Yes, unfortunately, sea moss gel can indeed go bad.
Often referred to as “vegan gelatin,” sea moss gel is a useful thickener, thanks to its mucilaginous consistency. Sea moss serves as a prebiotic for your gut, which allows good bacteria to thrive.
It's also full of fiber, which promotes a healthy colon and digestive system while removing harmful bacteria. Sea moss may also help to promote weight loss and improve your metabolism.
Sea moss gel goes bad because it is a natural product made from organic matter. As seaweed is technically a marine vegetable, it is going to deteriorate over time.
So, if you plan on making your own sea moss gel, it’s important to remember that soaking it in fresh water or cooking before blending will mean that you will get a limited lifespan out of it. Another solution is to get all the same essential nutrients from sea moss pills that don't expire nearly as quickly. There are many great brands out there but these are our favorite since they also include bladderwack and burdock root.
However, there is the option of adding extra chemicals to preserve, and many companies selling sea moss gel do this to keep their gel useable for longer.
If you’d rather stay well away from artificial additives and preservatives, then we recommend making your own sea moss gel, as it really isn’t too difficult to do.
Can sea moss gel go bad if not refrigerated?
If you store your sea moss gel in an airtight container, it could last up to a month in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can even store it in your freezer for up to 3 months.
Some online forums recommend pouring your homemade sea moss gel into an icecube tray and popping it into the freezer to use at a later date. This makes preparing drinks and smoothies a breeze, as you can simply take a couple of cubes and throw them into your blender.
However, if you’re working with dry sea moss, the kind that is unsoaked and considered “raw”, you can expect to get much longer out of it. If you store raw dry sea moss in an airtight container and in a cool, dark, and dry place, it can last up to a year!
Can you use expired sea moss gel?
Sea moss in gel form can be added to teas, water, coffee, smoothies, and even soups and stews in order to thicken them. As sea moss gel has absolutely no taste or smell, the possibilities are endless. As mentioned above, sea moss gel will only stay fresh for a few weeks in your refrigerator before it goes off.
After around 4 weeks of sitting in the refrigerator, you’ll notice that your sea moss gel has begun to spoil. The telltale signs will be a slight difference in color and a significant difference in smell. Expired sea moss gel will be noticeably darker than it was before, with a slightly sour and fishy aroma.
While it’s still uncertain whether or not using expired sea moss gel is safe, we think it is better to be safe than sorry. Besides, adding stinky sea moss gel to teas and soups probably won’t taste so great. If you notice any discoloration or changes in smell, it’s best to toss it away and prepare a fresh batch.
Does raw sea moss expire?
Yes, raw sea moss does eventually expire. However, it does so at a much slower rate than fresh sea moss gel. In fact, raw and unsoaked sea moss can be stored for up to one year as long as it is kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark, and dry place.
While we don’t recommend using dried sea moss after one year, many enthusiasts in online forums report using theirs after a decade! And even then, the taste, color, and smell were very subtle.
The amount of time your raw sea moss lasts will also depend on how often you take it out, open it, and handle it. When raw sea moss isn’t in an airtight container, it is vulnerable to spoiling, even if only exposed to the air for just a few minutes.
When you need to use some, simply grab what you need and try not to handle the rest, as this will help to keep it fresher for longer. The more you handle raw sea moss and put it back in the container, the more likely it is that bacteria has found its way in, shortening the lifespan.
How can you tell if sea moss is bad?
As mentioned above, some telltale signs of spoiled sea moss include discoloration and changes in smell. Odd pungent aromas aren’t uncommon, as well as a light grayish watery and slimy coating on the top layer.
Additionally, some people report noticing spots of mold on their sea moss after it has expired. Obviously, if you notice any mold or changes in color or smell, you should toss it out immediately.
Sea moss gel is usually made from dried seaweed. However, if you have purchased yours from a supermarket or an online retailer, it could last much longer. The lifespan of store bought sea moss and sea moss gel will depend on what extra chemicals and preservatives have been added.
If you plan on making your own sea moss gel at home, be sure to store it in the fridge uncovered or with a lid that allows it to breathe. Covering your sea moss with an airtight lid creates a breeding ground for organisms and bad bacteria to grow, which will cause the sea moss gel to spoil or go rancid.
Your gel can last for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator uncovered. If you use your gel daily, spoilage should never be much of a concern.