Flavour storage info from TPA

I just posted a quote from this (plus link to this) in another thread, but, casting my eye around the board, it looks like it might settle quite a few ongoing arguments, so deserves a thread all of its own, IMO


Concentrated flavors do not spoil, or go rancid, like fruit juices can., so they do not really have an"expiration date".

But under certain conditions they can change.

In other words, you will notice that a “fresh” bottle might seem different from an older bottle.

Basically, what my flavor manufacturer tells me is that the flavors can have a very long shelf life, when they are not continuouslyopened and are stored in glass. It is not necessary to store them in the refrigerator, but I don’t think that this would hurt them. But sometimes refrigeration can cause re-crystallization of flavors that have a lot of the crystals like ethyl maltol in them. Please refer to our COA for our shelf life statement.

Here’s some background.

Every concentrated flavor is a mixture of raw materials, and every flavor blend can act differently. For example flavors that have a vanilla characteristic are going to have slightly different storage capabilities than fruit flavors. Here’s the reason.

Vanilla and caramel flavors are mostly made of large molecules like vanillin, ethyl vanillin , etc.

These molecules are not very volatile, and tend not to escape the bottle when you open it. They will be fairly stable. Fruit flavors, on the other hand, are made of much smaller molecules in general. Whenever you open a bottle, it’s the lightest and smallest molecules that escape and reach your nose quickly. Over time when you open a bottle over and over again more and more proportion of these lighter molecules leave the bottle and eventually the character of the flavor will be changed. This doesn’t mean the flavors spoiled, it’s just different. So this is one piece of advice, if you are going to store a flavor for a long period of time, transfer the flavor to smaller bottles that will you will not have to open over and over again.

Also, when a flavor is warm, like if it’s a hot day, when you open the bottle even moreof the volatile molecules will escape; much more will escape than if the flavor was cool.This is true for all liquids, when liquids are heated the molecules are much more easily converted to their gaseous state. So in general it is a good idea to keep the flavor cool though refrigeration is not necessary.

Also, in general, it is best not to store these flavors long-term in soft (LDPE) plastic.

The plastic that we ship our 4 oz and 16oz sizes in is PET plastic, which is very resistantto interaction with the flavors. When we bottle our 4oz and 16oz flavors, we nitrogen flush them, this means that we remove the oxygen from the bottle and then seal them.This greatly extends the shelf life, when the flavor is not opened.However, most of our customers open the bottles and oxygen gets in, and the flavors may start to change over time.The recommendations about storing in plastic assumes the customer has opened the bottle.

Please know that it is not a good idea to store the flavors with plastic eyedropper caps on the bottles. The rubber that’s used with the eyedroppers is extremely soft and interacts with a great many materials. If you try to store your flavors with these rubber dropper caps attached you will most likely ruin both the caps and the flavors


Thanx for posting this. Ironically I was just thinking about some of my older flavors and whether to pitch them or not.


It’s a popular argument and lots of misconceptions, fridge, dark, cool, heat etc.
Thank you for posting it @jay210 I’ll definitely will translate it and put it in our forum over in Italy.
Cheers mate!


It will really depend on the actual flavour compounds artificial flavours vs extracts. I imagine they will behave differently.

Grab a 3 year old lotus flavour (rebottled MF) and test it against a fresh MF bottle and you will notice a big difference in strength.

Each to their own since a fridge wont hurt I will continue to use a fridge - I think it is variation in temperatures that will cause a flavour to become less potent.


Let me know where… I’ll dig into your garbage, don’t worry… :rofl::joy::rofl:


Yep. but I think they give enough info about the science behind their choices that we can quite easily extrapolate. eg they admit that it’s better to keep flavours cool, and explain exactly why, but they don’t think that refrigeration is necessary for TPA. With an highly expensive extract( that surely doesn’t contain EM) I think it follows that refrigeration is the best choice

They also say:

so , if even TPA are best stored in glass, then I think it surely follows that glass is imperative for your precious, volatile, organic extracts.

Finally, the last para provides a much-needed authoritative statement re. storing flavours with “eyedropper caps” on the bottles. And the same argument would surely apply equally to juices.

Me, I store all my MF in glass bottles, in the fridge. I’d probably do the same with the cheaper flavours too, except I do like to leave some room for some food . :crazy_face:

One thing iI get from this article is that glass is definitely best, PET next best, and LDPE a definite No-no.

I knew that already, but it’s really great to be backed up by TPA’s flavour experts, cos why should anybody take my word for it?

(…umm, but oh! dammit! cos i’m the one who posted the article, it looks like I’m just quoting myself. doesn’t it? . sheesh. :laughing: )


If you’re willing to make the long distance trip then you’re welcome to it. Please also bring a treat for my Cane Corso so she’s distracted before trying to rip into you. :sunglasses:


I read on a vendors blog …may have been bull city that the found a 5 year old bottle of a conc i think was a RF SC so they got a fresh one to compare made a single flavor mix an tested after a week…they said they did not really notice a difference in taste so was interesting also read they reason they put a expiration date on bottles is some thing to do with FDA but not all have a date either i checked i think if stored properly they will be ok


Don’t bet on that… I’m over to the US at least 6 times a year if not more often… but… I don’t particularly fancy arguing with a her…


Im with you on this … A fridge controls the temp all year around… Like you I have a dedicated fridge for my flavors . I read this article years ago when I first started DIY and actually called TFA and spoke to someone who said the fridge is not necessary but also not harmful. Walt from real flavors has also stated refrigeration is a good idea and the concentrates will last longer , I value his opinion on this subject … If a person has a place that is cool and dark all year around that they can store their flavora in great and good for that person ill continue with what has worked for me going on 4 years…


In my early days of mixing, I discovered this the hard way… had to pitch out a myriad of flavors which took on the smell of the rubber dropper caps. :confused: Expensive lesson learned… in part, for not taking the time to read and educate myself on the proper handling of flavor concentrates.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.”
~ Dr. Seuss :hugs:

Yeah… it happens… but, no big deal. Once out of the fridge for a few days and with a bit of agitation along the way, the crystallization disappears. :wink: Good to go.


I still have a bunch of flavors from my very first order, 5 years ago now, that I still use today. The majority of them are TFA, since they were more well known back then. I actually just used a few of them last week, out of curiosity, and they still do me fine. I also have some Capella too, that are 4-5 years old. I ended up throwing one of them away, only because it had zero smell to it.

Other than that, my stash is 2-5 years old now and the only [major] decline I have seen, has been in MF. I just started replacing the majority of my stash a couple weeks ago, only because I thought it was time, not because of quality. I have mentioned this a lot in the past years, and although there are companies out there that put a use by date on them (1 year or so), I think this is more for their turnover, than it is ours


Had to be something else. RF hasn’t been out that long. Extracts went live in August 2016.

And the SC’s are a very different animal to their original (and very short-lived) Extracts line.