MCT oil causes diarrhea.