All purpose flour is the most useful staple food, which is added to numerous dishes.
This is used so frequently thus people do buy and store it in bulk.
However, while storing, people get confused about how long they can have it or do all purpose flour go bad.
There is no doubt that this flour does go bad, but by using suitable storing measures, one can make all-purpose flour last longer.
One should avoid having bad flour as they contain germ and bacteria that can harm your health.
What is All Purpose Flour?
This is used for baking, battering, frying, and other cooking.
The flour is made by blending hard and soft wheat.
As it is a primary source of dietary fiber and other nutrients, thus people prefer to add it to their diets.
It contains nutrients such as fat, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, selenium, folate, and many more, which provide various health benefits.
This contains thiamin which helps in the better functioning of cells.
If anyone has a deficiency of thiamin, then it can lead to heart failure; therefore, having all-purpose flour can improve heart health.
This can also help you to minimize the risk of cognitive declines, such as Alzheimer’s.
The flour contains selenium, so it is considered effective in reducing cancer risk.
Folate has anti-depressant properties which might help in lowering the risk of depression.
How Long Does All Purpose Flour last? Does All Purpose Flour go bad?
As the flour is made with wheat, it goes bad after a certain period.
Therefore one should know about its shell life so that they can finish the flour before it goes bad.
If you do not want to use this within a short period, then be sure to keep this with proper storage to increase its shelf life.
Usually, if you store all-purpose flour in the pantry, it has a shelf life of up to 6 to 8 months.
However, one can store the content in a refrigerator to exceed the shelf life period and can use it for a year.
To retain the flour quality and preserve it for an extended period, you can freeze this too.
By freezing, one can make the flour last for two years without any deterioration in its quality.
One can keep the pack unopened if they are not using the flour immediately.
That is because once the pack is opened, the content gets affected by outer elements like air, heat, and moisture.
These elements contaminate the flour and make it bad in no time, but unopened packs are sealed, so they keep the flour intact for a prolonged period.
How to Tell if All Purpose Flour Has Gone Bad?
- Lump Formation
When using old found flour, it is crucial to look for bad signs to avoid health problems.
Here it would be best if you looked for usual changes like changes in texture.
After prolonged storage, you might notice that the flour contains lumps or has a clumpy texture.
That happens when flour gets in contact with moisture for an extended period.
Due to this, the content gets clusters and its texture becomes lumpy, so if this happens, you should discard the flour.
- Off or Foul Smell
After storage, you can sniff the pack to see if it has developed a foul odor.
If the flour is fresh, it will smell good; however, a longer bacteria infestation can give an off odor.
Sometimes this can also happen if you store it near food items with strong smells.
So if, after storage, the flour smells musty and stale or there is a strange odor, then you should refrain from consuming it.
- Insect Infestation
This is a general problem because people mostly store their flour in kitchen cabinets, but it goes bad quickly.
That is because they are unaware of the insect infestation in their kitchen.
Once you keep the pack in the cabinet, the insects will get in it and contaminate its content.
Therefore, inspect the pack and see that it does not contain dead or alive insects.
How to Store All Purpose Flour?
- Store at a Cool and Dry Place
Before storing the flour, make sure to check that the area is not affected by moisture.
That is because once moisture gets in the flour, it will get worse over time.
After getting moisture, bacteria will spread in all the content, no matter how properly you store it.
- Airtight Container
You can use an airtight container to prevent the flour from heat, air, moisture, and insect infestation.
If you are not using all-purpose flour daily, transfer this to an airtight container for better storage.
For this, you can also use a Ziploc bag but remember to squeeze out all the air after transferring the flour.
- Avoid Sunlight
When you are storing this flour, then be sure to avoid places that are prone to heat and direct sunlight.
Excess exposure to sunlight can make the pack puffy and cause discoloration.
High temperature makes the content dry out and lose its nutritional value.
Therefore you need to find a place like kitchen cabinets.
The flour can serve for a more extended period if anyone follows the above-provided storing measures.
Instead of having contaminated flour immediately, one should examine the bad signs and pick out bad all-purpose flour.
Another precaution you can perform is using dry utensils while handling the flour.
People use dirty and wet utensils, which further cause moisture and bacteria.
Therefore you can minimize contamination by using clean and dry utensils.