Does Tang Powder Expire?

Tang powdered drink mix is a popular orange-flavored beverage that has been around for decades.

Does Tang Powder Expire

But does it ever go bad? Let's take a closer look at the shelf life and expiration of Tang powder.

How Long Does Unopened Tang Powder Last?

Unopened containers of Tang powder have a very long shelf life. The manufacturer recommends using Tang powder before the "best by" date stamped on the package.

However, Tang powder will typically stay fresh for 12-24 months past this date, as long as it is properly stored in a cool, dry place. The key is keeping it away from heat, light, and moisture.

Once opened, Tang powder will last about 6 months before quality starts to degrade. Make sure to reseal the container after each use to keep out moisture.

Key Takeaway: Unopened Tang can safely be consumed for up to 2 years past the best by date, if stored properly.

Does Tang Powder Go Bad?

Tang powder is made mostly of sugar and citric acid, which are natural preservatives. This allows Tang to have an incredibly long shelf life compared to other beverage mixes.

Over time, Tang can lose its flavor, color, or develop hard clumps if exposed to humidity. But it does not necessarily spoil or become unsafe to drink.

Pay attention to any changes in texture, consistency or appearance. If the powder is discolored, rock hard, or smells off, it has probably gone bad and should be discarded.

Key Takeaway: Tang powder does not truly expire, but its quality deteriorates over time. Discard if hardened, discolored or foulsmelling.

Signs Tang Powder Has Gone Bad

Here are some signs that your Tang powder may have spoiled and should be thrown out:

  • Clumping/Hardening: Powder is rock-hard and difficult to break up, even after adding moisture
  • Color Change: Orange color has faded or turned brownish
  • Off Odors: Smells stale, musty or unpleasant
  • Mold: Presence of fuzzy growth on powder or container

If your Tang powder exhibits any of these characteristics, it is best not to drink it. Stick to fresh Tang powder that appears smooth, evenly colored, and smells pleasantly orange.

Key Takeaway: Clumping, color changes, foul smells and mold indicate Tang powder has spoiled and should be discarded.

Can Expired Tang Make You Sick?

Consuming expired Tang powder is unlikely to cause illness in most people. Again, Tang consists mostly of non-perishable ingredients like sugar, citric acid, artificial flavors and colors.

However, expired Tang that has been contaminated with bacteria or mold can potentially cause stomach upset, nausea or diarrhea if ingested. Children, pregnant women, elderly and immunocompromised individuals are most at risk for illness.

When in doubt, follow the old adage - "When in doubt, throw it out.” Don’t take chances with spoiled food products.

How to Store Tang Powder Properly

To maximize freshness and shelf life of Tang powder:

  • Store container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
  • Keep tightly sealed after opening to prevent moisture absorption
  • Avoid storage in humid environments which can cause clumping
  • Refrigeration can extend shelf life after opening, but is not required

Key Takeaway: Store Tang powder in a cool, dry place. Keep tightly sealed and avoid humidity to prevent clumping.

Proper storage keeps Tang tasting fresher for longer!

Does Tang Expire if Frozen?

Freezing is not required for Tang powder. But it can help extend shelf life beyond the best by date.

Frozen Tang powder will maintain quality for up to 2-3 years in an airtight container. Allow to thaw completely before using.

Freezing prevents moisture absorption and humidity exposure that can cause clumping. Just be sure to reseal the container tightly after each use.


Can you drink expired Tang powder?

Most likely yes, if stored properly. Unopened, expired Tang powder that still appears smooth and evenly colored should be safe to consume, though it may have lessened flavor.

How long can Tang powder last after opening?

Around 6 months after opening, if stored in a cool, dry place. Keep the container tightly sealed. Refrigeration can prolong shelf life.

Does Tang powder need to be refrigerated after opening?

Refrigeration can help extend the shelf life after opening, but is not required. Room temperature storage is fine as long as the container is properly sealed.

Can humidity affect Tang powder?

Yes. Exposure to moisture and humidity can cause Tang powder to clump and harden over time. Store in a dry environment.

Can you freeze Tang powder?

Yes. Freezing can extend the shelf life of Tang powder up to 2-3 years past the best by date when kept frozen in an airtight container.

Does Tang powder contain vitamin C?

No. Tang powder does not naturally contain vitamin C, though some varieties are fortified with added ascorbic acid. Check the label for vitamin content.


Tang powder can safely be consumed well past the best by date due to its shelf-stable formula high in sugar and citric acid. Unopened containers maintain quality up to 2 years past the date if stored properly.

Once opened, use Tang powder within 6 months and watch for changes in texture, smell or appearance that may indicate spoilage. Discard any Tang that has hardened, lost color or smells off.

Proper, dry storage helps maximize Tang's freshness and shelf life. And freezing can extend it even further while preventing moisture absorption issues.

So while Tang powder doesn't exactly "expire," its quality does slowly decline over time. Use your best judgment to determine if your Tang powder has been stored optimally and still tastes pleasant before enjoying a glass of this nostalgic orange drink!

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

My name is Sarah and I'm a baker who loves trying out new recipes and flavor combinations. I decided to challenge myself to use a new spice or ingredient powder in my baking each week for a year. Some successes were the cardamom sugar cookies, vivid turmeric cake, and beetroot chocolate cupcakes. Failures included the bitter neem brownies and overwhelmingly hot ghost pepper snickerdoodles. Through this experience I've discovered amazing additions to spice up desserts while learning how to balance strong flavors. Follow my journey as I push the boundaries of baking with unique powders!

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