How to Tell if Lentils are Bad?

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Lentils are a staple of many vegetarian and vegan diets. Lentil can be used in soups, salads, side dishes, dips, and even desserts. Here’s how to tell if lentils are bad and what to look for when purchasing them.

How to Tell if Lentil is Bad

Lentils are great vegetables that have adorned our dinner tables for quite some time now. This trend is likely to go on for quite some time now. To be on the safe side, you should know just how to preserve it. To gain such knowledge, you should receive the necessary briefing and guidance.

Like all food, lentil can go bad if you are not careful to store them properly. While this vegetable is packaged with preservatives, bacteria can still grow on the lentil if there is any kind of damage or opening on the packaging. Since lentil is a perishable food, you need to make sure you store it correctly to extend its shelf life.

We prepare this article with the express purpose to do that. Here, we are going to identify and discuss some of the signs you may be on the lookout for if you want to ascertain whether indeed your lentils are in good shape or not.

How to Tell if Lentil is Bad?

To begin with, the signs vary greatly as per the state of the lentils. There are three main kinds of lentils i.e. the dry, cooked, and canned respectively. We break these kinds down and explain how each of them may behave when bad:

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A. Dry

Dried lentils have to bear the same great smell as normal lentils, lack any mold or any other thing that may compromise the quality thereof. There should no abnormal growths or any other deviations that may signify badness. Of utmost importance is that there should be no moisture.

These are the signs to look for when ascertaining whether dry lentils are bad or not:

  • The existence of mold may imply that water somehow seeped into the lentils and trigged some fungal growth.
  • Some foul smell that is definitely unpleasant to the nose
  • Bugs and insects in the package or bowl in which the lentils are placed

B. Cooked

Perfectly cooked lentils ought to appear well-cooked. It should be devoid of any mold or discolored parts as the damaged ones ordinarily do. Other than the pleasant appearance, such lentils must also exhibit some great taste that is great to the tongue. Any deviations from these constitute badness.

Here now are some of the signs to look out for:

  • White film that forms at the top of the lentils
  • A sharp, foul, and sour odor emanating from the lentils
  • Quite an unpleasant taste when the said lentils are put in the mouth
  • Some slight change of the color of the lentils from the ordinary

C. Canned

The container in which the lentils are placed has to be perfect with no leaks, dents, rust, or cleavage. That is the only guarantee that the interior contents are safe from all harm. Any existence of these automatically indicates that the lentils have been compromised in a way.

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Watch out for these signs hence:

  • Dents, rust, and leaks on the outside of the can may definitely signify some contamination
  • Abnormal smells when you eventually open the can to access the interior contents
  • Discoloration of the lentils
  • Existence of mold and other fungal growth
  • The pungent smell coming from the lentils when the can is eventually opened


There you have them! Owing to the potential dangers that spoilt lentils bring along, it is important for you not to compromise your standards. That can only happen if you read through and internalize the contents above to the letter. We wish you all the best in your scrutiny of the lentils.

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