Does Flour Expire?
Flour is one of the foods that are considered staples in the kitchen. It often happens that we have a half-opened package that is still stored for months or even years. In this case, we often wonder whether the flour expires or not and whether it is safe to eat it or not. All foods have a date on their packaging to show the consumer that they are safe. After this date, they generally begin to lose quality. In the case of flour, the shelf life can vary greatly depending on the origin or degree of processing.
In the following oneHOWTO article, you will learn if flour expires, how to store it and how to tell if it is spoiled.
Does flour expire?
In the case of flour, we have a best-before date and not an expiration date, because it has a long shelf life as long as it is stored in optimal conditions. So, technically, flour does not expire, but it does go bad.
The most common shelf life is 90 days, as flours tend to lose quality after these three months. However, the shelf life of flour can vary greatly depending on the degree of processing and origin.
White flour can be kept in good quality for one year if stored at room temperature and for two years if stored in the freezer or refrigerator. Rice flour and potato flour have a shelf life of six to eight months. Sourdough flour, to which a type of yeast is added, only four to six months. Finally, corn flour has a shelf life of one to two years.
Continue reading this other article if you want to know how to make rice flour at home.
Can you use expired flour?
Eating flour after the best-before date does not pose a health risk as long as it still looks good. However, you should keep in mind that there is a small chance that rancid flour can cause symptoms of food poisoning such as stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Even if the flour is not spoiled, but time has passed after the recommended date, the quality of the flour may affect the quality of some preparations that may not achieve the desired result when using this flour. If it is self-swelling flour that contains baking powder, expired flour will result in baked goods that will not rise.
How do I know if flower has expired?
You know the flour is spoiled and no longer fit for consumption if it smells rancid.
Flour should also not be consumed if it is infested with insects, that is, if it has small brown or black spots in the flour or holes and cracks in the bag.
Also remember that flour should be white or cream colored, have a smooth, dry texture and a neutral aroma. It may have some lumps, but these should dissolve easily when the flour slides through your fingers. If the flour is gray or yellowish and contains lumps due to moisture, it's time to throw it away.
Continue reading this other article if you want to know what is the difference between regular flour and all purpose flour.
What is the best way to store flour?
It is recommended to store flours in cool, dry cabinets. If the original container is still intact, it is best to keep it there. Another option is to put the container in a plastic bag.
On the other hand, some experts assure that freezing flour prevents it from becoming rancid and infested by insects. To do this, you need to put this food in an airtight bag and then remove as much air as possible. After that, you can seal the bag and put it in the freezer. Every time you need it, take the bag out of the freezer and wait until it reaches room temperature.
In this quick and easy way you can keep this food for several months and not have to give up preparing your favorite desserts or breads.
Continue reading this other article if you want to know what is the difference between self-raising flour and plain flour.
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- Expiration dates and preferential consumption | OCU. Available at: https://www.ocu.org/alimentacion/seguridad-alimentaria/noticias/fechas-caducidad-y-consumo-preferente