Does Flour Go Bad? – Factors that Influences flour’s shelf life
Flour is a pantry staple made by grinding grains or other foods into powder.
Although it traditionally comes from wheat, numerous types of flour are now available, including coconut, almond, and other gluten-free varieties.
Many people keep flour in their pantry for long periods of time even well past the expiration date.
Thus, you may wonder how long it’s safe to keep flour.
Many factors influence flour’s shelf life, or the length of time it lasts before beginning to spoil.
Most flours stay fresh 3–8 months at room temperature, usually long past their expiration date.
However, the specific shelf life depends on the type of flour, its ingredients, and how you store it.
Most packaged flours have expiration dates also called best-by dates printed on the bag to indicate how long they’ll stay fresh.
These labels aren’t mandatory and don’t denote safety. Thus, your flour may still be safe to eat even after the best-by date.
The best way to determine whether your flour is safe is to smell it. While fresh flour has a neutral odor, bad flour smells off it can be stale, musty, or almost sour. It may also look discolored.
Additionally, if your flour has come into contact with water or moisture, large clumps of mold may appear. In this case, you should immediately discard the entire bag.
To prevent food waste, try creative ways to use your old flour when it’s near or past its expiration date. Aside from baked goods like breads and cakes, it’s also good for creating non-food items like playdough or homemade glue.
The best way to tell if flour has gone bad is to smell it. If it smells rancid or shows signs of mold, you should throw it out.