Many of us have rifled through a shelf or cabinet and found some expired or undated products. Are these products still safe to consume? Are they as potent as they once were? What if they look a bit different than you remember them? Let’s dig into the science!
For starters, unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplement companies are not required to list expiration dates on labels. Some companies voluntarily provide “use by” or “best by” dates and are required to honor these claims with stability data demonstrating that the product will still contain all the ingredients listed until the product’s expiration.
How does Quantum Nutrition Labs determine “Best By” Dates?
In order to determine these dates, our supplier stores select products in stability chambers under controlled conditions. Product formulas are checked periodically over the course of 5 years to ensure they continue to meet QNL’s standards in identity, purity, strength, composition, and lack of contaminants. While this rigorous testing is underway, products are assigned tentative shelf life dates until official “use by” and “best by” dates are confirmed.
So, what happens if you consume a vitamin or supplement long after its glory days? Likely nothing. Most product ingredients degrade gradually over time. This makes them less potent, but not necessarily dangerous. The exception is if a product grows mold or has an unusual odor.
Otherwise, supplements generally last about two years after the date of manufacture if stored away from heat, light, and humidity. After that point, concentrations may begin to fall below 100% of the amounts listed on the label.
If you do have a “bad” batch of vitamins or supplements, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends against throwing them in the trash.
QNL’s products are stored under strict conditions in a temperature-controlled warehouse, ensuring peak potency and efficiency for you and your family.
Featured photo is of the Quantum Nutrition Labs Stability Chamber