Annatto is a condiment. It is used to add color to your dishes. So the answer is no, it does not go bad. It has a pretty long shelf-life. The reason is that it is considered among spices.
But with color, they provide you with little flavor as well. But will only give flavor if used in high concentration. If you store it properly, it can last for years.
If you want to keep it fresh for a long the key is proper storage. Annatto protected from the outside atmosphere will taste exactly how it was when you bought it.
How to store annatto?
Storing annatto is as easy as keeping any other spice. There are several procedures you can follow to store your annatto. The procedure of storing opened and unopened pack of annatto is almost the same.
Providing you with color if you want to have a taste of annatto storing them as directed is fundamental. Down below are few steps to follow:
Use an air-tight container for storage
Store your annatto in an air-tight container. It will remain fresh and tasty.
In air-tight containers, annatto will be protected from the air. Because if annatto is open to the elements of air, it will become awful.
And you cannot use it after it is affected by the air. Air is polluted, and the particles in the air will make it tasteless when mixed with annatto.
Please keep it away from sunlight
Store the annatto away from sources of heat and sunlight. It is suggested to keep it in dark places. The light shall not enter the container.
Though annatto provides bright color to your food, it will not give you the actual color if the container is exposed to light.
Keep it at a cool temperature
Experts recommend cool places to store any herbs or spices. Annatto will stay fresh and full of flavor if you give it the appropriate temperature—the required temperature for its storage.
To store annatto, one option is to use the kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are still exposed to heat that comes from the stove. So it is advised to keep it at room temperature.
The instructions as mentioned above are the ways that have to be followed to store your annatto. You could use annatto for more than a year if you followed what has been guided.
You will have a bright color as you wish, and the aroma of the annatto will also remain intact.
How to freeze annatto?
There are mixed opinions on storing the annatto. Some suggest that we can freeze it. Others advised that room temperature is idle for storing it.
There are multiple forms of annatto, and freezing depends on which form we want to freeze.
Suppose it is an annatto paste, then you can freeze it. But as water is mixed with annatto powder. In the thawing process, the water will be separated from the annatto, leaving it awful.
And if you want to freeze annatto powder, there is no need. Because the powder does not need to be frozen, it will remain the same as it is at room temperature. The same goes for the seeds as well.
How long does annatto last?
The lasting capacity of an annatto depends on how you store it. The shelf-life of the annatto is considered to be indefinite. Like all other spices, annatto also can be used for quite along.
The packet of annatto comes with a use-by date on the label. But the date on the label is just a date. You can use it after that date is expired.
There is almost no difference between an opened and unopened packet of annatto lasting capacity. But if we compare both, the unopened container will last longer it will remain fresh. But contrary to that, and an opened pack will also last, but it may lose its color and flavor with time.
An unopened pack of annatto will last up to three years and more. At the same time, the free pack will last a little less than three years. But it is recommended to use it within the date on the label for best results.
How to tell if annatto is bad?
There are only a few ways to know if annatto has gone bad. As it is a spice, it has both color and flavor. With only these two-three ways, we can see if we shall use it or not. Following are those indicators through which we can get an idea about annatto if you shall keep it for use or throw it away.
- Suppose you see any difference in the color of the annatto that means that it has gone bad. You shall not consume it after that.
- The other way is the change in its flavor. However, it does not have a strong flavor. But if you use it in a large amount, you can sense the taste. If you feel an awful taste, you should discard it right away.
There are no harmful effects of annatto on health. Even it has all the above indicators, but there is no sense using it after that.