It can be a real bummer if you go to use the last bit of your SodaStream syrup for one last drink, only to discover that it expired yesterday.
Drat! Now you’re stuck wondering if the expiration date really matters, or if it’ll upset your stomach if you just go ahead and make one last soda with the dregs of your favorite syrup.
So can you use expired SodaStream syrup? You very much can, but there are a few tricks to learning for how long and how best to go about it.
For starters, the syrup’s expiration date is more of a general guideline than a hard-and-fast rule. It really depends on how you store the syrup and how often you consume it.
Furthermore, your syrup’s lifespan can be pushed out so that its real expiration date is so far in advance that you don’t really ever cross it.
The secret is in a combination of good storage techniques and chilling the bottle once it crosses over the expiration date line.
Overall, feel free to use your expired syrup responsibly. It’s a great way to save money on the syrup if you don’t use it as fast as SodaStream expects.
Just remember to check each bottle with your nose before using it if it has expired, as this can let you know if the stuff inside has truly gone bad.
If it smells off then be sensible and just throw it in the trash!
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What is the Normal Shelf Life of SodaStream Syrup?
SodaStream syrups are made with a combination of sucrose rather than high fructose corn syrup. Because of this, it’s a little less harmful to the body than many of your usual kinds of soda.
This does affect its overall shelf life, however, as high fructose corn syrup is often used in part due to its long shelf life.
These syrups have a typical shelf life of around 3-4 months based on the time you receive them. They come in small bottles and are sealed when they arrive. This amount is based on how typical drinkers consume them in a similar period of time.
The shelf life can be extended if you store the syrups properly and in the right places.
For instance, storing the syrups in cold and dry places will extend their lifespan and allow them to be consumed over much longer periods of time.
The cool temperature will make it less likely that bacteria will infest the liquid or that the various ingredients inside will ferment or change drastically.
This will also preserve the flavor of the syrup as close to the original formula as possible.
In addition, stopping yourself from opening the bottle will extend the shelf life even further.
Like keeping it cold, this helps the syrup maintain its natural flavor and makes it harder for bacteria or other particulates to get inside and contaminate or change the syrup.
This isn’t the same thing as drinking the syrup after it’s truly expired.
The syrups in the bottles are known to taste the best when you consume them shortly after you receive them from the SodaStream shipping center or from when you pick them up at the store (or your favorite online retailer for that matter).
But the good news is that SodaStream syrups can still be consumed after the expiration date.
Can You Use SodaStream Syrup Beyond the Expiration Date?
Yes, you can.
SodaStream themselves have cleared their syrups for consumption for several months after the syrup has technically expired. This can even add up to many more months past the expiration date if the syrup was stored correctly or not opened beforehand.
In this way, it can seem that the syrup expiration date isn’t very important, but it’s still a good date to pay attention to.
Whenever you drink soda that has been flavored with expired syrup, you should pay close attention to how the beverage tastes.
At this point, the only real metric for determining whether or not a syrup is good for mixing is your tongue!
The first part of testing starts with the smell. ask yourself this
- Does the syrup still smell alright?
- Is it properly sweet and like whatever flavor it is supposed to be emulating?
- Or does it give off a musty or “old” scent in addition to the fruity notes?
If this is the case, it might be a good idea to get rid of that bottle and go for something that is no longer expired.
Overall, you can likely safely use your syrup for up to six months or so past the expiration date, provided that you also stored it correctly.
However, anything past this point is starting to become risky.
In any case, you should always be thinking about buying new syrup bottles soon after your current ones expire. You can get them relatively cheap if you look online.
This can be a balance of cost vs quality that only you can decide. Do you want to craft your own lower-quality soda using dated syrups, or just pick up a fresh batch of flavors?
What Does the Expiration Date Really Mean?
Contrary to what it might seem, the expiration date does mean something to you, the consumer.
SodaStream syrup bottles are made with a complex blend of sugars and ingredients that are all thoroughly mixed together. If these elements are exposed to the air, they might eventually be exposed to bacteria, which will find the sugars contained within to be excellent sources of fuel.
It takes a long time, but if left unchecked the bacteria will consume the syrup and make it unable to be consumed or even mixed properly with carbonated water.
But this process is slow and, in most cases, is outstripped by how quickly people consume soda syrup.
In fact, the odds of you drinking all your syrup before you even have to begin worrying about this is why SodaStream is so unconcerned with the actual expiration date.
The expiration date is a manufacturer estimate that calculates the likely probability of the syrup going bad before you drink it all.
Since this is a catchall estimate, it doesn’t take into account storage options, your personal drinking speed, or where you store the syrup.
This is why there’s so much variation between soda maker users.
The expiration date is also partly calculated to have you purchase more bottles of syrup even if you still have a little left over from the last batch. Well-meaning soda drinkers will often get rid of their old bottles if the syrup has gone even a few weeks over the expiration date.
The truth is that that syrup was probably perfectly fine for drinking, and it was only the fear of possible contamination that made them throw it out. You can likely save money in the long term by pushing your syrup use out as far as possible.
The reason that syrup has such a longer shelf life than many other flavored products has to do with its consistency and its normal method of storage.
Maple syrup, for instance, can be stored for years and safely consumed after opening, but SodaStream syrups are not quite as hardy and durable as maple syrup.
How Should I Store SodaStream Syrup?
SodaStream syrup should be stored in a few different ways depending on your objectives.
Unopened, unused bottles can be stored in cool dry places. This will extend the lifespan of the syrup and prevent the bottle from flexing as the temperature rises.
It’s important that the storage area be dry, too, to prevent mold from forming outside the bottle or from water leaking inside.
If you open the bottle of syrup, you should try to store it in a cold area where it can be chilled. There are two advantages to this method.
For one, your syrup will last longer if it’s chilled. On the off chance any bacteria gets inside, it won’t develop due to the lower temperature.
Bacteria require a minimum temperature threshold to get anything done or reproduce.
Secondly, the chilled syrup will gel better with chilled carbonated water. When you go to mix the syrup with your sparkling water, the syrup won’t raise the temperature of the beverage as a whole. This, in turn, allows the soda bottle to retain even more CO2 than otherwise.
You can keep more CO2 in the same amount of cold water than warm. Therefore, chilled syrup leads to a colder bottle of soda, which means that the bottle will have a sharper fizz to its taste and texture.
Expired soda should definitely be stored in the fridge, even if it hasn’t been opened.
Not only does this push the real expiration date out even further, but it further lowers the risk of it going “bad” due to contamination.
Overall, cool and dry places are the best, with the fridge being the best of all. You can store unopened bottles of soda syrup in the fridge as well if you have the space, but this isn’t really needed until the bottle has passed the manufacturer’s expiration date.
If the bottle suffers damage somehow, or can no longer seal properly, you can always transfer it to a new container and stick that in the fridge.
This counts as “opened” syrup, however, so you should never leave it in an unrefrigerated place if you have to transfer the syrup to a new container.
It’s also a good idea to stick a piece of tape with the expiration date on this new container, just so you don’t forget the original date.