How Long Does Nutritional Yeast Last? (Here’s All You Need To Know)

Nutritional yeast – also called Nooch – is one of the most used ingredients in a vegan kitchen. It’s a magical ingredient because it can be used as a substitute for chicken broth and cheese. Personally, I keep a jar of it on my kitchen counter next to other spices and condiments, and use a little of it whenever I need a flavor boost. 

Nutritional Yeast typically has shelf of two years. For example, I bought one in January 2021 and it has the best before date set for January 2023, so it should last two years. However, you must ensure that the lid is always tightly sealed to avoid moisture, otherwise it may spoil. 

In this article, I’ll cover all you need to know about nutritional yeast, including how long it lasts, how you can tell if it’s gone bad, and how to store it. 

What is Nutritional Yeast? 

Nutritional Yeast is a deactivated yeast related to brewer’s and baker’s yeast, both respectively used as fermentation and leavening agents in the beer and bread industry. 

But even though it contains the same type of yeast as brewer’s and baker’s yeast (i.e. Saccharomyces cerevisiae), nutritional yeast is a completely different product:

  • Brewer’s yeast can be acquired alive and used to brew beer. The dead yeast cells leftover from the brewing process can be consumed as a nutritional supplement but it has a bitter taste. 
  • Baker’s yeast is also purchased alive but it’s used to leaven bread. Throughout the cooking process, the yeast cells are killed, but the flavor of the bread is enhanced.
  • Nutritional yeast is specifically grown to be consumed as food. The yeast cells are killed during manufacturing, and remain dead in the final product.

Nutrititional yeast is typically grown on a food source — some brands use molasses — then harvested, heated, dried and crumbled, a process that deactivates the yeast, creating a nutty, tasty and versatile ingredient. Its name comes from the fact it has protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

In fact, just one tablespoon of nutritional yeast can contain:

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 180% Daily Value B1 (Thiamine)
  • 160% Daily Value B2 (Riboflavin)
  • 70% Daily Value B3 (Niacin)
  • 140% Daily Value B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • 40% Daily Value Folic Acid
  • 40% Daily Value B12

As you can tell, it contains several B vitamins. They support the immune and nervous systems and help us convert food into energy. Since there isn’t a vegan food source of B12 that is conventionally available, nutritional yeast is an easy way to consume B12 in a vegan diet.

How Long Does Nutritional Yeast Last?

nutritional yeast shelf life

Generally, nutritional yeast has a shelf life of two years, and this is according to the “best before date” on the packaging. For instance, the one I bought has the best before date engraved on the bottom, but other brands might have it elsewhere, and it also depends on the packaging.

Keep in mind that best before date is not the same as expiration date.

Here’s what wikipedia has to say about the best before date:

“Most shelf life dates are used as guidelines based on normal and expected handling and exposure to temperature. Use prior to the expiration date does not necessarily guarantee the safety of a food or drug, while a product is not always dangerous nor ineffective after the expiration date”

So, how long does nutritional yeast last? Well, as long as you store it properly, it should last you two years, but if you don’t store it properly, it might go bad before that period.

How to Tell If Your Nutritional Yeast Has Gone Bad

nutritional yeast inside

Nutritional yeast changes in appearance as it becomes bad.

It slowly changes from a light yellow color (as you can see in the image) to a darker brown color and begins to clump together as it ages. Additionally, it can also develop a very bitter taste.

However, you don’t have to worry about that if you store it properly, which is very simple.

How to Store Nutritional Yeast So It Lasts

We’ve contacted a nearby health food store to learn how we should store nutritional yeast, and the information we got back was very helpful. According to them, it’s important to keep the nutritional yeast stored in the dark, otherwise it can get negatively affected by being exposed to light. 

B vitamins are light-sensitive, so if you leave the nutritional yeast out in the open, you can dilute its nutritional value, which may happen regardless because nutritional yeast is often stored in clear packages or plastic bags. 

If you can, keep yours stored in a dark glass or a ceramic container to keep it protected from the light. Since it’s a dry product, you also want the lid tightly sealed to keep moisture out. As long as nutritional yeast remains dry, it can truly last for up to 2 years.  You’re also free to store in the freezer if you like. 

Nutritional Yeast FAQs

Does Nutritional Yeast Cause Candida?

Nutritional yeast is a form of deactivated yeast, which can’t be used for leavening or fermenting, nor can it reproduce reproduce and infect you.

Besides, nutritional yeast doesn’t contain extracts (or derivatives) from the Candida species, which are the most common cause of pathogenic yeast infections in people. 

Is Nutritional Yeast Vegan?

Yes, vegans can eat nutritional yeast (or yeast) because it isn’t an animal. Yeast is a single-cell microorganism classified as a member of the fungus kingdom. You can view it as you view a mushroom — also a fungi.

Does Nutritional Yeast Contain Gluten?

Yes, Nutritional yeast is 100% gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, or barley, and nutritional yeast is generally grown in three different foods: sugar cane, beet molasses, or wood pulp. None of which have gluten. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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