Does Soy Sauce Go Bad? Facts You Must Know

does soy sauce go bad

Soy sauce is a salty liquid seasoning made from soybeans and wheat. It is assumed that soy sauce originated in China 3000 years ago and became popular in Korea, China, Japan, Indonesia, and other South Asian Countries. 

Though soy sauce does not easily go bad, it does not mean the sauce remains good forever. An unopened bottle remains good for 3-5 years and an open bottle for 1-2 months at room temperature and 6- 8 months in the fridge. 

What Is Soy Sauce Made of?

‌Soy sauce is made of soybeans, salt, fermenting agent, flavor, wheat, and preservatives. There are two types of soy sauce. 1. Traditional production 2.Chemical production

Does Soy Sauce Go Bad?

Soy sauce is very popular in Asian Cuisine. However, many people claim that soy sauce can’t go bad. It is not entirely true. Yes, the storage period is comparatively more extended for soy sauce. It usually lasts for a few years in an unopened position. But it can go bad after a few years of storage.

Usually, an unopened bottle of soy sauce can be stored for 3-4 years, even after the printed date expires, and an opened bottle can last for up to 6 months in the fridge. Additionally, it can last for 3-4 months on the shelf at room temperature. 

However, after storing it for a few months, it may lose some flavor, but still, it is OK to consume.

Can You Eat Expired Soy Sauce?

Usually, it is not recommended to consume expired food or beverages. If properly stored, soy sauce can be eaten after the date expires. Naturally, soy sauce contains a handsome amount of sodium and won’t be easily attacked by harmful bacteria. Freezing the soy sauce also extends its shelf life even after the date expires.

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Does Soy Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?

Actually, you don’t need to refrigerate soy sauce because it lasts for 1-2 months at room temperature. Though Kikkoman and Kamada, famous soy sauce producing companies, suggest refrigerating the sauce for best and long-term usage.

The conditions of soy sauce refrigeration are-

  • Long term storage
  • Plenty of soy sauce left outside
  • The outside temperature is too high 

 How Long Does Soy Sauce Last

Soy sauce typically lasts for a few years in the refrigerator and for 1-2 months at room temperature. Let’s look at the chart-

Soy SauceRoom TemperaturePantryFridge
Unopened1 year1-2 years3- 5 years
Opened4-6 months6-8 months1-2 years

Tip : If your soy sauce becomes too old, use it in cooking or making other sauces. 

 Can Soy Sauce be Left Out

Yes, soy sauce can be left out. Since it is a high sodium content, it will not easily go bad. You can leave the soy sauce outside at room temperature for 1- 2 months after opening and 1-2 years without opening. 

Do Soy Sauce Packets Go Bad

Typically, soy sauce packets last for 1-2 years. But the packets may go bad if it is kept for longer. Extreme heat can be another reason for them if somehow the seal breaks and heat and air pass into it. 

How Is Soy Sauce Made? 

There are two ways of making soy sauce. 

1. Traditional Production

Traditionally, soy sauce is made from wet soybeans and roasted and crushed wheat. Then used a culturing mold (Aspergillus) and left for 2-3 days. Later, it is left in a fermenting tank adding salt and water for 5-8 months. Then the mixture is pressed with pressure taking in a cloth to release the liquid. Lastly, it goes for pasteurization to kill bacteria. Now, it is ready for packaging and selling to the market. 

2. Chemical Production

Chemical production, also known as acid hydrolysis, is a process that can produce soy sauce in a few days rather than months. It is a faster and cheaper process. Heat the beans and mix them with hydrochloric acid. Keep them for fermentation, and lastly, add minimal preservatives, and they become ready for packaging and selling. 

You may also like: Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?

Nutrition Facts about Soy Sauce 

‌ 1 tablespoon (a 15-milliliter)  serving of soy sauce contains:‌

  • 10 calories
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 2 grams of proteins
  • 920 milligrams of sodium (38% of daily value)

Bottom Line

So the closing line is though it’s very unlikely to happen, soy sauce can go bad. But if you store it properly, it will be safe to consume for many years.

However, it is advised to use it within 2 to 3 years. Otherwise, there will be a decline in its quality over time.

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