From Spice Rack to Storage: How Long Does Nutmeg Stay Fresh & Factors Affecting Its Shelf Life

How Long Does Nutmeg Last?: Nutmeg is a spice that is made from the nutmeg tree seed. It is the inner seed that is generally seen in the kitchen. It is a special spice that has a particular sweet taste, aroma, and flavor that is used in meat, sauces, and other delicious recipes.

If you have a nut-meg pack, and not sure what is its shelf life or how long does nutmeg lasts? You can also wonder can nutmeg goes bad and signs to tell if nutmeg has gone bad and how long it will last read on to find out.

how long does nutmeg last

How Long Does Nutmeg Last?

Nutmeg is a costly product. So if you are throwing it in the trash once it is spoiled, then you should not buy in huge quantities. Like all other spices, nutmeg also has a less shelf life than the whole.

The whole nutmeg retains its quality for 3 to 4 years, while ground nutmeg lasts for 2 years. To know its shelf life, you need to check the best by date present on the label of the package. You can consume the nutmeg after the expiration date for at least 1 year if you store it properly.

Actually, the raw nutmeg is completely dried before packaging to increase its lifespan. When stored properly in a sealed jar, the nutmeg will last about 4 to 5 years. This flavorful spice is need to be stored safely for an extended life span without any harm, but we have to compromise on its quality over time.

Nutmeg loses its aroma, flavor, and taste when it is in contact with direct sunlight or water or air.

Ground 2-3 years
Whole 4-5 years

Nutmeg Shelf Life

How To Tell If Nutmeg Is Bad?

When the nutmeg is stored with proper precautions, then it will last for 4 to 5 years. But if you have not stored it properly, then there are high chances of getting rancid. Here are some signs that tell that your nutmeg has gone bad and is no longer safe to consume.


Before you use the nutmeg in your recipes, just check the smell of it. If you observe any unpleasant smell, then it should be thrown out.

Mold Formation:

When ground or whole nutmeg has direct contact with water, there is an immediate start of fungal growth which appears as a spongy and clustered surface. Which is called mold formation. The water exposure spoils the nutmeg quickly. When you see mold, then it is no longer useful.

Check for Potency:

The flavour and aroma of the nutmeg gradually degrade over time. So, when you are using nutmeg that has been stored for a long time, it is advised to check its smell and taste. If you notice any bad odour or taste, then don’t add it to your recipes.

Does Nutmeg Go Bad?

Yes, nutmeg goes bag. Either whole or ground nutmeg spoils at some time. The date on the label represents how long does it last. Mostly nutmeg retains its quality for 3 to 4 years and 1 year after the best by date. But over time, you notice a gradual drop in the quality.

If you are using old nutmeg, then rub a small amount in your hand and test its taste and flavor. If the aroma and taste are good, then it is ready to eat.

How To Store Nutmeg?

The tips to store nutmeg safely and properly are mentioned here. By following these safety precautions, you can easily store both ground and whole nutmeg for a longer time without compromising on its quality.

Store In An Air-Tight Container:

It is better to store both whole and ground nutmeg in an air-tight container. Or use the zip-loc bags or sealable bags to extend their shelf life.

Place The Spice Away From Sunlight, Heat, And Moisture:

When nutmeg is exposed to heat, moisture, or sunlight, then mold formation can occur. However, the heat, sunlight or water exposure will degrade the potency and taste of spices. So make sure to store the spice in a cool and dark area in your pantry.

Store The Whole Nutmeg:

If you aim to store the spice for a longer time, then purchase the nutmeg in the form of whole rather than the grounded powder. Ground nutmeg has a higher surface area exposed, which leads to the loss of its potency. So avoid buying powdered nutmeg and opt for whole nutmegs instead.

Don’t Refrigerate or Freeze Nutmeg:

If you think that storing nutmeg in the fridge increases its shelf life, then it is not true. Because when the moisture contact with nutmeg, it might degrade its quality. Storing nutmeg at room temperatures, it will increase the life span.

Don’t Use A Wet Spoon For Measurements:

It is very important to tip. Never use a wet spoon for the measurement of nutmeg if you want to use it for a longer time.

Also, Know

How Long Does Nutmeg Last

Interesting Facts About Nutmeg

The cool facts about nutmeg are here:

  • Nutmeg is a common name for a dark-leaved evergreen tree.
  • It is the oval-shaped seed, and mace is the bright red webbing that surrounds the seed.
  • Nutmeg is known to impact health in many ways because of its nutritive content of vitamins, and organic compounds.
  • It has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm slightly sweet taste.
  • Nutmeg is highly neurotoxic to dogs.
  • Nutmeg originated in the Banda Islands of Indonesia and was discovered by the Portuguese in 1512.
  • The health benefits of nutmeg are relieving pain, digestion, skincare, blood pressure, treating insomnia, and circulation.

FAQs on Does Nutmeg Expire

1. How to use nutmeg?

You can use nutmeg in various dishes. Add it to coffee, tea, hot chocolate, warm milk, cauliflower, sweet potato, and so on.

2. What does nutmeg smell like?

The good nutmeg smell is sweet spicy clove phenolic woody.

3. Can you freeze the whole nutmeg?

No, you should not freeze nutmeg. The moisture makes the nutmeg develop mold and the freezer will not extend the nutmeg shelf life.

4. Does nutmeg make you sleepy?

The medicinal properties of nutmeg help in calming nerves and releasing serotonin and leading to sleep.

Key Upshots

Hope the information provided on our page with regards to How Long Does Nutmeg has been beneficial to you. Store nutmeg in an air-tight container to preserve it for a long time. Also, see Can Nutmeg Go Bad before the expiration date. For more queries bookmark our site and stay tuned to get more food updates.

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