It’s amazing how smooth white powder turns into various pastry products such as bread, cakes, and other foods. Flour is obtained through grinding specific roots or grains. This is how flour is made. It’s a common ingredient in preparing or creating staple foods and other delightful desserts. But is it safe to use flour that’s been in your kitchen for a long time? Does flour go bad?
With sudden temperature or climate changes as well as other factors, it is beneficial for homeowners to see whether a particular food ingredient will be safe for the family or not. This is why checking all the food ingredients is crucial.
What Does Flour Do?
Flour has surprising uses. It is typically one of the important ingredients in creating pastries or baking. It’s utilized as thickening agents. A kind of flour, the wheat flour, clutches the oils, eggs, milk, and other wet ingredients together. This is made possible through a protein referred to as gluten.
Gluten, which provides structure and texture to the dough, is created when you combined it with water. Though particularly high or strong gluten is needed in creating chewy cookies and yeast bread, it would not be similar to pastries, cakes, and others.
Having more than needed gluten will just make the baked product a tough good. If you want to know how to mix bread flour, watch here.
During the baking process, the dough’s moisture begins the starch gelatinization. This now caused the crust and crumb formation.
When there’s more moisture in your dough, your bread will have a crisper crust since there’s sufficient starch gel. Another use of flour is dusting pans. This way, baked products will not stick and since they coated vegetables, fish, and meats. Moreover, flour has varied nutritional properties.
Does Flour Go Bad?
With several uses of flour in your everyday meal, you should know whether flour goes bad or not. Similar to other foods or food ingredients in your kitchen, flour also has an expiration date, which means it actually goes bad.
It has a shelf life that could be dependent on how you store it. So the answer to the question “does flour go bad” is yes, it does go bad.
Signs That Flour Has Gone Bad
How would you tell if the flour you’re supposed to use has gone bad or it’s still safe to use? You can identify the flour condition through its smell and texture. If the flour you’re holding is spoiled, there will be a rancid smell.
The other types of flour can deteriorate easily and tend to develop a rancid smell afterward. You can also confirm that it goes bad by tasting it. When there’s a moldy and sharp smell, it’s positive that the flour is not good to use.
If there are also tiny bugs lingering onto your flour, it’s a sign that you need to discard your existing flour. After noticing it, it’s important to sanitize or disinfect your pantry to eliminate the bugs completely.
How Long Does Flour Last?
Flour can be categorized into varied types. Each flour types have a different expiration date. Below is the approximate shelf life of each of the following categories of flour.
- Rice flour can last for six to eight months
- Flour can last for six to eight months
- Cornmeal can last for nine to twelve months
- Self-rising flour can last for four to six months
- Potato flour can last for six to eight months
- Whole wheat flour can last for four to six months
Whole Wheat Flour – When Does It Go Bad?
This kind of flour is known to be made from whole wheat. Known to be the most common type of flour used by the majority, whole Wheat flour has several nutritional benefits, but it can be harder for you to keep or store it. The wheat germs, which contains a healthy but perishable oil, is embedded in this whole wheat grain.
When this type of flour becomes exposed to temperature and air, the flour will eventually become spoiled or rotten. That is why it’s advisable to keep it at a cool temperature to lengthen its lifespan. On the other hand, if you store it at room temperature, it could quickly be spoiled.
How are you going to determine whether whole wheat flour goes bad? Typically, your whole senses must be involved. The following are the steps on how to do it.
- You can smell the wheat flour. Good flour smell odorless while the bad one has a sharp or mild sour smell.
- Get an ample amount of flour and examine whether there are any changes in texture as well as color. When you got fresh flour, expect a tan light color, and smooth texture. On the other hand, when it’s a rotten one, you’ll notice that it’s quite dark and crumbled.
- Another is through your taste buds. Get a small amount of it and taste it. If the flour in your kitchen is a good flour, it will have a nutty taste. But if flour goes bad, it will have a sharp moldy taste.
How To Store Flour?
Aside from the standard shelf life of flour, you should also be aware of the expiration date or “best before date” label on the flour. How you store the flour can make a great difference in making the flour last longer.
Though you can’t prevent the flour from perishing, what you can do is to prevent its immediate expiration by effectively keeping or storing it. Flour goes bad easily when you put it in an unfavorable place. That is why you need to store it in an airtight or sealed container. Keeping it in a flour jar is also ideal.
Facts To Deal With When Storing Flour
- It’s ideal to store the flour at a cool or room temperature rather than keeping it in a warm room or place.
- When you store flour in a refrigerator or freezer, its shelf life will surely extend. When doing so, put the flour in a sealed container first. This will let the flour avoid any contaminating odor from your fridge.
- If the package of your flour becomes moist, the flour quickly goes bad. When this happens, you had better put the container in a sealed container and discard the moist package.
- If white flour already expires, it becomes completely dry.
- When you purchased flour with an unopened bag, you can keep or store it in its package and just seal it again with another plastic bag.
- Proper storage will let you save a lot for food expenses.
Tips For Storing Flour
- Purchase an ample amount of flour that would be sufficient to cover your cooking needs. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t cook a lot using flour, you can just choose to buy flour in small packs. This will prevent you from wasting flour and money.
- When storing flour in your fridge, it’s vital to minimize the space. With this, purchasing a square flour container will enable you to consume space less than 25 percent. This is great if you store several foods in your fridge.
- Refrigeration will be able to extend the lifespan of your flour by about fifty percent.
Extending Storage Life
- It’s beneficial to store the wheat flour in your fridge for it to last longer. Other kinds of flour can safely be stored in your pantry provided that it’s placed in a tightly closed container.
- Entire types of flour can prevent from going bad when they are placed or kept in a dry and cool place. You can store it whether in your pantry, freezer, sealed container, or refrigerator.
- You will be able to extend the whole grain’s shelf life when you put it in the freezer or fridge.
Any food you eat may have good or bad effects on your health which is why you should be mindful of everything most especially its raw ingredients. Regarding flour, having an awareness or knowing how to identify when or how a flour goes bad is essential in securing the safety of your health. You can easily avoid foodborne diseases when you can quickly tell whether the flour is good, rotten, or spoiled.
It’s perfectly normal for flour to go bad. But you could always prevent it from spoiling easily by minding how you store it. Though you can’t prevent it from rotting, you can extend its life through proper storage. An ideal storing place is your freezer or refrigerator. Also, always remember that the main enemy of flour is moisture.
Among the types of flour, whole wheat flour goes bad faster than others. So it’s good to take proper precautions when storing it. When you store it right, you can extend its shelf life longer, and you can save money from it. You can also have the right kind of flour for your cooking.
If you have further queries, just leave your comments below. Hope you enjoy it reading! Stay tuned with Cookingispassio. Happy cooking!
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