Soap peeps, someone gave me a tub of palm oil, my brand, Spectrum with a "best by" date of December 15, 2021. I know palm has a shelf life of 1 year. If I stored it in the fridge, do you think it would be okay to use? Thanks,
You know I am too new to answer your question but I did use some years old, room temperature stored armour lard that had no reason to be possibly good and could not tell a difference in the end product compared to some just purchased lard after going though the cold process.
We know who is making some more batches of soap in the next two weeks .
Joke aside. The general recommendation with best-by dates is that it's a good orientation how long the manufacturer expects the oils to not have become rancid. Given some assumptions about how customers would store it (dark, cool/constant temperature, dry, little stirring, away from metals). For the few pitiable soapmakers who don't happen to have quick access to an NMR spectrometer or gas chromatograph, the manufacturer's best-by date is the only positive clue for suitability of an oil (mind also liability matters), hence the rule-of-thumb that best-by date of oils = best-by date of soaps thereof. Unfortunately, without fancy apparatuses one can usually find out if the actual no-longer-best-after date of an oil has passed when it's too late (aka DOS).
Now, the manufacturer might have underestimated how tenderly you of course are treating your raw materials. In particular with rather robust ingredients like palm oil. “One year” is a bureaucratic compromise for “one year for sure, after two years we have observed a few write-offs under adverse conditions; so let's go with 1 year to be on the safe side”. No need to panic FWIW. Surely, a sniff and look on the oil can detect deterioration only when it's quite progressed, but chances still are that it's okay for soapmaking as late as December 19 or even beyond.
Some other indicators for rancidity (for food-grade ingredients) are a bitter/acrid taste, unusually low smoke point (put some in a pan/pot and heat it up on the stove)/unpleasant smell when heated, and bad glide/adhesion when baking/frying scorch-prone food like pancakes or roast potatoes.
When still not convinced, bake cakes with it, or biscuits, or make meat fondue.
I'd guesstimate best by date is a sound advise its good tell then. May hold off from going rancid if treated w/ ROE' but no guarantee's
I Use it & see if you can detect any off scent in soap' or recipe behaves off when it its a sound recipe & shoulden't, lastly keep an eye out for DOS after the cure moving forward.
When you say a tub, I am guessing it's one of the standard 24 ounce tubs? I don't think I'd worry about it at all and would expect it could be used up within a couple of months. I would definitely use it, especially if the seal was never broken, or if it has, it is clearly clean. If you want, just add the appropriate amount of ROE to the soaping oils as you mix up each batch.
Best by dates on food products are meant for food consumption purposes, for taste and quality, not specifically for oils going rancid, although in the case of oils, that would primarily be the culprit to affect taste & quality. But even so, I have found that usage within a reasonable time frame after such date doesn't make much difference with most processed food items. (Barring the highly perishable items, of course.)
Palm oil is a fantastic cooking ingredient. I made a batch of homemade panko crusted chicken tenders and used palm oil to deep fry. Same with halibut fish fry. Blew my mind. I’ve since also used it for roasting potatoes. I’m super curious to see how it performs in pie crust.
I know that doesn’t answer your question. In my experience, palm oil lasts a good long while. And “best buy dates” are commonly overly conservative so I feel confident that you have some wiggle room.
I'm still using some Palm Oil I bought two years ago. I had bought a 35lb bucket, broke it down into 1 gallon zip lock bags, put them back in the bucket and tucked it away in the garage. I also have a few small bottles of oils...grapeseed, sweet almond, jojoba...that have been around for a year or two. I put them in the bottom shelf of my frig in the back when I bought them. I checked them just a couple of days before Thanksgiving and there was no discoloration or odor.
I know from having an extensive 'spice' cabinet and years of wearing makeup, how damaging light, air and heat can be. Since I first started making soap, I have kept all my base oils, Sodium Hydroxide and FOs/EOs tucked away in the dark.
If you are unsure...if it smells and looks okay...make a test batch.