How can I tell when nuts have gone rancid?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 26, 2010 at 5:54 PM

I bought a bunch of nuts like walnuts, pecans, and almonds from Costco. Unfortunately it was more than I could consume in a short period of time, and I'm now worried they might be going bad. How can I tell without just eating them and hoping I don't die on the toilet?



on March 29, 2010
at 07:40 PM

I store them in the refrigerator now.



on March 26, 2010
at 10:57 PM

Do you store them in the freezer?


on March 26, 2010
at 07:54 PM

There is some discussion on rancidity already http://paleohacks.com/questions/999/the-taste-of-rancidity It doesn't seem like anyone is providing definitive evidence as to whether a nut or an oil can start to go rancid before the taste is noticeably bad.

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on March 27, 2010
at 07:59 AM

If I eat nuts I always buy them in the shell and crack them just before I eat them. I really think that it is not a good idea to buy large quantities of shelled nuts, even if they are stored in the freezer. When were they shelled? It could have been months before you bought them.

Nuts in the shell remain fresher for longer and because they are so hard to get into and it can take a while to eat only a handful, I eat less of them. This means I do not binge on them (I love nuts!).

I would keep un-shelled nuts for about a few weeks maximum (remembering they have probably travelled for weeks before I bought them) before thinking twice about eating them, that's just a personal thing and of course, go with your taste buds and sight; it is much easier to tell if any are off just by the look of a nut straight out of the shell.

If you can get local nuts in the autumn they will be guaranteed to be fresher. Then you will have more knowledge about their palatability.


on March 26, 2010
at 07:02 PM

That's a pretty easy one! They smell and taste horrible!!!! The oils in the nuts spoil and taste rancid. In the future if you buy in bulk, store nuts in the freezer :)

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