VANILLA EXTRACT, PURE, COMMERCIALLY BOTTLED — UNOPENED OR OPENED
The precise answer to the question “How long does vanilla extract last?” depends to a large extent on storage conditions — when properly stored, pure vanilla extract has an indefinite shelf life.
To maximize the shelf life of vanilla extract, store in a cool dry area; keep tightly closed when not in use.
How long does imitation vanilla extract last? The shelf life of imitation vanilla extract is not nearly as long as the shelf life of pure vanilla extract: the imitation variety will generally stay good for 4 years.
Does freezing pure vanilla extract help keep it fresh? No, freezing of vanilla extract is not necessary and is not recommended.
How to tell if vanilla extract is bad? Properly stored in a cool, dark area, the shelf life of pure vanilla extract is indefinite; if exposed to highs levels of heat, moisture and light, pure vanilla extract may lose some of its potent aroma and flavor over time or develop a hazy appearance, but the vanilla extract should still be safe to use.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please