Does Flour Go Bad?

There any many kinds of flour and they are used in hundreds of different foods. Did you ever asked yourself the question “does flour go bad”? If you need a quick answer to this question, it’s affirmative – flour does go bad. There are many kinds of flour and there are many similarities between them. Almost all kinds of flour should be stored similarly, all of them show similar symptoms of going bad. The factor that distinguishes them between one another the most is the shelf life. If you need to know how to store flour to keep it fine for an extended period of time, you need some basic information about shelf life of flour or you just need to know how to determine if your flour has gone bad, this article will help you.

How To Store Flour

There are some guidelines that you can follow to prevent flour from going bad and to extend its shelf life. A tightly sealed container (maybe even an airtight one) works the best for storing flour. A flip-top sealable container in which we usually store cereals is a great idea (make sure it’s perfectly dry before using it as a flour container). The original package (the paper one) is fine as long as it’s unopened and you don’t want to store the flour in the fridge (or the freezer). You don’t need any extra packaging if you want to store an unopened package of flour for a regular period of time. You can of course use a typical flour jar if you wish.

If you’ve got an opened one and need to store it for a little longer than usual, you should transfer the flour into a container that meets the guidelines mentioned earlier. When it comes to location, it’s best to store flour in a cool, dark location. That place has to be dry, that’s the most important condition from the mentioned three. The pantry seems to be a fine place that meets those requirements.

If you want to keep the flour for an extended period of time, you can store it in the fridge or even in the freezer. To store the flour in the fridge (or the freezer) you should transfer it into an appropriate container. The container should be sealed tightly (to avoid any odors from other food) and there shouldn’t be any place for air in it. One quick tip – if you store flour in the refrigerator (or the freezer), bring it to room temperature before you start using it. You might also need to sift it before using.

Does flour go bad?

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Shelf Life Of Flour

Shelf life of flour depends on the kind of flour and there are many kinds of it. I won’t get into much detail here, just a few basic facts. Flour stored in a cooler place will be fine for a longer period of time than stored in a warmer place. Therefore flour kept in the pantry will last longer than one kept in the room temperature and flour kept in the fridge will last longer than one kept in the pantry, etc.
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Another thing you should remember is that whole grain flours contain more oil than white flours and therefore they’re going to deteriorate faster than those. It’s good to bear in mind that whole grain flour will last only a couple of months.

How To Tell If Flour Is Bad

The easiest thing to spot that indicates that you should discard the flour is the presence of the so-called flour bugs. They look similarly to moth larvae, but their look doesn’t really matter, if you encounter in your flour anything that’s alive, throw the flour out. If you’re sure it’s bug-free, the next thing you should do is to smell it. If it has a rancid (or any other spoiled) odor, it’s spoiled. The flour should have a natural, fresh smell, unless its container wasn’t sealed tightly and the flour picked up some odors from other food. Sometimes flour looks and smells fine, but it doesn’t cook as well as a fresh one – it doesn’t mean that it’s spoiled. You should, however, consider the fact that that flour isnt’s at its best anymore and if you’d bake another cake using it, it won’t rise either.


Flour does go bad and that’s perfectly normal. If you want to be able to store it for an extended period of time, you should consider storing it in the refrigerator or the freezer. The number one enemy of flour is moisture – you need to remember that it’s critical to store flour in a dry place. When it comes to shelf life of flour, it’s good to notice that whole grain flour does go bad noticeably quicker than white flour. Does flour go bad? It does, but its shelf life is pretty long, so if you’ll store it right, it’ll be good for a long time.