Scientific Ways to Determine If Food is Off

Checking the freshness of foodSource: Pixabay

Is there anything more tense or traumatising than craving a cup of coffee and not knowing if the milk is off? You smell it, but can’t for the life of you recall what it’s supposed to smell like. You could just put it in your coffee and hope for the best, but that comes with a serious risk of a wasted cup of coffee. Yes, there is always checking the expiry date on the carton, but those can be notoriously inaccurate.

The truth is that expiry dates are, by confession of food packagers themselves, a rough estimate. But fear not, it turns out that there are solid, scientifically based way to tell if your food has expired. Read on to never have to face the deeply traumatising task of smelling off milk ever again.

Tossing Good Food Is Worst Of All

The Natural Resources Defence Council has estimated that billions is wasted annually due to Americans throwing away food they believe is off. But, according to research, much of this waste is due to expiry dates being taken at face value. In order to combat this loss of edible food, a list was compiled of alternative means by which to determine if food is really off. These are the most commonly needed methods:


Eggs are the sneakiest of all daily foods, being that they are housed within a shell. Cracking the shell pretty much means that the egg is going to be used. So, with no smelling technique possible, good eggs are often tossed out, simply to avoid risk. Here is the one trick you will ever need; bad eggs float, good eggs don’t.


Yogurt is unique in that it is based around a live bacterial culture. For this reason, it can stay good to eat for sometimes longer than expected, other times less. First, yogurt will often get a sharp, sour aroma when bad. Second, it will develop puddles of liquid on the surface. Do keep in mind though that some liquid on the surface is normal.


Most don’t have a problem telling if raw beef has gone off, but it never hurts to be reminded. The simple tried and trusted method is the smell, but a secondary test is that a film of slime will develop on the surface of the meat.


Raw fish goes off very quickly. Within 36 hours after being purchased, by most estimates. This is mostly why sushi is so expensive, and if you want to enjoy a really good meal you may need to win big playing at casinos online first in order to afford some of the pricier fish delights! Telling if fish has gone off is the same as beef, via odour and a coating of slime.

Vegetables And Fruit

Fresh green vegetables will gradually turn yellow upon starting to go off. Though, according to most, this does not mean that they need be thrown out immediately. Vegetables can still be salvaged, simply by cutting off the yellowing parts. The same can be said for fruit, which is similarly salvageable, and will still taste just fine. If fruit gets mushy however, and starts to get that sharp smell, it’s probably best to toss it out. Or, cut it up and put it out for the birds.


Last but not least is bread. Bread, as most are aware, gets mouldy when it’s not fresh. Be sure to look for fine white mould, which will give off a distinct odour. Bread is porous by nature, which means that mould can grow out of sight. As such, just because mould is present on one slice and not the other, it doesn’t mean that the mould hasn’t grown inside. If one slice is mouldy, the loaf should be binned.

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