Oat milk is a non-dairy form of milk that is made from oat grains and synthetic vitamins and minerals.
You should be concerned about it going bad because, the vitamins and minerals become inactive thus lose its nutritional value and also because it can cause food poisoning.
I have been throwing out a lot of my oat milk because I buy them in bulk, and on traveling, I find that some are slightly past the expiry date.
In other cases, the expiry date is invisible, and I have to throw away the milk before it has gone bad.
So how long can oat milk last without going bad? Can I drink the milk if it is slightly past the expiry date? How can I know that oat milk has gone bad? In this post, I will answer such questions and more.
What’s Oat Milk?
Oat milk is non-dairy milk that is made from oat grains.
It is an excellent alternative to dairy milk and is perfect for vegans and those allergic to dairy products.
The milk is produced by combining oat with water and then milling to a fine consistency.
Oat grains contain starch that is broken down by adding enzymes.
The action of the enzyme is followed by separating solid and liquid parts.
The liquid is then flavored, heated to increase its shelf life, and mixed with synthetic minerals and vitamins.
The benefits of oat milk are that it does not contain cholesterol which contributes significantly to heart failure; cholesterol is abundant in dairy milk.
Secondly, one cup of milk provides nutritional benefits since it contains the daily requirement of nutrients as follows; 100% of vitamin B12, 25% of Riboflavin, 35% of calcium, 25% of vitamin A, and 20% of vitamin D.
How Long Does Oat Milk Last? Does Oat Milk Go Bad?
Oat milk does go bad and that is the reason the manufacturers indicate that shelf-stable oat milk has a shelf life of 6 to 12 months.
Each container has an expiry date printed at the bottom of the packaging.
Various companies provide different expiry dates depending on factors such as packaging and the ingredients used in manufacturing.
The 6 to 12 months are for milk stored in a pantry.
However, the milk is still good for consumption 45 to 60 days after its expiry date; it may be good three months past the expiry date.
The shelf-stable version of oat milk does not need refrigeration.
However, refrigerated milk can last long after the expiry date.
Simply Oat estimates that the milk can last a minimum of 60 days past the expiry date.
Oat milk has a refrigerated version with two to three weeks of shelf life.
The manufacturer in the packaging indicates the use-by date.
The milk stays goods for a maximum of 7 days past the expiry date.
The refrigerated milk must be kept chilled.
It is crucial to check which version of the oat milk you have.
Mistaking a refrigerated for the shelf-stable version will cost you dearly since it will expire faster than expected.
Once you open the shelf-stable oat milk, you must keep it refrigerated and have to take it within 5 to 10 days.
The milk packaging plays a significant role in preserving the milk because it keeps off light and bacteria, which contribute to milk going bad.
If you open the oat milk and leave it to sit out or without refrigeration, USDA recommends that you drink it within 2 hours, and if not, you should dispose of it.
After 2 hours, the milk may not indicate going bad, but it may result in adverse health impacts.
Such health impacts may be due to the growth of bacteria in the milk.
How to Tell if Oat Milk is Bad?
There are several ways that you can tell if oat milk is bad:
- First, you can tell by the expiry date. If the milk is past the expiry date by 4 months, it isn’t good, and you should not consume it. .
- Secondly, you can check whether the container is bloated. A bloated container indicates that there is a production of gas inside the container. Fermentation causes the production of carbon (IV) oxide gas that causes the packaging to swell. If the container is bloated, the milk is bad. .
- Thirdly, determine how long the milk has remained open. Milk that has stayed open for two weeks cannot be considered good even if refrigerated. Additionally, if the milk has been open for more than two hours and has not been refrigerated, it is likely bad. .
- Fourthly, smelling the milk is an excellent way of knowing whether it is bad. If you are used to fresh Oat milk, you understand how it smells – it has a pleasant smell. However, the milk has a foul, moldy, or sour smell when it is bad. .
- Check the color of the milk. Regular oat milk has a white or cream color that is consistent. If, after pouring it into a glass, you notice the dark or brownish color, the milk is bad. The presence of solid particles in the milk is also an indication that the milk is not good for consumption. .
- Finally, you can tell by the taste of the milk. The taste test should be the final one after all the other tests are negative. Most oat milk brands are sweet, and a sour taste clearly indicates that the milk is bad. .
Oat milk is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk and is especially good if you want to avoid dairy products or are vegan.
It is made from oat grains, and its nutritional composition is boosted by adding synthetic vitamins and minerals.
The shelf-stable milk version lasts 6 to 12 months, while the refrigerated version lasts several weeks.
If your oat milk is several days past the expiry date, it is safe to drink and still has the right nutritional composition.
However, if it is several weeks or months past the expiry date, you must check if it is bad using the recommended methods.