Information on storing flour.
Most types of flour keep well in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark location. The original paper packaging used for many types of flour is fine for long term storage as long as the package has not been opened. Once open, the shelf life decreases. Many types of flour are now marketed in resealable plastic bags that increase shelf life.
The refrigerator is a very good storage area for flour, but the use of a sealed container is even more important to prevent the flour from absorbing moisture as well as odors and flavors from other foods stored in the refrigerator. The freezer compartment can be used for long-term storage, but when using a sealed container or a freezer bag, make sure it is full to eliminate as much air as possible. Most types of flour can also be tightly wrapped for freezer storage, but wrapping is often an awkward method for storing large quantities. Wrap the flour tightly in plastic followed by a layer of aluminum foil.
Avoid refrigerating or freezing flour in its original paper packaging because paper is porous and the flour may absorb moisture and odors, however if the flour has not been opened, the paper package can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer if the package is tightly wrapped with plastic.
Flour milled from whole grains does not keep as long as highly refined flour because the germ portion of the whole grain can cause the flour to become rancid over time. Flour that does not look or smell good should not be used. It is best to buy smaller quantities of flour if you are finding it necessary to continually discard the flour due to spoilage.
- The original paper packaging is fine for long term cabinet storage as long as the package has not been open.
- Most types of flour keep longer in a cool, dry cabinet if stored in a sealed plastic or glass container.
- The refrigerator is a very good storage area for flour, but the use of a sealed container is even more important to prevent the flour from absorbing moisture as well as odors and flavors from other foods stored in the refrigerator.
- The freezer is usually the best location for long term storage. Use sealed plastic containers or freezer bags for optimum freshness.
- Flour that does not look or smell good should not be used.
All Purpose Flour
Shelf- Life: For cabinet storage, up to 8 months if properly stored in a sealed container or if tightly wrapped, and for refrigerator storage, up to one year.
Shelf Life: Several months in a cool, dry cabinet when stored in a sealed container or if tightly wrapped, and up to one year in the freezer.
Shelf Life: Six months to one year in the freezer if stored in tightly sealed plastic containers or if tightly wrapped. It will keep for only a few months if stored in a cabinet.
A drawback with whole-wheat flour, regardless of the milling process, is that its shelf life is shorter than highly processed white flour varieties due to the presence of the wheat germ, resulting in an unsaturated oil content that is higher than refined flour. The potential for rancidity is greater if whole-wheat flour is kept for long periods and particularly if it is not stored under refrigerated conditions. It is best to store whole-wheat flour in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Published in: Homemaking