Sweeteners like xylitol tend to last longer than expected. If you’ve just found a bag of xylitol that isn’t going to be finished anytime soon, you may be wondering:
Has my xylitol gone bad? How long does it last?
Here’s the deal. Generally, xylitol lasts 6 months past its best-by date, whether unopened or opened. Therefore, unless you’ve completely forgotten about your xylitol for years, your xylitol is likely still okay to use!
How To Tell If Xylitol Has Gone Bad
If stored correctly, xylitol doesn’t go bad. However, if water finds its way to your xylitol, the water will contaminate it. Any presence of mold or organic growth means water got to it and it should be thrown out. All of the xylitol should be discarded not just the parts with mold on it.
If your xylitol looks okay, then it’s safe to use. If there’s a change in smell, it probably picked up the smell from other food. For the final test, give your xylitol a taste and decide if it’s worth keeping. If the quality has degraded significantly, you might want to get rid of it for quality purposes.
How To Store Xylitol
Xylitol can be stored the same way sugar is stored as it is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in most plant materials like fruits and vegetables.
Keep it at room temperature or slightly below room temperature in a dry place away from sources of heat. The pantry is an ideal spot. You can also store it in the kitchen cabinet.
If you store your xylitol in a kitchen cabinet, ensure it’s nowhere near the oven or hob – otherwise your xylitol will go bad faster due to fluctuations in temperature.
Xylitol attracts moisture therefore once the package is open, be sure to seal it tightly. Transfer it to an airtight container or resealable bag if the original packaging doesn’t suffice.
How Long Does Xylitol Last?
Xylitol comes with a best-by date on the label which indicates for how long the product will remain at its best quality. However, this sweetener won’t spoil immediately after the best-by date, but the quality will deteriorate over time.
Generally, unopened or opened xylitol will last 6 months past the best-by date.
Health Benefits and Side Effects of Xylitol
There are a few potential benefits of xylitol. The first is that it has a low glycemic index (GI) which means that consuming it won’t cause spikes in blood glucose or insulin levels.
For this reason, it’s a great sugar alternative for diabetes. This also means it’s weight-loss friendly.
Xylitol may help reduce the amount of plaque on teeth and prevent tooth decay in the process.
In fact, many dental hygiene products contain xylitol. Xylitol may also have antioxidant properties which can neutralize free radicals.
Xylitol is generally safe but it may cause digestive problems such as bloating or diarrhea in some people.
In Summary: Xylitol
If you have pets, especially dogs, be sure to keep xylitol away from them as it is extremely toxic to dogs.
The sweetener doesn’t actually spoil unless water contaminates it. If that happens, mold or growths may find their way onto the sweetener. In that case, be sure to get rid of it. Store xylitol correctly by keeping it sealed tightly to avoid exposure to moisture.