Nuts are a delectable source of protein, fibre, and good fat. They can help lower bad cholesterol, aid in weight loss, reduce inflammation, and many more. No wonder families, local cafes, small restaurants, and large dining establishments buy fresh wholesale nuts to incorporate in many of their recipes. However, like any food bought in bulk, nuts need to be stored properly to get the most shelf life out of the sizable quantity.
How long do bulk nuts last?
The shelf life of nuts will depend on their storage. An unopened bag of nuts kept in a refrigerator takes up to two years to spoil. In contrast, nuts kept at room temperature last only three months.
What affects the freshness of nuts?
The longevity and freshness of nuts are affected by the storage temperature or condition, whether they are shelled or not, and whether the package is opened or not. Nuts stored at a cool temperature, like inside the refrigerator or freezer, last longer than nuts in warmer environments. You can store nuts in tightly sealed containers to keep out moisture and contaminants.
Nuts with shells intact last longer at room temperature than already shelled nuts. The shelf life of shelled nuts will only lengthen if kept in environments with regulated temperature. Furthermore, cashews and pecan varieties are quick to become rancid in warm environments, so these types must be stored immediately at regulated temperatures.
The freshness of wholesale nuts is usually indicated by “best by” dates rather than hard expiration dates. People may still consume nuts past the best by date, as long as the smell and taste are not anything unordinary. Nonetheless, it is best to store them in ways that will optimise their freshness.
Cashews and Walnuts can still be enjoyed past the printed date of 6-9 months when kept in the pantry. Almonds are safe for consumption past best-by date 9-12 months in pantry storage.
All mentioned nut varieties are still good to eat for a year when in the fridge and two years when in the freezer. On the other hand, pistachio is good for three months past the best-by date in pantry storage.
How to store nuts in bulk?
Leaving nuts in the open air or at room temperature is the least effective way to lengthen their lifespan. It is better to keep nuts in small jars, bags, or boxes and properly seal them to keep them fresh. When bulk nuts are separated into smaller containers, one would only need to open a single container at a time. Thus, only a small number of nuts will be consistently exposed to open air while the rest of the stock retain their freshness. If you are using your nut supply in cafes or restaurants, this method is especially helpful for you.
Keep in mind that each type of nut needs to be separately stored – no mixing! More importantly, nuts should be kept away from high-odour foods, such as onions, asparagus, and seafood. Nuts tend to absorb smells of other food and may adopt an unpleasant smell.
For much longer periods of storing, it is recommended that bulk nuts be refrigerated in an airtight freezer-safe container. Nuts can stay in the refrigerator for up to six months or stored in a freezer for around a year. Every variety of nut can be stored in the fridge except shelled pistachios. Again, each type of nut must be stored separately.
After freezing, nuts do not need to be thawed for consumption; instead, they can be left until they come to room temperature. They can be used directly from the freezer into cooking and baking as well.
Storing activated nuts
Activated nuts mean nuts that were soaked in salt and water for around 7-12 hours. This process will make them more prone to moulds and should be consumed within 24-48 hours. Washing unshelled nuts is also not recommended as it adds extra moisture that encourages bacteria growth.