Are Manufacturers Coating Their Dry Beans With Oil?

When I opened this bag of beans it smelled rancid. The expiration date is a year away. I never experienced this before. The beans themselves were shinier than normal and slightly slippery to the touch. Black beans are usually dusty. Not these.

There seems to be some kind of coating on them, something oily. There’s nothing in the ingredient list besides “black beans.” If they are, indeed, coated with oil (for what reason? to improve their visual appeal?) they should stop. I nearly threw them away thinking they were old or spoiled. I won’t be buying them again.

It’s not just beans that are being coated these days. I noticed that raisins are also extra shiny and oily to the touch. And they smell slightly rancid too. The ingredient list actually does say that sunflower oil has been added. Maybe they do it to keep them from drying out or clumping. This isn’t a trend I like to see.

Have you noticed anything else?

5 thoughts on “Are Manufacturers Coating Their Dry Beans With Oil?

    1. Bix Post author

      I knew someone would ask. It was Wegmans’ store brand. I went to a health food store near me and bought some black beans in bulk, came home and did a smell comparison. The bulk beans had no smell. The Wegman’s beans smelled like paint thinner and old socks (how rancidity has been described by some).

      Nothing on the label except black beans. No oil, no manufacturing coating, nothing. Perhaps it falls under a threshold for inclusion.

      I do have a pretty good sense of smell. My husband doesn’t as much, but he could smell it too.


  1. Melinda

    This is about oil naturally coming to the surface in coffee beans, but I wonder if the same thing might happen in drying legumes–the drying process does require some heat….? I don’t know.



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