Kefir is fermented milk and contains lots of healthy bacteria. It is a fermented dairy product, so people think it cannot further get spoiled as it is already spoiled. Like other dairy products, kefir also goes bad.
The shelf life of kefir is no longer than the other dairy products. It can get spoiled very quickly. The shelf life of these dairy products can be increased by storing them in good condition to last for as long as possible. The storage, shelf life, and going bad of kefir are explained briefly in this blog.
How to Store Kefir?
Like other dairy products, kefir also needs proper storage conditions to last for as long as possible. If you have bought many kefir bottles and have used a very little amount of it, you need to store the rest in a good environment not to get spoiled till the next time you use it.
For storing kefir for a long period, you need to take care of the following things.
Place in refrigerator
The refrigerator is the best place for storing dairy products. They need a cool environment to set in. You may have noticed that if you place milk at room temperature for too long, it gets spoiled quickly. The same is the case with kefir. It will help if you store it in the refrigerator.
The refrigerator keeps it safe and prevents the process of fermentation from accelerating. It increases the shelf life of kefir as the process of fermentation is decelerated.
Place it away from heat sources.
You should keep kefir away from heat sources and sunlight. If it is placed in a hot environment, fermentation is accelerated, and it will go bad very quickly. So, it would be best if you did not place the kefir in the sunlight or near the oven or at the back of the refrigerator.
Seal the bottle tightly
Usually, kefir comes in a bottle or plastic container, which is sealed properly. Once you have opened the seal, kefir will get exposed to the air, and oxidation will start. You should keep the bottle sealed after using it. If the kefir does not come in a plastic container, try to shift it into another jar.
Can You Freeze Kefir?
Many dairy products can be store in a freezer where they can last for as long as possible, retaining their peak quality. But it is not recommended to freeze kefir. Freezing kefir is the same as freezing yogurt, in which the liquid separates from the solid after thawing.
Similarly, if you freeze kefir, its texture will not be as same as it was before. It won’t be fresh at all as the molecular structure of the product will be destabilized. However, you can freeze kefir if you want to. It can last for about three months in the freezer.
Use ice cube trays for freezing kefir as they are small. Please put them in the fridge a night before you use them. Unfortunately, kefir’s creamy consistency will be lost after freezing, and you won’t enjoy drinking it at all. But it would be best if you use it in the cooked dishes.
How Long Does Kefir Last?
The shelf life of fermented food products is not too long, but it is very tricky to tell these products’ exact shelf life. Kefir does not have a longer shelf life than other dairy products. It comes with a sell-by date labeled on it. Kefir lasts till the date mentioned on it.
It can retain its peak quality for a week and few days only. Unopened kefir can last for a week. If you open the bottle two days before its expiration date, you should use it within 24 hours. You cannot expect that it will retain its freshness for another five days. On the other hand, opened kefir can last for only five days. If you have prepared kefir at home, then it can last for a couple of weeks.
How to Tell If Kefir is Bad?
It is very easy to differentiate between good or bad kefir, like other dairy products, the color, taste, and smell of kefir changes when it gets soiled. However, you should also look for the change in texture and formation of mold in kefir to tell whether it is fine or not.
You should look for the following signs:
- The presence of mold on the surface of kefir is the major sign of its spoilage. If you notice any pink spots on the surface of the kefir, then you should get rid of them at once.
- Like yogurt, the liquid part of kefir separates from the solid part when it gets soiled. If you notice anything like that, get rid of it immediately.
- Fresh kefir smells like vinegar. To check whether it is fresh or not, give it a good sniff. If it smells too sour, then you should avoid using it.
- Check the taste of the kefir. If it tastes too sour, then you should not use it as well. Sour taste is also a major sign of spoilage.