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Freezing spices

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    Freezing spices

    Anybody know if there been any studies to determine the impact of freezing spices? Does this prolong their shelf life?

    #2
    I know of studies on this subject, but from a users point of view, it is easier and just as effective to buy whole spices and grind as needed. Most of the rest of the world does this with dry spices(which are usually a type of seed). For herbs, that is a different and WAY more complicated deal, in my experience at least. Yes, spices will keep longer in the freezer, if the bag enclosing said spices is thick(you can't smell the enclosed spices). I don't usually bother unless I grew the spices myself, as you don't know how the spices were handled before you bought them. They could have sat in a warehouse for 2 years before packaging for all we know. However, for whole seed spices, the outer shell of the seed protects the flavor and aromatics, for the most part.

    If you buy your spices already ground, the shelf life is less than 6 months. Here is where freezing can help. However, you will save money, in the long run, by buying your spices in whole seed form(where applicable), and grinding what you need for a cook. I use a cheapo coffee grinder for this purpose. I hope this helps you. Greetings from a cold(-6F) Houston, Alaska.

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      #3
      Thanks Strat50. Any idea how long whole seeds last?

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        #4
        This from: http://www.thespicehouse.com/info/faq

        How long do spices last?

        Whole spices can last several years. Once spices are ground their volatile oils have been released and they are already beginning to dissipate. We recommend not buying a larger amount of an individual ground spice than you expect to use within a year. Old spices will not make you sick, they just won't accomplish their true purpose. A good, simple test is to smell them. If you don't get a scent, it's time to throw them away. A fun way to throw them away is to toss them on your grill when cooking. This is a way to release the last little bit of volatile oils that might still remain, and put flavor into your grilling food!

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