Cornmeal is a staple food used in various food items like bread, bangles, pizzas, and much more.
As they are so in use, thus people stock them in large quantities.
However, while storing, people get curious about how long they can keep it or do cornmeal go bad.
It’s necessary to know about the shelf life so that you can consume it till cornmeal is best and avoid rancid cornmeal.
One should inspect this meal before having if they are eating an old stored meal.
After eating bad cornmeal, one can experience vomiting, nausea, headache, and other health issues.
What is Cornmeal?
This is a meal prepared by grinding dried corn kernels.
One can find this meal in different textures, which are fine, medium, and coarse.
Back then, the meal was made by stone grinding, which made it more perishable.
However, grinding is done through steel rollers, making the meal high in fat content and less perishable.
That is because they remove all the husk of corn and eliminate germs present in it.
This meal is eaten by people so much because of its nutritional value and health benefits.
It’s hard for people to find a healthy who are gluten sensitive, but they can have cornmeal as it’s gluten-free.
It also contains sugar and fibre that can help them to prevent obesity and maintain body weight.
Meals like these are also considered effective in improving heart health and reducing the levels of cholesterol, as they include selenium.
How Long Does Cornmeal last? Does Cornmeal Go Bad?
The pack of each cornmeal comes with a best-by date through which you can identify how long the meal will last.
However, storage is a significant way of making the cornmeal last longer.
Therefore if anyone desires to use their meal beyond the best-by date, they should keep up the packages under favorable storing conditions.
If we consider the usual shelf life, then the determinate cornmeal can last for a year after its labeled date.
One can exceed its shelf life by freezing the packs more than five years beyond the best-by date.
If anyone has an unopened bag of whole-grain cornmeal, they can expect it to last three months more than the date mentioned on its pack.
For an unopened pack, pantry storage is the best to retain its quality for extended periods.
However, once you open the pack then, you need to put it in the fridge or freezer to prevent it from rancidity.
When you store it in the refrigerator, then the meal can serve you for a period of 3 to 6 months, passing the best-by date.
In the freezer, the content and nutritional values of the meal are secured, and it serves you for 6 to 12 months.
How to Tell if Cornmeal Has Gone Bad?
- Rancid Odor
Everyone should look for bad signs before having old stored cornmeal to avoid illnesses.
The first thing they can notice is the scent of the meal.
For that, you just need to open the pack and sniff the content.
At first, it has a pleasant corn smell, but if, because of long storage, its scent gets changed, then it has undoubtedly gone bad.
Therefore if after sniffing, you get a rancid odor, then you should discard the content.
- Pest Problem
Insects do get attracted to food items, and if you find them in your meal, then you need to throw the meal.
Therefore if you have found an old stored pack, then examine the pack closely and see if it contains holes or openings.
These are the signs that pests have access to the content, and once this happens, then all your cornmeal is contaminated, and you must avoid its consumption.
- Clumps or Mold Growth
While storing, be sure that the meals should not exposed to water or any other liquid.
That is because water makes the cornmeal moisture which further leads to mold growth.
Once the content gets moisture, then its texture will become clumpy, which indicates that bacteria have contaminated the entire pack.
Thus it is not edible anymore, and you need to dispose of it.
How to Store Cornmeal?
- Pantry Storage
One can easily store their cornmeal in a pantry and retain its quality.
One only has to find a cool and dry place to store the pack so that they can prevent moisture and slow down the oxidation process.
If you keep the pack in direct contact with sunlight for a period, then it can degrade at a high rate.
So be sure that you do not store it near heat sources and direct sunlight.
- Store in Fridge
After opening the pack, the meal needs a cool temperature to retain its quality.
Thus, it would be best if you put this in the fridge.
Outer elements like air, moisture, and heat make the meal prone to bacteria.
However, by keeping it in the refrigerator, one can minimize its exposure to the outer elements and increase its shelf life.
- Freeze for Longer Storage
People who are aware that they will not use the meal within a short period should store the pack immediately.
To increase its shelf life and quality, they can freeze it as soon as they buy it.
Freezing makes the oxidation process slow and preserves the nutrients of meals for an extended period.
When adding the meal to the fridge or freezing, remember to add a wrap or container for complete protection.
Storage at a cool temperature can make the content moist; therefore, you can safeguard its freshness by putting it in an airtight container.
This will also prevent other food items from influencing the authentic scent of the meal and save it from absorbing the strong odor of other food items.