It would be far from uncommon for those who regularly use whey protein to find a tub that had long remained hidden for so long that it has reached or gone past the ‘best before’ date stamped on the tub. Should you find an out of date tub of whey, is it okay to consume it?
Before answering the question of whether its okay to use whey protein past the sell by date, it’s important to understand what the best before date means. Powdered whey protein is not a perishable item, unlike milk for example, which spoils quickly and needs to be consumed within a certain time period before it is longer recommended to drink. Milk and other perishable items (meat and other dairy products) will be labelled with a ‘use before’ date to reflect the fact that they will ‘go off’ and no longer be suitable for consumption.
Best Before Dates are only a guideline
The best before on whey protein powder is simply a guideline of which the manufacturer guarantees the product will maintain its consistency, taste and nutrients. Past this date, whey may begin to lose some nutrients and have a less strong taste. How quickly this begins to happen will largely depend on how the powder is stored. If stored out of direct sunlight, away from moisture and in a cool environment most whey should last some months before it begins to spoil. Most whey powders have a long life due to the low moisture content.
Most whey powders are safe to consume well past their best before date
If whey is past the best before date, just be aware that it may not have the full nutritional content that it once had and the taste may have changed slightly, but it shouldn’t pose any health risks. If concerned at all, always err on the side of caution and purchase a fresh batch.