Does Cornmeal Go Bad? Things You Need To Be Aware Of
Are you on a gluten-free diet? If yes then you are also familiar with cornmeal which is considered as a wheat flour alternative. Along with being familiar with cornmeal, are you also familiar with its shelf life? Does cornmeal go bad? How about the signs of spoiled cornmeal? Do you know how to store cornmeal properly? If you want to learn all these things then continue reading this article.
What is Cornmeal?
Cornmeal is a flour that is made by simply grinding up the dried kernels of corn. There are some recipes that might need the use of cornmeal. For example, most pizza recipes would have both flours as well as cornmeal on the surface once the dough is shaped.
Along with this, cornmeal has this ability to keep the dough from sticking at the same time will add some crunch into its crust.
Though considered as a common pantry item, cornmeal might not be used more than a few times every month. You might think that flours do have an indefinite shelf life, but oh this isn’t true! You should be aware of the fact that there are factors affecting the shelf life of the flours, cornmeal in particular.
Does Cornmeal Go Bad?
So, does cornmeal go bad? Well, cornmeal can go bad like all other flours out there. In its original paper, wax or cardboard packaging from the store, the shelf life of the cornmeal is around a year, whether it is opened or not. So, you have to consume the cornmeal prior to the said shelf life as it might go bad once consumed past the said duration.
But of course, there could be ways on how to extend its shelf life. With proper storage, the cornmeal will remain sealed from insects, moisture, mold spores and other possible contaminants. Again, bear in mind that cornmeal indeed goes bad.
What Happens to The Flavor, Texture, And Color?
There will be a change in cornmeal once you store it past its expiration date. The cornmeal will indeed lose some of the sweet natural corn flavor once stored a longer period of time.
And also, the natural oils in the cornmeal which act typically as the natural preservative might turn rancid leading the cornmeal to taste off in terms of its flavor. Indeed, it is recommended that you use the cornmeal as soon as possible so that it taste at its best.
With regards to the color and texture, cornmeal will hold its color and texture once stored properly in airtight containers.
But, if you choose to leave it in the original packaging and store it away from the pantry for about a year or two then there will be a change in color and texture. The color could be moldy along with black spots as well as clumpy in texture so it may be harmful to use.
Signs of Spoiled Cornmeal
Along with being familiar with whether cornmeal goes bad, there is also a need for you to be aware of those signs of spoiled cornmeal. This item is a subject to different forms of spoilage. Some things to observe are the following:
Once the grain becomes very moist, mold might grow. There are also cases wherein excess moisture could lead to fermentation. You should definitely discard the cornmeal once there is any sign of mold or once the cornmeal appears to be sticky and wet.
Knowing the fact that cornmeal is made from a whole grain, there could be a bit of fat that is present and would be rancid eventually. There is a need for proper storage in order to slow down this process.
Once cornmeal is not stored in a tightly-sealed container or once it is exposed to a warm environment, it might be rancid a lot faster. So, rancid corn would have a strong unpleasant or bitter smell and must not be consumed at all.
Presence of Insects
Insect contamination might also be considered as another issue of spoilage. These signs include eggs present in the little pockets of the grain, actual larvae and adult insects and a chalky or dusty appearance to the cornmeal.
You must be aware of these insects as they might cause the cornmeal to be spoiled or go bad.
How to Properly Store Cornmeal?
Now that you have learned some of the signs you must look after, there is also a need for you to learn how to properly store cornmeal, therefore, extending its shelf life. It is usual that cornmeal could be bought from the store in a tightly sealed plastic or paper bag or in a packaged container.
From The Packaging to Tightly-Sealed Container
With this, make sure that you move the item to a new destination into a tightly sealed and airtight container or a glass jar. And make sure to check the quality of the cap or the lid for it not to suffer from any damage or might not easily break too.
Place At a Room Temperature
Next thing to consider is to place the cornmeal to an area that is at room temperature. Some great options are in the kitchen cabinet, closed pantry or cellar since they are relatively cool and dark as well. Indeed, you have to make sure that you keep the cornmeal away from harmful outside elements.
Avoid Exposure to Certain Elements
And finally, make sure that the cornmeal is not exposed to certain elements like sunlight, water, heat, oxygen and more. If not avoided, moisture, wetness, and insects might seep into the container or bag of cornmeal and leads to going bad prematurely.
Again, if you want your cornmeal to have its longest shelf life then it is wise that you store it properly. Yes, there is a fact that cornmeal does go bad but if you have an abundance of it and you want to use it for a long period of time, proper storage is the key.
The above-mentioned information is indeed helpful in answering the question “does cornmeal go bad”. If you have something to say about the post, we are happy to ready your thoughts below!