Molasses, much like honey, is considered by those in the know as a superfood. It contains a bevy of essential vitamins and minerals within its syrupy, nutrient-rich formula.

Also like honey, molasses keeps extremely well; lasting up to 12 months at room temperature if stored properly.

However, like other foods, molasses can and does go bad eventually, especially if improperly stored. Thankfully, learning how to spot a bad batch of molasses is very easy if you know what signs to look out for.

One of the simplest ways to test if your molasses has spoiled is to smell it.

What Should Molasses Smell Like?

Fresh molasses has a sharp, earthy, bittersweet smell to it. It is very similar to the smell of brown sugar except deeper and more robust with a distinct bitterness.

What Does Spoiled Molasses Smell Like?

Spoiled molasses will have an acrid, sour, yeasty smell. The smell of spoiled molasses can be likened to that of something fermented or even sulfur-like.

The exact smell can be hard to describe, but spoiled molasses has a definitive “off-putting” quality scent.

Besides an unpleasant aroma, spoiled molasses can be identified by the way it looks as well.

Fresh blackstrap molasses in a jar

What Does Spoiled Molasses Look Like?

Spoiled molasses looks very similar to fresh molasses, a very thick, highly viscous black or dark brown syrup. However, due to its nutrient-rich composition, molasses is vulnerable to high humidity and prone to the growth of mold and bacteria.

These growths can be visible to the naked eye and will look like an oily film on the surface of the syrup. Sometimes you may even find a patch of fuzzy gray-green mold growing on the surface or within the molasses.

What Does Spoiled Molasses Taste Like?

If you manage to taste spoiled molasses before the smell or look clues you into the fact that it has gone bad, you will taste the difference. Given that molasses naturally has a very complex flavor, the exact taste of bad molasses can be hard to describe, but if it tastes different than its normal taste, you may have to throw the molasses out. 

Personally, I would describe the taste of spoiled molasses as acrid and more bitter than normal.

How To Store Molasses To Prevent Spoilage?

Molasses has a very long and stable shelf-life and, if properly stored, they will keep for a very long time.

As per USDA guidelines, unopened molasses can be stored for up to 12 months in a cool, dry place. In my experience, however, molasses will easily remain good for up to 24 months if stored properly.

Once opened, however, the shelf-life is reduced by about half. So, once you open your molasses it is recommended to eat it within 6 months to experience the best results.

For the most part, molasses shouldn’t be stored inside your refrigerator because the high humidity inside will increase the chances of the molasses spoiling and going bad.

The best place to store open molasses is in the back of your pantry. Just make sure to completely clean the lip of the jar and lid before putting it away after each use.

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Can You Use Molasses After Their Expiration Date?

Like most people, you may be tempted to throw out your molasses after their expiration date to avoid getting sick. However, if you have been diligent about storing your molasses properly you may not have to throw them out just because the expiration date has come and gone.

The best way to tell if your molasses have gone bad is to look out for the signs mentioned above. If your molasses develop an uncharacteristic taste or emits an unpleasant odor, and especially if you observe mold growth along its surface, then you should throw them out.

When in doubt. Discard it. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food.

Last update on 2024-05-29 at 16:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API