Shelf Life of
Sunflower Seeds

How Long Do Sunflower Seeds Last?

Sunflower Seed Shelf Life

How Long Do Sunflower Seeds Last?

Do sunflower seeds go bad? The shelf life of sunflower seeds is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the Best By Date, whether they are roasted or salted and how they are stored. Sunflower seeds are actually the seeds from the center portion of the sunflower, naturally high in protein and healthy oil. They are most often seen in the dugouts and stands of baseball games, with empty shells remaining on the ground. They are sold plain, roasted, salted, chocolate covered, flavored and even sprouted. They are also ground into Sun Butter which is a great protein spread alternative for those allergic to peanuts. The shelf life of sunflower seeds is so long that many ask do sunflower seeds goes bad?

When properly stored, the shelf life of sunflower seeds beyond the best by date is approximately…

Pantry Fridge/Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Sunflower Seeds (Raw) lasts 2-3 Months 1 Year
Sunflower Seeds (Roasted – Shelled) lasts for 3-4 Months 1 Year
Sunflower Seeds (Roasted – In-Shell) lasts 4-5 Months 1 Year
Sun Butter lasts for 6 Months (Unopened) 6 Months (Once Opened)




Of course, sunflower seeds last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember, sunflower seeds, like a lot of other seeds, usually have a best by date and not an expiration date. Because of this, you can safely use them beyond their best by date.

How to tell if sunflower seeds are bad, rotten or spoiled?

Since sunflower seeds have a long shelf life if kept dry, it is hard to tell if they have gone bad. The best way is by smell, they will start to smell rancid because of the natural oils breaking down due to their exposure to oxygen. Most current packaging is fairly free of oxygen so unopened packages will remain fresh for longer than opened packages.
The development mold is rare, but still a possibility so always beware of that.
There are of course certain health risks associated with spoiled foods, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy them prior to their expiration.

How to store sunflower seeds to extend their shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food. The best way to store sunflower seeds is in an airtight container or bag in the pantry or another cool dark place with a constant temperature. Refrigeration prolongs the shelf life, but store them in a glass or ceramic container as they easily absorb chemicals from plastic which can be harmful.
Sunflower seed butter, or sunbutter, should be refrigerated after opening in its original or another airtight container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. According to most manufactures of SunButter, is good for at least one year from the date of manufacture (if there is no best before date).
Seeds can be frozen, but it is not really recommended. They will acquire moisture over time which will make them soggy and generally less desirable.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting Facts about Sunflower Seeds?

  • Sunflower seeds are native to North America, the Indians first discovered their nutritional benefits. For detailed information on the seeds including longevity studies see the National Sunflower Association website.

  • How long are sunflower seeds good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long do sunflower seeds last? That depends. How long does bread last? In general, food will only last as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long 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 resourses?

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

    *An important note about expiration dates…

    Although the sunflower seed shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is in no way intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified health care provider. Please eat responsibly!