One thing I’ve always wondered is whether MCT Oil goes bad. I had a huge bottle of MCT oil sitting in my cupboard from the previous year that I didn’t want to waste. I dug into what other people were experiencing and connecting some dots in terms of oil degradation, shelf-life, and this is what I found.
MCT oil will have a “best by” or “use-by” date, which isn't necessarily an expiration date, but a guideline for how long the MCT oil keeps the best quality. Storing your MCT oil in a cool and dry place will keep it usable for months and potentially years after the best by date.
In this article, I’ll cover signs that may determine whether your MCT oil is expired, ways to prolong shelf-life, the difference if it’s open or unopened, MCT powder, and more.
Does MCT Oil Go Bad?
Similar to any oil, MCT oil CAN go bad, but similar to coconut oil, it has one of the longest shelf lives and does not require refrigeration.
However, even though it is shelf-stable, you might consider storing it in the refrigerator to preserve the freshness.
i.e., it couldn’t hurt.For shelf life of MCT oil, most manufacturers claim that that their MCT oil has a shelf life of two years from which they packed it. This date is usually the one stamped on the bottle as the best by or use-by date.
As a good rule of thumb, it may be best to toss out any MCT oil past the two-year mark, but there are ways to help extend the shelf life that I’ll get into.
Shelf Life Of MCT Oil
The shelf life will vary depending on how well you keep and store your MCT oil.
For example, keeping your MCT oil on the counter in direct sunlight may make it go bad after 6 months to a year.
Whereas, keeping your oil in a cool, dry, and dark environment or refrigerated may help your MCT oil last up to 2-years or longer.
Remember, shelf life typically refers to how long the product is good for or best by when unopened. Once the product is opened, these considerations I’ve listed above will play a key factor in how long your MCT oil will last.
To extend the shelf life of MCT oil, you will need to handle and store it properly.
How Do You Store MCT Oil After Opening
After opening MCT oil, it’s best to store it in a cool, dry, and dark environment.
Basically, you want to store the MCT oil in a cupboard, away from direct sunlight and preferably away from any heat (i.e., not over the stove).
While it’s unnecessary to store your MCT oil in the fridge, refrigeration can slow down the spoilage process, especially if you live in a warm environment or keep your household on the warmer side.
How Long Does MCT Oil Last In The Refrigerator?
Many oils, including MCT oil will live a longer shelf life if they’re refrigerated.
While manufacturers have a best by date letting you know when the MCT oil may go bad or lose its potency, this date is for an unopened bottle.
Once the bottle has been opened and exposed to air, the process of oxidation starts and makes the oil deteriorate at a much quicker rate. For these reasons, it’s best to make sure you seal your bottle tightly after each use besides the storage recommendations in the above section.
While there is no exact evidence supporting specific dates, especially when refrigerated, it’s still best to abide by the 2-years form manufactured date. Just to reiterate, this is the date listed on the bottle as the use-by or best-by date.
Does MCT Oil Solidify In The Fridge?
Unlike coconut oil, MCT oil will not solidify when the temperature drops or if it’s refrigerated. MCT oil will remain in its liquid state even when refrigerated.
There are cases where MCT oil will turn pure white and solidify, but this would only apply to sub-freezing temperatures.Chances are that if your MCT oil solidified, the oil in question is not as pure as they have led you to believe.
If you’re looking for a high-quality MCT oil, then I would recommend
How To Tell If MCT Oil Is Bad?
There are a few ways to tell if your MCT is still good. Similar to other oils, we must rely on our different senses to determine whether the MCT oil has gone bad or is still usable.
While the color, texture, and clarity may change slightly with age, this doesn’t mean it has gone rancid.
When an oil has gone rancid, it’s almost hard to NOT know, especially an oil like MCT oil.
So maybe it’s past the two-year mark and you still want to use your MCT oil, here are some ways to tell if your MCT oil has gone bad.
Taste and smell
MCT oil should be tasteless and odorless. One of the first signs that MCT oil has gone bad is a noticeable taste or smell, especially if it is unpleasant.
MCT oil has a very smooth consistency, similar to that of something like olive oil, perhaps thinner. If you notice your MCT oil becoming lumpy… TOSS IT!
When MCT oil has gone bad, you may notice the appearance of dark oil spots, which may be a sign that it has grown bacteria or mold.
Similar to the taste and smell of MCT oil, it should also have no color. MCT oil that has gotten rancid may take on a yellow-like tint, then it’s most likely spoiled.
Does MCT Powder Go Bad?
If you’re not familiar with MCT powder, it’s essentially the same as MCT oil, except it’s spray dried and bonded to a carrier powder, thus converting the liquid MCT oil into an MCT powder.
Some people prefer the MCT powder because of its transportability and because it’s less messy.
While both the MCT oil and powder are virtually the same, some people find that the powdered versions are easier to digest. 1However, because of MCT powder having to be bound to something like a fiber to create a powder, chances are it may have a shorter shelf-life than MCT oil on its own.
Exposing MCT powder to air may also lead to clumping, similar to if you had an old protein powder or other powdered beverage sitting around.
MCT powder will have at least a shelf-life of 1-year, but may be extended if kept in optimal conditions or refrigerated similar to MCT oil.
If you’re looking for a high-quality MCT powder, then I would recommend
Side Effects Of Bad MCT Oil
There is no scientific literature regarding the side effects of spoiled MCT oil.That being said, we can all assume that ingesting spoiled ANYTHING may come with certain health risks or make you feel unwell.
With this in mind, if you even suspect that your product is expired, the best thing to do is toss it out. MCT oil is fairly cheap and potentially ruining your health isn’t worth the tradeoff.
If you’re on the fence and don’t want to be wasteful, using your MCT oil as a carrier oil for things like essential oils may be a workable option. Because of MCT oil being lightweight, it absorbs into the skin quickly, lending itself as a viable carrier oil.
Just a thought.
Every oil has an expiration date, even MCT oil. Most manufacturers will place a best by or use-by date on the bottle, which is 2-years from manufacturing.
By practicing proper handling and storing techniques, such as sealing it tightly after every use and storing it in a cool, dark, and dry environment, you may expect your MCT oil to be good at least until that date.
However, there’s no reason that your MCT oil can still be good for months or even a year after the best by date. You can usually check if MCT is bad by utilizing your senses (taste, smell, vision) and exercising your best judgment.