Nature gives spices a remarkably protective cell structure. Whole spices, dried and stored, have been known to keep for many years and then deliver potent flavor when ground. Ground spices and herbs are more fragile, but when stored (cool, dry), they have a “life” adequate for any normal manufacturing and foodservice service kitchen needs (from six months to a year if necessary). The customer, however, should’t test their limits.

Here are some basic rules on storing and handling spices that will help protect your investments.