Rice vinegar is made of fermented rice and is prominently used in east Asian countries. It has a very significant usage when it comes to making sauces, dips, gravies, and juices. The vinegar offers a tangy taste and preserves the mix.
Sometimes people just keep the vinegar for a long time and wonder whether they can continue to leverage it any longer. A tinge of suspicion occurs when you have had it for a long time.
All you have to do is check for the right timeline to preserve it and know its effective durability to even consider keeping it.
Generally, as a rule of thumb, vinegar lasts a lifetime, but rice vinegar is a kind of exception and does go bad.
Rice vinegar can last up to 5 years more or less, and it can sustain its shelf life even 2 or 3 years after its best-by date. Anyway, it does go bad in a sense; it loses its quality when kept longer.
If you want to retain it for more than 5 years, then shoving it in the fridge would do the trick.
There are also tangible indications to identify whether the vinegar has gone bad once and for all. There are also protocols to store it effectively for a long time without any eventual spoilage.
All these factors do have a ring of tentativeness as keeping a tab on the quality of a long-standing vinegar deems important before going ahead with using it.
This article will be an eye-opener in that regard to informing you on the probable timeline vinegar can uphold its quality and what you can do to extend its shelf life further.
Does Rice Vinegar Go Bad?
Like any other type of vinegar, rice vinegar does not have a fixed shelf life. It has a best-by date which specifies the time span it retains the best quality. So it can be used even 2 or 3 years after the best-by date.
Although, the taste of the vinegar might differ, and it might be less acidic than it used to be when it was fresh. However, it does not knock out on the whole and turn bad altogether.
The shelf life of rice vinegar is so time-agnostic because it is acidic in nature. The acid actually keeps the bacteria away for a long time and evades any attack from bugs or insects. This eventually extends the shelf life of rice vinegar.
How Long Does Rice Vinegar Last?
Rice vinegar does not get spoiled that easily. However, having said that, it does not stay that long as well. It might lose its quality over time and may not be as effective as it used to be.
The way you store it actually dictates its durability to a large extent. It can go on for five years without any problem when stored properly.
Rice vinegar is said to have a shorter shelf life than all other types of vinegar. It has a higher PH than compared to all other varieties of vinegar. It can last even longer than 2 or 3 years after the best-by date with a slight dip in the quality perhaps.
If you want to preserve the quality of the vinegar, then think less and shove it in the fridge. It can last up to 12 years.
Rice vinegar, when not stored intact for a long time, can produce toxic peroxides. It is better to use the rice vinegar within the specified best-by date.
So essentially, the rule of thumb states rice vinegar can be kept at room temperature for about 5 to 8 years. It can be stored in the fridge for 10 to 12 years in a stretch.
How Do You Know Rice Vinegar Has Turned Bad?
As mentioned earlier, rice vinegar does not get worse or gets spoiled beyond usage.
However, there are signs to indicate that it is no longer worth using vinegar anymore. If you are worried about the quality of rice vinegar, then below are the ways to check on the condition.
Discoloration Of The Liquid
When you buy vinegar, just notice its original color. As days pass, the vinegar might turn bad and change color to show signs of spoilage.
It would not necessarily mean that vinegar has turned bad, but it would also imply that it has lost its potency or significance.
The smell of the vinegar would become rancid or even radiates a rotten odor to reveal its deplorable condition.
The taste would be off, and if it has a taste of tartness or sourness, then that means that rice vinegar has turned bad. It would also taste bitter beyond tolerance for you to discard the vinegar immediately.
Beyond Best-By Date
There is definitely a best-by date specified in the vinegar bottle. So if it is outdated, there is already doubt about its condition. So to clarify the doubt, better keep a tab on its quality before using it.
How Do You Store Rice Vinegar?
As we know already, rice vinegar invariably has a longer shelf life, and a good storage technique is going to make it even better. We will divulge some more tips to keep the product safe from spoilage, which is also good for any other edible product.
Rice vinegar is an acidic liquid and should be stored in a glass bottle. An iron, copper, or brass container could be harmful because it might develop corrosion with the acidity present in the vinegar. The rust could also potentially damage the vinegar.
Keep It In A Cool Dark Place
Place the vinegar in a cool dark place without access to light and heat. You must avoid direct sunlight and ensure the temperature is not insanely hot for the vinegar to handle. A refrigerator might be the right place to stretch its shelf life indefinitely.
Make Sure It Is Sealed Tightly
You have to make sure that the lid is tightly sealed on the bottle. An uncorked bottle could attract bacteria or even let the air and moisture in.
If it is kept in a place that is remotely close to any damaged food item, an unsealed bottle would be vulnerable to catching the smell or getting damaged easily.
Check The Storage Tips
Many vinegar brands specify the best-by-date and storage tips that need to be followed. Just go with the protocols mentioned and do not deviate from them. Many brands recommend the bottle stay at room temperature.
Some brands suggest refrigerating the vinegar when it is unsealed. Just go with what it mentions to maintain a longer shelf life and stability.
Risk Of Consuming Expired Rice Vinegar
Rice vinegar cannot go bad to the extent of making you sick unless you deliberately hamper its composition or harm its acidity. It might have a compromised effect on its potency, making it ineligible for serving its purpose.
Although, if you have kept it much longer and don’t track how long you have kept the bottle, it is better to discard it.
There is a high chance that an indefinitely stored vinegar bottle might have produced peroxides to intoxicate your body when consumed.
It might lead to fatalities as well. Symptoms like digestive disorders, dysentery, vomiting, and all sorts of sickness could result from having spoiled vinegar.
Can You Freeze Vinegar?
Freezing any edible food product guarantees a longer shelf life which is inevitably not needed for vinegar by all means. However, if you wish to freeze it, you can do it without any major effort.
You need to be wary of freezing vinegar because when you thaw the liquid, it might get diluted and lose its acidity to a large extent.
So freezing the vinegar entails transferring the content to a plastic freeze-proof container large enough for the volume of the vinegar to be contained.
Give some top space in the plastic bottle to expand freely as it gets frozen. Then you can cover the bottle with plastic to avoid leaks or drops.
You should also make sure there is a consistency in the temperature when you happen to freeze the vinegar. A constant 28 degrees F would be necessary to perpetuate the integrity of the vinegar’s quality.
If you are going to freeze the leftover vinegar, transfer the contents into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Then pick up the small blocks and wrap them tightly in a freezer bag to elongate their shelf life.
Storing the vinegar in the glass bottle could actually crack the surface and shatter the bottle leaving all the content to leak.
Rice vinegar is a more vulnerable type of vinegar that needs a better storage technique than all the existing types. The above article would shed light on the relevant protocols to keep it safe and store it indefinitely.
Consuming spoiled vinegar might lead to a myriad of consequences that we would want to avoid by all means. Read the article and be scrupulous about how you maintain the vinegar.