Caviar has a very short shelf life, which means that it needs to be treated in very specific ways in order to keep the quality that you’re looking for. Processing, pasteurization, storage, and air content will all affect the length of time that your caviar is going to be good.
If you get unopened, properly refrigerated, non-pasteurized malossol, you’ll be able to keep it for approximately one month before it will start to spoil. If the container is pasteurized or if you put it in a freezer instead you’ll be able to keep it for up to a year. Keep in mind that once any of these containers are opened and air gets into them they will start to dry out. Within three to seven days they will start losing flavor and texture and won’t taste the way you expect.
If you’re looking for a longer lifespan you can take a look at pressed caviar, which is also required to be refrigerated. If it’s highly-salted it could be shelf-stable, which increases the shelf life and may even get you several years of life before it starts to spoil.
Other commonly asked questions relating to caviar shelf life:
How long does caviar last when left unopened in the refrigerator?
A vacuum sealed container of caviar that is kept between 26◦ and 36◦F will last up to 6 weeks, though some may last only about 4 weeks. If you keep it for longer than a month you should understand that the flavor and the quality will start to decrease, even if the caviar is labeled for longer.
How long does pasteurized caviar last?
Pasteurized caviar that has been properly sealed will last approximately one year. But keep in mind that the pasteurization process will change the texture and flavor. It will be the safest you can find, however, as it does kill off bacteria and other contaminants that could get into the eggs.
How long can I freeze my caviar for?
If you choose to freeze caviar you can keep it for over a year. This is true for pasteurized and unpasteurized product. Keep in mind that there are some types of roe that do better in the freezer than others and any type of roe will decrease in flavor and texture when you go through the freezing and thawing process.
How long does caviar stay good after opening?
Once you have opened your caviar make sure that you consume it within 10 days. After this, you want to dispose of it. Even during this time, as oxygen gets into the eggs you will notice a change in the flavor and the texture. It can also start to attract other types of contaminants that could make it less safe.