Does Saffron Go Bad? – An Ultimate Guide on Saffron Shelf Life & Expiration

Does Saffron Go Bad?: Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Therefore, you need to make the most out of your stash for the sake of value for money. Looking to buy a lot of saffron together and worried about storing it?

Came across a good discounted deal on saffron and wondered do saffron goes bad. If you are stuck in any of these situations, then this article will help you. By the end of this article, you will know the shelf life, expiry date, and storage requirements for saffron. Let’s dive in!

Does Saffron Go Bad

Does Saffron Go Bad?

Yes! Practically speaking, Saffron goes bad in the sense that it loses its potency and flavor over time if not stored properly. Once past its expiration date, the saffron strands might even turn brittle, thereby making it useless. Also, unregulated exposure to moisture can lead to rancidity, mold, and discoloration. However, saffron can be safely consumed even after it expires as it’s quite harmless.

You can extend its shelf life and preserve the much-treasured flavor profile if you store saffron properly.

How Long Does Saffron Last?

Saffron is extracted via a complicated procedure as its strands are quite delicate. So, it requires utmost care while storing. The exact shelf life of saffron is influenced by the species, soil wherein it was cultivated, storage conditions, and moisture content in the air. Given the uncertainty of all the above-mentioned conditions, we will be telling you the approximate shelf life of saffron, for both room temperature and the refrigerator.

Type of Saffron Shelf Life at Room Temperature Shelf Life in the Refrigerator
Packed and Dried Saffron Up to 6 months 2-3 years
Unpacked Saffron 4-7 months 1-2 years

How Long Does Saffron Last

How To Store Saffron?

As you are aware of the high value of saffron among all the herbs and spices, it is obvious that you will have to pay extra attention to its storage. Thankfully, storing saffron is quite easy peasy. All you need is a working refrigerator and frequent vigilance. Read through this section to learn more about saffron’s stacking requirements.

  • If you haven’t opened the original packet, then it is much easier to store saffron. Either leave it in a cool and dry place such as the kitchen pantry or place it inside the refrigerator.
  • On the other hand, if you have already used some of the stands, then you need to transfer the leftovers to another airtight container. Ensure that there are no water drops inside the vessel. Lastly, store it in the refrigerator as leaving it outside may spoil the saffron.
  • If your saffron is near its expiration date, then it’s advisable that you store it in the freezer only. It may harden up the strands but preserves the natural flavors and potency.

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How To Tell If Saffron Has Gone Bad?

Despite using professional storage techniques, you may end up with spoiled saffron. Or you may have forgotten about your stored saffron and are now contemplating whether to throw it or not. In any of such cases, you need to be sure, beyond any doubt, about the spoilage as saffron itself is quite expensive.

Therefore, to save you this trouble, we will tell you about the red flags that you can look for while observing your saffron.

  • Pick up a few strands and place them on your fingertips. Then, try to rub and smell them. If you are able to sense the aroma, then your saffron is good to go. However, if it feels stale, then it is probably useless now.
  • If you detect moisture in the vessel containing saffron, then it is probably spoiled by now. So, get rid of such saffron.
  • Any weird or foul odor is also a clear indication of saffron’s spoilage.
  • Lastly, if you detect any discoloration or mold formation on the saffron strands, throw it away immediately. However, this kind of pathogen invasion happens only in extreme and rare circumstances.

Interesting Facts About Saffron

These are some interesting and fun facts that you can think about while you eat your saffron-garnished dish next time. Go ahead and check them out.

  • Saffron is a spice derived from a flower that grows only at low temperatures.
  • Its oldest trace is found in the paintings of infamous Mexican caves. These prehistoric depictions are more than 50,000 years old.
  • Deep saffron is the color of the top band of the Indian National flag.
  • Alexander The Great used saffron as a healing agent for battle wounds, thereby making it a rare and important spice.
  • Back in the 14th century, saffron strands were woven into fabrics as well.

FAQs about Does Saffron Go Bad?

1. How long does saffron last in a jar?

If stored properly, saffron strands can last up to 2 years in a closed jar. However, this timeline may get affected if some moisture is introduced in the jar or it is left at room temperature for a very long time. For the best results, you can put it in the freezer.

2. Should saffron be refrigerated?

Yes, if you wish to keep it fresh for more than 6 months. Refrigerating saffron will not affect its flavor and potency. However, it would help if you closed the container as soon as you take out the required amount of saffron as prolonged exposure to the atmosphere may introduce moisture into the vessel.

3. Does dry saffron go bad?

Yes, similar to normal saffron, dried strands can also go bad. However, the damage is limited only to its flavor and effects. Otherwise, it can be safely consumed if it has not been affected by mold.


Saffron is easily one of the most expensive ingredients that you can use in your kitchen. Also, the associated health benefits and visual perks strengthen saffron’s position as a beloved spice. Therefore, we tried answering all your questions about saffron through this article.

Hopefully, now you are confident about storing and using your saffron. Stay tuned for more such articles on Can Cinnamon Go Bad and about your favorite food items and beverages

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