Seed Oil Lifespan Guide: Tips and Advice

Seed oils offer a full spectrum of antioxidant activity, omega fatty acids and valuable nutrients. The best part? These benefits are shared via a wide variety of different product formulations and related applications.

Keeping your seed oils supporting your go-to-market is simple — all you need to do is keep them fresh and safe by knowing their average lifespan and optimal storage methods.

Do seed oils expire?

Yes, seed oils can eventually expire. The shelf life of seed oils varies depending on a number of factors: oil type, how it is stored, whether it’s been exposed to air or light as well as quality and extraction method

All the Botanic Innovations seed oils have a shelf life of two years from date of manufacture. Black Cumin seed oil is an exception to this rule with a shelf life of three years. 

Finished good oils have a different shelf life — typically 6 to 12 months when stored properly in a cool, dark place. Over time, exposure to air, light and heat can cause these oils to oxidize, diminishing both their effects and usefulness.

How long are seed oils good once opened?

How long a particular seed oil stays good once opened will depend on the unique characteristics of the oil itself. Heavier oils with a more viscous, dense nature tend to last for longer while lighter, thinner oils tend to oxidize faster.

  • Heavier seed oils include sesame oil, olive oil and other viscous oils with high concentrations of saturated fatty acids have an average shelf life of 6 to 12 months once opened. Extra virgin olive oil in particular has a longer-than-average shelf life due to a naturally high concentration of oleic acid.
  • Lighter seed oils include sunflower oil, grapeseed oil and others with higher concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids, especially monounsaturated ones. The average lifespan of these seed oils is between 3 and 6 months once opened. These types of oils tend to have a higher smoke point, making them useful in culinary applications.
  • Delicate seed oils include flax seed oil, chia seed oil and others with high percentages of double bonds in their fatty acid chains are more sensitive to oxidation and have an average shelf life of between 1 and 3 months.

It should be noted that the lifespan of all types of seed oils can be increased with the right handling and storage methods — no matter the type.

How can I extend the lifespan of my seed oils?

It’s important to remember that different oils will always have varying shelf lives due to their unique fatty acid composition and related factors. Storage practices for these different oil types will differ because of this, but the following suggestions apply to extending the lifespan of any seed oil

  • Keep your seed oils stored in a cool, dark place. Exposure to heat and light will accelerate the oxidation process. 
  • Make sure your seed oils are stored in airtight containers. You want to reduce their exposure to anything that can speed up oxidation, including air. 
  • Refrigerate your more delicate oils. If you have any oils that are thinner, lighter and more delicate, you can refrigerate them. That said — before being used or mixed, you’ll want to bring these oils up to room temperature.
  • Use higher quality products to ensure longevity. Seed oils that are extracted using the cold-press process will last longer due to their higher inherent quality. This is especially beneficial when using these oils in bulk applications.

When extracted with care and properly stored, seed oils are unmatched in their ability to provide powerful product performance boosts.

Interested in learning how Botanic Innovations’ seed oils can accelerate your next go-to-market? You’re welcome to request a sample or get a quote if you’re interested in quantities greater than four gallons.