Commercially available sunflower seeds are immensely nutritious and have numerous health benefits. They are rich in minerals and essential vitamins and have proven to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body.
Like any food item, it is important to keep a check on the product’s expiry date to avoid the gastric upset and other health problems. Luckily, sunflower seeds have a long shelf-life. Yet various environmental factors and storage procedures may affect them.
Roasted seeds tend to last longer than regular seeds because moisture speeds up the deteriorative changes occurring in the seeds. Moreover, spoiled sunflower seeds favor the growth of molds, making them distasteful. Not to forget, insects are fond of attacking the seeds so remember to discard them to the earliest in case insects have invaded your packaging.
How to Store Sunflower Seeds
To enjoy the long-lasting benefits of sunflower seeds, you need to have a correct insight into their storage and survival methods. Following are some of the authentic and feasible house-hold methods of storing sunflower seeds.
Buy fresh raw seeds
Don’t forget to check the expiration date on the label and prefer buying the freshest seeds available. Toasted and fried versions of sunflower seeds are oily and absorb more oxygen. This helps in speeding up the oxidative degradative processes favoring quick rancidity of seeds.
Use airtight containers
This storage method is the most advantageous of all. It is because the airtight containers don’t allow the air to enter the container. This stops the chemical process involved in the decay of seeds. Hence, seeds remain fresh and reliable for a long.
Store in glass jars
It is always a better to store the seeds in glass jars or containers instead of plastic ones. Glass jars hinder the passage of air which is not the case with plastic jars.
Also, it would be best if you placed your jars at room temperature away from excess heat, light, and moisture. Hence, you can enjoy them for a longer period of time without compromising on their flavor and texture.
Keeping the sunflower seeds in the refrigerator maintain excellent seed quality by creating optimal moisture conditions for seeds’ growth. Their shelf life is improved to a great deal. Also, the risk of growth of molds, pests, and insects is significantly reduced.
Can We Freeze Sunflower Seeds?
Freezing seeds won’t spoil them, rather freezing will enhance their shelf life. Freezing may not be needed for the short-term storage of seeds. However, it is the most promising long-term storage technique.
Frozen seeds may last for months, and you need not worry about them. You need to follow some essential steps in this regard.
- Put them in a plastic freezer bag.
- Don’t forget to label the bag with the contents and the date for your ease.
- Evacuate air from the bag by creating a small hole in the plastic bag to avoid any air inside, spoiling the seeds.
- Place your bag in the refrigerator at a suitable place.
- Remove only the portions you need to keep the remainder of the batch as fresh as possible.
Always check the frozen seeds before using them to make sure they haven’t gone bad. Seeds discolored, and stinking are bad for your taste buds and dangerous for health. So don’t forget to dispose of them off.
How Long Do Sunflower Seeds Last?
The lifespan of sunflower seeds varies depending upon whether they are roasted or salted. Most importantly, it depends on their storage methods, as mentioned above. To enjoy their long-standing benefits, you should be very careful with their storage atmosphere and conditions.
Like all other commercially packaged products, sunflower seeds also come with the best before the date mentioned clearly on the label. Before using the seeds, the expiry date should definitely be taken into notice.
Properly stored sunflower seeds last for about 2-3 months however roasted seeds may last for 3-4 months. Freezing them in heavy-duty freezer bags tends to increase this time period up to 1 year, which stands as a blessing for consumers.
How to Tell If Sunflower Seeds Have Gone Bad?
Sunflower seeds are high in fat content, so they rapidly become rancid yielding offensive odor and taste. You need to check for the following signs to check if your seeds are well to do or not.
- Check for the smell of seeds as rancid seeds have an unpleasant smell.
- Fresh seeds appear grey or black, but spoiled seeds are discolored and have an unappealing appearance.
- Check for the taste lastly. If the seeds taste sour or nasty contrary to the usual nutty flavor, they are for no good anymore.
It goes without saying that sunflower seeds have a very high nutritional profile supplying significant amounts of all kinds of nutrients, maintaining blood pressure, and controlling appetite. On the other hand, consumption of decayed varieties of sunflower seeds can lead to health disorders, including digestive and liver damage.