Do Raisins Go Bad?

Do Raisins Go Bad

Raisins are a great treat. They are very sweet and they can be eaten alone as a snack or added to meals.

The dried fruit has many health benefits, as they are a great source of iron and antioxidants. However, they have a lot of calories per serving, and they have high sugar content, too. Keep that in mind if you keep a low-cal or low-sugar diet.

Value for 1ozDaily value in %*
Total fat0.1g0%
Total carbohydrate22g7%
Dietary fiber5g7%
*based on a 2000 calorie daily intake

If you decide to buy a lot of raisins on sale, you will find yourself wondering: do raisins go bad? How much time do I have to eat them up?

Luckily, we’ve got your back. For answers about the shelf life, storage, and whether do raisins go bad, read our article!

Do Raisins Go Bad?

Raisins are basically dried grapes. They are used and enjoyed throughout the whole world. Home-made or store-bought, you can have too much raisins either way. At some point, you will face the same question: Do raisins go bad?

And the answer will be: Raisins, in fact, do go bad. Like all fruits, dried fruit goes bad, too. Raisins definitely have a much longer shelf life compared to fresh grapes, but they are not forever. 

The dehydration process of fruits prolongs the freshness because it removes the water content from the grapes. Water makes the perfect surroundings for mold or bacteria growth. So, raisins have 15% of water content or less, compared to grapes that have around 82%. As a result, the raisins taste much sweeter (compared to grapes).

Contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few types of raisins:

Type Of Raisin:Appearance And Taste:Made From:
Natural seedless raisins(the most popular type)Small, dark and sweetGreen Thompson grapes (sun-dried)
SultanasLarge, light-colored, very sweet and softSultana green grapes
Monukka raisinsLarge, dark and seedlessMonukka grapes
Flame seedless raisinsLarge, dark red and sweetFlame seedless red grape
Golden seedless raisinsSmall, yellow and very sweetGreen Thompson grapes (oven-dried)
CurrantsSmall, very dark, tart and tangyBlack Corinth grapes

So, to get the most out of your raisins, follow the guidelines on the bag or package and the advice mentioned below. That way, you will never be surprised by raisins gone sour!

How Long Do Raisins Last?

The shelf life of your bag of raisins is mostly influenced by storage. As we mentioned, raisins have a rather long shelf life and they slowly degrade in quality. Consequently, they will go bad after a while, so it’s important to know how much time you have to go through it all. 

A bag of raisins usually comes with a best-by, or a best-before date printed on the label. What does that mean? It means that the manufacturer guarantees that the quality of the product will be unchanged up to the printed date.

Your unopened bag is still safe for eating after the best-by date. However, it might be best to consume the entire bag in three months past the date on the label.

For opened bags of raisins, the shelf life is around six months if kept at room temperature or in the fridge. Of course, if you open the bag near the best-by date, you cannot expect the raisins to be fresh for so long.

When it comes to homemade raisins, it’s hard to tell how long will they last, since it depends on how good of a job you did. If they are perfectly dehydrated, they will keep for no longer than six months.

Always check the state of your raisins before consumption. Eating expired raisins can result in an upset stomach, and nobody wants that!

How To Store Raisins?

When storing any type of food, it’s important to know how to store it properly. Proper storage ensures that your food will always be fresh. Nobody wants to be welcomed by spoiled food, so make sure to follow the instructions given for the best results.

First off, choose a cool and dark place, away from any moisture or humidity. Keep your bag of raisins away from the window or sources of heat. The light and heat will dry out the raisins and they will be unappetizing to eat.

All those requirements make the pantry the ideal place. The kitchen cabinets work too, but make sure that you choose a cabinet away from the stove or the oven.

When opened, the leftovers should be sealed tightly. Transfer them into an airtight container or a glass jar to prevent oxidation. After opening, the raisins are still okay in the pantry or the kitchen cabinets. There is no need to move them to the refrigerator (but if you want to, you can).

If you’re looking to store raisins long term, the freezer might be the best option. The raisins have a low water content, so they don’t change much when frozen – the texture and the taste should be the same upon thawing. Make sure to pick an airtight plastic container or a tightly sealed zip lock bag to prevent the raisins from drying out.

For the best freezing results, spread out the raisins on a baking pan. Break up any raisins that stuck to each other and lay them out evenly. Place the pan in the freezer for an hour. Afterward, take the pan out and move the raisins into an airtight container or a freezer bag. The dried fruit can be stored this way indefinitely. They will not go bad, but the quality will start to decay after a year and a half, though. 

How To Check If The Raisins Have Gone Bad?

You’ve found a container of raisins in the back of the pantry and you cannot see the best-by date anymore or remember when the bag was opened. You’re wondering if they are any good now and if there is a way to check the freshness. Lucky for you, we have a solution. Read this part carefully to learn how to check if the raisins are still fresh.

The first step is examining the appearance of grapes. If you can spot mold, that’s a sure sign of spoilage. The raisins rarely grow mold due to the low water content. Mold grows on dried fruits exclusively because of inadequate storage conditions.

White discolorations are not a sign the raisins have gone bad. They appear when the quality starts degrading, changing the taste as a result. If you don’t like the taste of these raisins, throw them out.

The second step is doing a sniff test. Crisp raisins have a sweet scent, opposed to stale raisins, which smell off or putrid. If the smell is unpleasant, do not eat the dried fruit – throw it out. 

Furthermore, if you leave the bag or container of raisins opened, you will find that they dried out and hardened after some time. That does not mean they have gone bad, and they can still be used if you blanch them. Learn how to blanch fruit here.

Do Raisins Go Bad – Conclusion

Raisins are a fairly popular ingredient for oatmeal, shakes, or salads. Because there are a variety of uses for dried fruit, you might be tempted to buy a lot on sale.

Since we’ve concluded that raisins do go bad, it’s important to store them right to get the most out of them. Choose a cool, dark place like the pantry or kitchen cabinets – away from a window or a source of heat. Place them in an airtight container or a zip lock bag to keep the raisins away from moisture and humidity.

An unopened bag of raisins will keep its freshness for up to three months past the best-by date. When opened, remember that you have around six months to go through it all. To prolong the shelf life, freeze the raisins for up to a year and a half. 

If the raisins are approaching the end of their shelf life, it’s always a good idea to check them out before consumption. First, open the bag and examine the dried grapes. If you can see mold, they have gone bad for sure.

If you see white discolorations, they are a sign of decaying quality. These raisins haven’t gone bad yet, but they will soon. If you find the taste to be up to par, feel free to add them to your meal.

Furthermore, if the raisins look fine, smell them. An off or unpleasant smell is a sign that the dried fruits have gone sour and should be discarded. But, if they smell fine, that means they’re fresh and perfectly safe for eating, we assure you. Bon appetit!