how long do soy sauce packets last

How long do soy sauce packets last? Soy sauce packets are a common condiment found in Chinese restaurants.

They are small, single-use packets that contain soy sauce and sometimes other seasonings.

But how long do they last?

The answer depends on a few factors, such as the expiration date and how the soy sauce is stored. 

Soy sauce packets typically have a shelf life of about two years. However, there are a few things that can affect its shelf life.

In this blog post, we will discuss the shelf life of soy sauce packets and offer some tips for keeping them fresh.

What Is Soy Sauce?

what is the soy sauce

Soy sauce is widely consumed in China, Japan, and Korea. It’s a well-known marinade and dipping sauce.

Sushi, a Japanese staple, requires soy sauce. Soy sauce is made from soybeans.

There are two methods for making soy sauce.

  • Traditional methods include boiling soybeans, adding wheat and salt, and fermenting them for months or years.
  • Heating soybeans with hydrochloric acid is a faster method. This method produces soy sauce in a matter of days.

How Long Do Soy Sauce Packets Last?

Soy sauce is a fermented product, and therefore its shelf life is dependent on several factors.

⚡ You May Also Like:  Can You Eat Expired Pasta Sauce? The Real Answer!

This includes the type of soybeans used, the fermentation process, storage conditions, and many other factors as discussed below:

1. The Type of Soybeans Used

type of soybean

One of the most significant aspects in determining the shelf life of soy sauce is the kind of soybeans used.

Most soybeans have a shelf life of one year.

However, non-GMO soybeans are generally of higher quality and will yield a sauce with a shelf life of more than two years.

2. The Fermentation Process

The fermentation process is another key element in the shelf life of soy sauce.

Most soy sauces are fermented for at least six months, with some premium brands being fermented for up to two years.

Note: The longer the fermentation process, the higher the quality and shelf life.

3. Soy Sauce Storage Conditions

storage conditions

Another factor that will affect the shelf life of soy sauce is how it is stored.

Soy sauce should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. This will extend its lifespan to more than two years.

⚡ You May Also Like:  Does Oyster Sauce Have Shellfish? - Are They Healthy?

Exposure to light and heat will cause the sauce to deteriorate more quickly.

Storing soy sauce in the fridge will help extend its shelf life, but it is unnecessary.

4. Pasteurization

Pasteurization is heating the soy sauce to a high temperature to kill any bacteria that may be present.

This will extend the shelf life of the soy sauce packets for more than, but it will also change the flavor and aroma.

5. The Addition Of Preservatives

addition of preservative

Some soy sauces contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate.

These ingredients will help extend the sauce’s shelf life for two years, but they will also change the flavor.

6. The Alcohol Content

The alcohol content of soy sauce is another factor that can affect its shelf life.

Most soy sauces contain around 18% alcohol, a preservative.

However, some premium brands may have up to 30% alcohol, which will help to extend the shelf life even more than one year.

7. Unopened Soy Sauce Packets.

It is possible to keep soy sauce in the refrigerator forever if it is unopened.

In part, this is attributable to the soy sauce fermentation process.

⚡ You May Also Like:  How To Thicken Marinara Sauce - Easy Steps + Substitutes!

However, this does not imply that it will always be pleasant to eat. The quality will decline after three years.

Facts: Soy sauce may be kept forever if it has not been opened. However, I recommend consuming it within the following three years to preserve its flavor.

8. Opened Soy Sauce Packets

opened soy packets

Once a bottle of soy sauce has been opened, it can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

But it doesn’t last as long as it’s still in the package.

Frequent exposure to air speeds up the oxidation process, making the quality of the food worse faster.

Depending on how it is stored, a bottle of soy sauce opened can stay outside for six months.

If you keep it in the fridge, it can last two to three years.

Do Soy Sauce Packets Go Bad?

Even though soy sauce doesn’t usually go bad, you should know how to tell if it has gone bad, so you don’t eat it.

Here’s how to tell if a packet of soy sauce has spoiled.


Since soy sauce is dark, it is hard to see if it has changed color.

⚡ You May Also Like:  Can You Eat Expired Pasta Sauce? The Real Answer!

Color changes don’t always mean that something is bad. It is just the result of the process of oxidation.

But if you can see mold and other things in the sauce, it has gone bad and could make you sick. You have to throw it away right away.


the taste

Before you decide if your soy sauce is still good to eat, you should try a little bit of it.

This is if you don’t remember how long you’ve had it or if you don’t know how good it is.

Soy sauce tastes very salty. If it tastes a little bit bitter, you shouldn’t eat it.


Soy sauce can have a strong smell that makes you not want to get close enough to smell it.

The smell of that is not bad. But if it gets too bad and makes you sick, you shouldn’t keep it any longer.


As I’ve already said, soy sauce should be thick. If it’s too watery when you pour it out, it’s probably bad. You should throw it away and buy a new one.

⚡ You May Also Like:  Does Oyster Sauce Have Shellfish? - Are They Healthy?

But some kinds of soy sauce are a little watery, so when you open the bottle for the first time, you should compare how the sauce feels to how it felt when it was first made.

How To Make Soy Sauce Last Packets Longer

make soy sauce packet lasts

As long as you store the soy sauce packets correctly, you don’t have to worry about signs of spoilage.

Soy sauce can be kept safely at room temperature or in the fridge. Here are the specifics.

Room Temperature

The most common way to store soy sauce is at room temperature.

Since soy sauce is used often, you want it to be easy to get to. Soy sauce is safe to eat at room temperature, great news.

You can put them anywhere you want, on the counter or the shelf.

Soy sauce is easy to store, but there are a few things you should remember and stick to if you want it to last as long as possible.

Use the Container It Came In

use container
  • Keep the lid closed at all times. If not, the soy sauce will get dirty and turn brown, making it worse.
  • Put the bottle somewhere that is cool, dry, and dark. Don’t let it get close to the sun.
  • Never put it near the stove or anything else that makes heat. Heat will make soy sauce go bad much more quickly.
⚡ You May Also Like:  How To Thicken Marinara Sauce - Easy Steps + Substitutes!

If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to use soy sauce with other foods in a few months.

In The Fridge

Fermented foods like soy sauce can be kept at room temperature for a long time. And it won’t go bad unless it gets dirty.

But if you want to keep it for longer than a year, the refrigerator is a great place.

Putting the bottle of soy sauce into smaller bottles is a good idea. One can go on the kitchen counter, and the other can go in the refrigerator.

FAQs About How Long Does Soy Sauce Packets Last?

popular questions

Do you have any additional questions related to the shelf life of soy sauce packets?

The following are some of the other questions that are often asked.

Can You Consume Soy Sauce Packets that Have Expired?

Consuming condiments beyond the expiration date may not make you sick, but they likely won’t taste as good.

⚡ You May Also Like:  Does Oyster Sauce Have Shellfish? - Are They Healthy?

Can I Freeze Soy Sauce Packets?

Yes, you can freeze soy sauce packets. However, frozen soy sauce packets may not taste as good as fresh ones.

If you decide to freeze soy sauce packets, thaw them completely before using them.

Do Soy Sauce Packets Need to Be Refrigerated?

No, soy sauce packets do not need to be refrigerated. However, if you want the soy sauce to last longer, it is best to store it in a cool, dry place.

Final Verdict.

How long do soy sauce packets last? Soy sauce packets can last for a long time if stored properly.

However, if they are exposed to air or light, they will start to degrade and lose their flavor.

Once opened, soy sauce packets should be used within a few days.

If you have any leftover soy sauce, it is best to store it in a sealed container in the fridge. This will help to preserve its flavor and quality.

Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful.