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How long does flour last ?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 396816
United Kingdom
04/11/2008 01:35 PM
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How long does flour last ?
I brought a load of flour the other day and the best before date was Jan 09

but how much longer can flour last ?

I know that pasta can last a good year past the sell by date but need info on flour can anyone help or give storage tips ?

cheers
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 395772
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04/11/2008 01:46 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
biggest issue is bugs, oxygenation, and moisture.

put it in the freezer for a few days to kill anything, then store it in an oxygen delpeted container that lets no sunlight in at a regulated temperature preferably slightly below room temperature.

Freezing kills living organisims, I dont believe it kills eggs.

You can use oxygen absorbing packets, or dry ice to remove the oxygen.

If you can get it into a big mylar bag, you can also throw in some diamitacious earth on the bottom of a bucket below the bag to absorb moisture in the container.

Bay leaves are known to help with bugs - they dont like them, so you can layer them in the flour. Its not a perfect solution though.

If you plan on rotating it rather than long term storage, store it in several smaller bags so you dont risk the entire load.
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 01:48 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
I can only give you an opinion...Having been a small grocery store owner.

Flour should last for several years after expire date. But you need to take precautions on keeping the bugs out of it.

That is hard to do sometimes though because as bad as it sounds - sometimes flour already has but eggs in it When you buy it.

Keeping it frozen would be your best bet or at least keep it refrigerated.
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 01:52 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Agree to what the others said, but since I've already got mine typed, I'll post it.

Depends on what type and how you store it. Wheat flour doesn't store well and should always be refrigerated. White flour lasts quite a while.

Cool and dry gives the longest storage time. If you buy quantities, you'd want to break it down in smaller size food storage bags, freeze for a few days, (to kill any bugs or eggs), bring to room temperature, then store in an airtight container.

I've used flour that's been in the freezer almost 2 yrs. later. If it's not in the freezer, it's best to use it within 6-8 months. Even if it gets too old, there's no need to throw it away. It makes a great plant dust. Bugs don't like white flour.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 396816
United Kingdom
04/11/2008 01:52 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
biggest issue is bugs, oxygenation, and moisture.

put it in the freezer for a few days to kill anything, then store it in an oxygen delpeted container that lets no sunlight in at a regulated temperature preferably slightly below room temperature.

Freezing kills living organisims, I dont believe it kills eggs.

You can use oxygen absorbing packets, or dry ice to remove the oxygen.

If you can get it into a big mylar bag, you can also throw in some diamitacious earth on the bottom of a bucket below the bag to absorb moisture in the container.

Bay leaves are known to help with bugs - they dont like them, so you can layer them in the flour. Its not a perfect solution though.

If you plan on rotating it rather than long term storage, store it in several smaller bags so you dont risk the entire load.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 395772


wow you know your stuff ,very impressive IMO

but say if the best before date is Jan 09,it must last a bit longer than that,what do you reckon ? maybe another year maybe ?

btw

as far as i can see, pasta stores better and lasts much longer than flour,i found some pasta in the back of the cuboard the other day with a June 03 best before date,im going to cook it up and see if its fit to eat later on

from my take, pasta is the way to go,less hassle anyway thanks for the info M8
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 03:03 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
REALLY - I cant imagine pasta EVER going bad with a little care - again, oxygen and BUGS. But if this is for long term storage and emergeny prep, you'll want a bit of flour, so dont cut that out completely. It has other uses beyond baking, but heck even making little campfire flatbreads is a nice addition to a boring food stoarage menu.

If its white flour Id give it several years beyond its sell by, but Id also take care to store it correctly. Theres nothing worse than opening up a stoage container to find it infested and useless.
F.B.Nyte
User ID: 367872
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04/11/2008 03:37 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
White Flour

*

6 to 12 months
*

Storage Tip #1: Store in a cool, dry place. It's important to store flour in an airtight container or freezer bag to preserve the flour's moisture content. Exposure to low or high humidity will affect the flour's moisture content and may influence the outcome of a recipe.
*

Storage Tip #2: For longer storage, keep white flours in the refrigerator in an airtight container. All-purpose and bread flour will keep up to two years at 40 F in your refrigerator, according to the Wheat Foods Council <www.wheatfoods.org>. They can be stored indefinitely in the freezer.
*

Storage Tip #3: As a general rule, if measuring flour from refrigerated or frozen flour, allow your measured portion to come to room temperature before using it in baked goods. Remove the flour for your recipe a few hours before use, so it doesn't affect the action of other ingredients such as baking powder or yeast.
-----------------------------------

I keep mine in the freezer.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 396816
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04/11/2008 03:58 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Thanks for the replys people,i didnt know about bugs living in flour


but the way i see it,to store flour in the freezer is a bonus but if the grid goes down,all freezer food defrosts

Guess what ?,i have just cooked some pasta that i found in the back of the cuboard with a best before date of June 03its good to eat still,tastes A1 perfect after 5 years

Pasta keeps for freakin years and is easy to store,ill have flour as well but pasta has to be the No1 food item to stock up on in my book and tinned food

Also,i am getting some bottled gas to cook with,for £60 of gas i can survive for 2 years by my maths(cooking only) thats a bargain in anyones book

when the system goes down and if the electric/gas grid goes down i am sorted,i will be literally ready for anything

btw

up stairs for thinking

down stairs for dancing

nudge,nudge,wink,wink
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 04:04 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
You need to buy some dicotimous earth. Don't know if I spelled that right. It's a type of edible soil that kills eggs in flour, and thos dessicants in a food grade bucket. it will last a few years. Absolutely NO moisture and white lasts longer than other types as husks are removed and they are oily, and so turn rancid quicker.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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04/11/2008 04:12 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
I would prefer to eat bread than pasta

but storing flour seems to be a pain in the ass

rice and pasta keeps soooooooooooooooo much longer so they are the better option

also it take less energy to cook pasta and rice,something to be aware of
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 04:14 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
It eventually becomes infested with very tiny mite-like insects. You need a very good magnifying glass to see them. As it becomes infested it begins to smell different than fresh flower.
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 04:14 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
It eventually becomes infested with very tiny mite-like insects. You need a very good magnifying glass to see them. As it becomes infested it begins to smell different than fresh flour.
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 04:16 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
It eventually becomes infested with very tiny mite-like insects. You need a very good magnifying glass to see them. As it becomes infested it begins to smell different than fresh flower.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 411199



ewwww...


but can't we just cook the flour and they die anyway... still edible? or does the flour turn brown?

when tshtf i don't know if i'll care to look with a magnifieing glass... I'm sure if i looked with a magnifieying glass with other foods I wouldn't eat them either.
Anonymous Coward
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04/11/2008 04:18 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
I would prefer to eat bread than pasta

but storing flour seems to be a pain in the ass

rice and pasta keeps soooooooooooooooo much longer so they are the better option

also it take less energy to cook pasta and rice,something to be aware of
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 396816


You could use your flour to make your pasta. If you prefer bread, it's simple to make your own tortillas, and they can be cooked on top of any makeshift heat source and don't take long. Good to diversify though. If you're storing rice, you also need to freeze it for a short while to kill off any buggies. hf
Wraithwynd

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04/11/2008 04:47 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Bleached, white flour will last about 2 years in a sealed, dry dark place.

Whole wheat lasts about 6 months. Whole wheat contains oils - oil goes rancid rather quickly.

Nutritionally White flour (enriched with vitamins) immediately starts losing its nutritional value. Vitamins degrade over time. They are essentially 'living' chemicals which break down, lose potency and eventually (like 5 years down the road) the flour will become empty of vitamins.

This is why bottled vitamin pills have such a short expiration date - they break down and lose potency. At the time of their expiration date they are about half as potent as when they were first made.
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Anonymous Coward
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07/09/2009 07:57 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Bumping for others that are wondering how to store flours.

I've made a few mistakes, bbacktracking now, pulling out rices, beans and flours to freeze for a few days each. From what I have read, they need to be re-frozen again, to kill any eggs that may still hatch.

I vaccuem sealed all my foods to discover afterwards I lost space in my five gallon buckets! Due to having to store all of this in a very hot room, I am banking on ozygen being removed from vaccuem-sealing, and using a few ozygen absorbers.

Anyone have any sugggestions or tips, please add!
Anonymous Coward
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07/09/2009 11:22 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
I have a manual grinder. Just curious how long whole wheat berries last and how to store them.

I've used the grinder to make wheat flour with small quantities of whole wheat berries but haven't stored large quantities of them.

The whole wheat berries can also be ground into a cereal consistency and made into hot cereal like a cream of wheat or wheatina meal.

If I remember right they can also be sprouted so I'm thinking instead of storing flour I will store whole wheat berries instead.

But not sure on how well they store. Does anybody know?
hardboiledheretic

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07/09/2009 11:24 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Flour lasts a long time, but I don't bake very much so I keep it in my freezer and it's always been okay.

h
aLeopards

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07/09/2009 11:34 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Hey why the heck aren't there pasta tortillas already. oh yeah those would be named giant ravioli - go get!
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Winningjob

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07/09/2009 11:34 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Flour lasts a long time, but I don't bake very much so I keep it in my freezer and it's always been okay.

h
 Quoting: hardboiledheretic

hiya h! Good thing to hear as I still have a 50 pound bag of flour and bread machine that I have been saving.
hardboiledheretic

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07/10/2009 12:56 AM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Flour lasts a long time, but I don't bake very much so I keep it in my freezer and it's always been okay.

h

hiya h! Good thing to hear as I still have a 50 pound bag of flour and bread machine that I have been saving.
 Quoting: Winningjob


Have you used your bread machine yet WJ? I love mine.

It's really fresh and delicious.

Just take out 2-3 cups or so out of the freezer and let it warm up, what ever your bread machine recipe says.

Maybe this weekend I'll make some too.


h
Anonymous Coward
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07/10/2009 01:00 AM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
I second the diatomacious earth suggestion. Just make sure it is FOOD GRADE!! Also, in the future, consider purchasing wheat berries instead of already processed flour. Wheat berries last considerably longer than processed flour...just make sure you have a manual grain mill to process the berries into flour.
Anonymous Coward
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07/10/2009 01:00 AM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
It can get microscopic mites in it. You need a good magnifying glass to see them. They make the flour taste and smell different. charlie
Anonymous Coward
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02/18/2010 09:42 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Thank you very much with the help on this subject, most of you have answered my question "How to store flour and how long dose it last". But one more question, why would anyone give their opinion on this subject when they really dont use flour? Oh well thank you anyway
Anonymous Coward
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02/18/2010 10:17 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
until you see the meal worms
Anonymous Coward
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02/18/2010 11:08 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
for as long as you have it
Anomalous
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02/18/2010 11:17 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
for as long as you have it
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 894922

1/24th of a flay?
Monarch

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02/19/2010 12:51 AM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
I just get the freezer bags and put a 5 lb.bag of flour in it(usually I can maneuver a 5 lb. bag into a 1 Qt. freezer bag).
I was buying the exspensive flour (King Arthur's or whatever it's called) and just realized the Gold Medal Bread Flour is just as good, unbleached and unbromided.
Half the price.
Just discovered Walmart has the best price on RapidRise Yeast for Bread. The jars are 1/2 the price of Grocery stores (must be refridgerated after opening, and brought to room temp before putting in with flour, for those that have'nt tried bread machines yet).
I've decided to take out the mixing blade in the bottom just after the last kneading cycle so I don't have holes in the middle of the bread anymore!

Last Edited by Monarch on 02/19/2010 12:51 AM
John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions;the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences-Proverbs22:3
<><


[link to www.teslasociety.com]

U.S. Supreme Court decision (Case #369 decided June 21, 1943)

[link to www.ntesla.org]
Anonymous Coward
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02/19/2010 12:53 AM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Flour is most often rancid by the time you bring it home...to be honest you just have to smell it and you can tell if it's turned.
Monarch

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02/19/2010 12:56 AM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
Flour lasts a long time, but I don't bake very much so I keep it in my freezer and it's always been okay.

h

hiya h! Good thing to hear as I still have a 50 pound bag of flour and bread machine that I have been saving.
 Quoting: Winningjob


You better get that in the freezer or in a bucket with D. earth (food grade) :)!

The express bake is probably the best cycle to start with, takes twice as much yeast, but quick if you can't spend alot of time (usually about 58 Min. for white bread).

Hey Winningjob still with the MLM too?
Not me, I went higher :). Same product :)!


Hi, Rubylocks!

Last Edited by Monarch on 02/19/2010 01:01 AM
John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions;the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences-Proverbs22:3
<><


[link to www.teslasociety.com]

U.S. Supreme Court decision (Case #369 decided June 21, 1943)

[link to www.ntesla.org]
justcallmesnake
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03/24/2011 11:53 PM
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Re: How long does flour last ?
you folks have been living in civilization too long my great aunt bought 50 pound sack of flour placed in a chest freezer had a 3 gallon metal can she filled she mixed all the ingredients for biscuits in a hollow in the flour took out the dough from the can and sifted around the area she mixed in and kept a bit to flour the wood cutting board tossed the hard flakes in the trash then rolled out the dough 1 inch thick and used an old jelly glass to cut out the biscuits put them in the oven and no one ever died weevils were sifted out if they showed up but she made or baked every day for 5 to 12 people every day if things get bad you will be surprised what people will eat my father in law ate out of trash cans he was a child in Europe during the II world war he survived but just barely freeze the flour 7 days temp determines time to eliminate bugs all food has bugs even canned and jars can have a bug or 2 so to make sure 7 days use mylar bags and use the right size and amount of oxygen absorbers for size bag or use dry ice in a paper towel 1/3 cup per 5 gallon bucket put in mylar bag pour flour over dry ice use a rubber band to hold bag shut and wait 1/2 hour for co2 to infuse squeeze out excess co2 seal by twisting and double folding and tying off folding once is not enough or use a euro type or bag sealer do not allow air back into bag use a screw lid bucket pool maintenance companies sell or give away pool bleach buckets clean them well dry and use them grain will last years like this rotate by date stored just for grins when sealed tight like this keep in the coolest part of your house north side probably in a dark area like a closet and don't open till ready to use do you open jars of food to look at it have faith it works grain loses its vitamin content gradually and by increments so no precise date can be figured as time temperature is the main factor very little oxygen is in the mylar bag so where is the deterioration from there is none to little for quite some time mylar is a metalized plastic that acts as an oxygen barrier used in packing military food that has a shelf life of 5 years canned flour in #10 {about 1 gallon} can store for 25 years or unti the can is damaged or by rust

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