More often than not, most of us buy whey protein in bulk, as it works out much better economically. But whey protein is not used in abundance so you may have a package stored for a long time. This may make one wonder, how long does whey protein last? Let’s explore the same!
Whey protein is a dry product, meaning an unopened package of the same can last 12-18 months after its manufacturing date. An unopened box can even last 6-9 months post its “best before” date, whereas an opened one lasts 3-4 months past the date.
Whey protein has become one of the most commonly used supplements lately. It’s one of the safest ways to increase protein intake in a diet and is also an easy way to do so. Moreover, whey protein is also very versatile.
Along with having it on its own, whey protein can be added to various recipes to make them protein-rich. But, let’s face it, whey protein is a costly supplement. So, most suppliers of the same tend to have special discounts while buying in bulk.
We have all been in situations where we overestimate ourselves and tend to buy too much at a time. Luckily, with whey protein, you would not have to worry as much about it going wrong, even after long periods. In this article, we will explore facts about whey protein’s shelf-life and how to ensure it stays good!
How Long Does Whey Protein Last?
|Type||Before the “Best Before” Date||After the “Best Before” Date|
|Opened Bottle||12-18 months||3-6 months|
|Unopened Bottle||12-18 months||6-9 months|
The table denotes that whey protein has a much longer shelf life than you thought. In most cases, whey protein can also easily be used after expiration. There is a reason behind this: the components that make whey protein.
Whey protein is made from various sources, like eggs, collagen, soy, and milk. However, all of this is in dried form. Moreover, whey protein could include protein from more than one source, where one could have a fast absorption rate, and the other could be slower.
Additionally, whey protein contains natural and artificial ingredients, mainly flavor enhancers. Lastly, they have preservatives, emulsifying and thickening agents added to them. All of these ingredients, together, are relatively safe from moisture.
So, that plays a huge role in the fact that whey protein lasts for a long time. Although it also depends a lot on how well the package is stored. But, in most cases, these ingredients improve the product’s shelf life quite a lot and make it last as long as it does.
Does Whey Protein Expire?
You may have noticed that most food items have some expiration date mentioned on them. Perishables, like dairy products, bread, meat, and vegetables, usually have a “use by” date noted on them after the manufacturing date.
However, for powdered food and food with additives, there tends to be a “best before” date printed on them instead of a “use by” date. So, does the “best before” date published on a package of whey protein determine its expiry date? Not really!
Both “best before” and “use by” dates are a way to determine the expiry of the product. However, as whey protein has a lot of preservatives, it can also be used beyond the “best before” date. This date shows when the whey protein will be at its best quality.
Past that date, whey protein does not expire as such and can still be used for a long time, as mentioned above. However, the quality of whey protein will deteriorate past the date, and hence, it might not work or taste just as great as it would have before the date.
How To Tell If Whey Protein Has Gone Bad?
Although whey protein is one of those products that does not go bad for a long time, it doesn’t mean there are no chances of it going bad. After all, it is a food product made with whey, a protein obtained from milk.
So, if not stored correctly, your package may have gone wrong without you realizing it. Don’t worry, though! Based on the factors given below, there are a few easy signs to tell if your protein is still of good quality.
This is an easy factor to remember while checking the quality of your whey protein. Whey protein powder should be dehydrated and devoid of any moisture. If you see little lumps forming in your protein powder, whether it is before or after the expiration date, it is best to throw it out.
The odor of the whey protein powder is another easy factor in determining its quality. Protein powder has a peculiar smell of its own. However, in no way is the smell supposed to be rancid. If your protein powder smells even a little stinky, it is best not to risk it.
Lastly, if you need more convincing by the abovementioned factors, you could taste some whey protein powder and check if it is okay. If the protein powder tastes bitter, it has gone wrong and should be thrown out.
How To Store Whey Protein Properly?
Like any other food item, storage is one of the most important factors when it comes to ensuring that the whey protein lasts for a long time. Although it is not that much of a task to store whey protein, a few factors need to be considered to ensure the powder stays okay for a long time.
1. Store It At The Right Place
Whey protein should always be stored in the pantry, or a kitchen cabinet would work fine. But, unlike perishable food, there is no need to store whey protein in the refrigerator or freezer, as that would do nothing for its shelf life or quality.
2. Keep It Away From Sunlight and Moisture
The next thing that needs to be kept in mind is that whey protein should always be kept away from direct sunlight and moisture. Both these factors can deteriorate the overall quality of whey protein.
3. Store It In An Airtight Container
In most cases, whey protein comes in large packages that are airtight. So you don’t need to worry too much. But make sure that you close the lid properly every time you are done using the powder. If not closed properly, the chances of moisture getting into the powder and deteriorating the quality are high.
Whey protein is one of the most common protein supplements used by people. Most people tend to buy in bulk and then worry about whether it will last for as long. Luckily, even after its manufacturing date, whey protein lasts for 12-18 months quite easily.
This is regardless of whether the package is opened or not. Moreover, whey protein can even last for a few months after the “best before” date, depending on whether the box is opened.
However, that being said, the quality can deteriorate with time. Moreover, if stored properly, whey protein can be good. So, as long as these little things are taken care of, you wouldn’t have to worry too much about that extra package of whey protein lying around!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does whey protein last before its “best before” date?
Whey protein lasts, on average, 12-18 months after its manufacturing date.
Does whey protein last past its “best before” date?
Yes, an opened whey protein package will last 3-6 months past its “best before” date and 6-9 months if the box is unopened.
Does whey protein expire?
Whey protein does not expire, but its quality does deteriorate a little after the “best before” date.
Are there chances of whey protein going bad?
Yes, whey protein can go wrong if it is not stored correctly.
What is the best place to store whey protein?
Whey protein should always be stored in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet, away from direct sunlight and moisture.