Swedish snus is moist to semi-moist and made of ground tobacco, water, salt, and additives. The shelf life of Swedish Snus depends on its ingredients, in particular on water content. If the snus is kept longer time on a shelf, the moisture level in snus will decrease and quality will deteriorate. Therefore, moist snus has a limited shelf life and should not keep at room temperature for more than a couple of weeks. Dry portion packs, however, do not have this limitation.
The general recommendation of the snus manufacturer is to keep moist Snus smokeless tobacco products in the refrigerator. This enables the Snus will then be very stable and can be kept for several weeks even for months. It will also minimize the formation of nitrosamines.
Snus can also be frozen, which is good for you, living outside of Sweden, if you want to keep snus for more than a month. You can it as frozen for at least a year. To avoid frozen Snus from drying out you should freeze it in a freezing bag. Thawing of Snus in cardboard cans should be done in a refrigerator, thus eliminating the condensation water to dissolve the glue in the can. Plastic cans are not sensitive to external moisture. Storage changes
Changes that might occur when Snus is stored for some time include changes that are typical for many foodstuffs.
- Drying out, i.e. evaporation of water.
- Flavour changes due to aging phenomena.
- The growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria or mold.
Drying affects all products with high water content and is prevented with a watertight package. Snus has fairly high water content, normally between 50 - 60 %. Thus, a minor loss of water does not affect the consistency very much. In Sweden, loose Snus is packed in paraffin-coated cardboard can, which under normal distribution conditions is good enough to keep the moisture. Moist pouch products are more sensitive to drying and are therefore packed in the tighter plastic cans.
Preserved Snus in Refrigerator
Both loose and portion snus must be preserved in the refrigerator, otherwise, flavor changes result in deterioration of taste and aroma characteristics of the product. The Snus might get a stale aroma and taste. These changes are caused by reactions with oxygen from the air, reactions which are very dependent on temperature. We recommend always keeping Swedish Snus refrigerated for any longer periods.
Shelf life problems due to the growth of micro-organisms are rare. The pasteurization process during manufacturing normally denatures the natural microflora originating from the tobacco. However, as with pasteurized milk, the pasteurization process will not render the Snus completely sterile. Under warm storing conditions there remains a small risk of bacteria growth. We have, however, never found any pathogenic bacteria in Snus. Follow these snus tips to enjoy the aroma and taste even in very warm climate.