Shelf Life of

How Long Do Coconuts Last?

Coconut Shelf Life

How long do coconuts last? The shelf life of coconuts depends when they were picked (since there is not usually a sell by date), how long they took to get to you and how they are stored. Coconuts, usually considered a fruit despite it’s name, are full of fiber and nutrients and are usually purchased either whole or shredded (dried). Both the meat and the milk have high levels of Vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3. A coconut palm is referred to as the “tree of life” because a coconut can be used for food, drink, fiber, utensils, instruments, medicinal purposes, fuel and more.

So, how long do coconuts last? When properly stored, the shelf life of coconuts past their purchase date or best-by date is approximately …

(Unopened) Counter Refrigerator Freezer
Past Date Past Date Past Date
Fresh Coconuts last for 1 Week 2-3 Weeks 6-8 Months
Packaged Coconut lasts for 6-12 Months 6-12 Months 6-8 Months
(Opened) Counter Refrigerator Freezer
Fresh Coconuts last for 1 Week 6-8 Months
Homemade Roasted Coconut lasts for 2-3 Months 2-3 Months 6-8 Months
Packaged (Dried) Coconut lasts for 4-6 Months 6-8 Months 6-8 Months
Coconut Oil lasts for 1-2 Years

Of course, all foods last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly.
Packaged dried coconut usually has a best before date which is a date set by the manufacturer to guarantee best product quality and not an expiration date or an expression of safety.

How to tell if coconuts are bad, rotten or spoiled?

A whole coconut is hard to crack, but also hard to tell if it is good or not. A fresh coconut will be heavy and when you shake it you will hear the juice splashing around inside. Watch out for any cracks or bruises on the coconut shell. Getting a fresh coconut very much depends on where you live, since the shelf life of a fresh coconut is only about 2-3 months and the process from picking (probably in Asia) to selling in the U.S. (except Hawaii) is about 2 months! Because of this, many coconuts on the store shelves are already old and their shelf life has expired before they even reach your house!
To tell if a coconut has gone bad – look into it’s eyes! Yes, a coconut has three eyes – two of which are blind and then the one on the largest third of the coconut should be a dry down circle – if you see any protrusions here it could be an infected coconut. Also, old coconuts are more of a greyish color and not a healthy brown. Once you crack it open, the meat should be pure white.
A coconut with an expired shelf life will be yellowish in color.
The coconut meat can be stored in an airtight bag in the fridge.

Bad dried shredded coconut will just get drier (still ok) and drier when it is going bad until it finally becomes brittle and yellowish in color (gone bad).

For a long term option, the meat can be frozen and then later defrosted in the fridge.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods prior to their eat by dates.

How to store coconuts and extend their shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food.
Coconuts should be stored in a cool place, be it the pantry, fridge or freezer because low temperatures suppress infection by micro-organisms, to which coconuts are prone.

Freezing changes the consistency of the coconut, actually making the meat softer and easier to process.

For dried (shredded) coconut, it is best kept in an airtight container in the fridge once opened. A jar with a re-sealable lid works perfect to keep coconut fresh and handy.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

How long is coconut good for when prepared in a dish?

How long do coconuts last? That depends. How long do bakery products last? In general, foods last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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What are our shelf life resources?

Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and shelf life.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and used as a guidance tool. Hopefully this answers your questions on how long do coconuts last? Please eat responsibly!