How to Preserve Flour for the Long Term

Table
of
Contents

Flour
is
one
essential
food
item
you
don’t
want
to
run
out
of
in
case
of
a
disaster
or
a
long-term
emergency.
If
you
have
flour
in
your
pantry,
you
can
rest
easy
knowing
you’ll
have
good
sustenance
should
a
crisis
happen.
Thus,
it’s
a
big
advantage
if
you
know
how
to
store
flour
long
term. 

Let’s
cover
that
subject
so
you
can
add
flour
to
your
prepper
stockpile. 

But
first,
let’s
answer
some
basic
questions.


Does
Flour
Go
Bad?

Does Flour Go Bad?

Just
like
any
other
food
item
in
the
pantry,
flour
can
get
spoiled
when
exposed
to
certain
elements.
Despite
being
non-perishable,
flour
can
go
rancid
if
not
stored
correctly. 

Some
of
the
most
common
elements
that
affect
the
quality
of
your
flour
include
moisture,
light,
oxygen,
and
insects. 


Here
are
some
of
the
reasons
why
flour
goes
bad?


Oxidation

Oxidation

Oxidation
occurs
when
certain
nutrients
in
flour
interact
with
oxygen,
resulting
in
them
breaking
down.
This
chemical
reaction
makes
the
oils
present
in
the
flour
go
rancid,
resulting
in
a
change
in
flavor
and
turning
the
flour
stale.
Thanks
to
this
process,
old
flour
loses
some
nutritional
value
and
tastes
terrible. 

To
prevent
oxidation,
you
need
to
keep
your
flour
in
a
sealed
container
to
limit
the
effects
of
oxygen.


Mold

Temperature
and
humidity
fluctuations
can
affect
the
quality
of
many
food
items
in
the
pantry,
including
flour.
Increased
humidity
can
make
the
flour
start
absorbing
moisture
and
become
moldy. 

Mold

The
flour
would
smell
moldy
even
before
you
notice
the
presence
of
molds
in
it.
This
is
a
sure
sign
that
it
isn’t
good
for
human
consumption.


Insects

Generally,
grains
are
natural
habitats
for
insects.
In
flour,
the
most
common
ones
are
weevil
or
flour
fly.
So,
even
if
you
store
the
flour
in
an
airtight
container,
you
may
still
find
some
weevils
and
small
insects
in
there.
That
is
because
insect
eggs
normally
infest
the
flour
by
the
time
you’re
purchasing
it.

Insects

The
eggs
in
the
flour
can
hatch
within
a
few
months
resulting
in
an
infestation.
Once
they
hatch,
then
you
have
a
serious
issue
that
can
be
very
hard
to
eradicate. 

Therefore,
it’s
crucial
that
you

kill
the
insect
eggs

before
storing
the
flour.
After
all,
most
storage
methods
can
still
allow
the
eggs
to
hatch.


Absorbing
Smells

Just
like
most
foodstuffs,
flour
is
like
a
sponge
that
can
absorb
the
smell
of
the
other
items
in
the
pantry.
So
if
you
place
some
onions
or
other
spices
near
the
four,
then
you
should
be
ready
for
your
bread
to
have
a
funky
smell.
Remember
to
keep
the
flour
away
from
the
cleaning
products
in
the
house.


What
Is
the
Lifespan
of
Flour?

Flour
cannot
last
for
more
than
six
months
in
its
original
packaging.
But
if
you
place
it
in
an
airtight
container,
it
can
last
for
a
maximum
of
10
months. 

If
you
get
rid
of
the
oxygen
present
in
the
container
using
an
oxygen
absorber,
it
can
last
for
up
to
five
years. 

The
lifespan
of
flour
is
determined
by
numerous
factors,
with
the
main
one
being
the
storage
method
you
pick.


How
to
Store
Flour
Long-Term?

The
good
news
is
that
there
are
plenty
of
methods
that
you
can
use
to
store
your
flour
long-term.
However,
only
one
method
guarantees
infinite
shelf
life.
The
rest
can
increase
the
flour’s
shelf
life
to
five
years. 

Some
of
the
most
effective
methods
include:


Airtight
Containers

The
whole
idea
behind
long-term
storage
is
to
prevent
the
elements
mentioned
above
from
damaging
your
flour.
So
for
the
flour
to
last
for
more
than
six
months,
you
must
first
remove
it
from
its
original
packaging
and
pour
it
into
an
airtight
container.

Note
that
the
flour
may
come
with
some
insect
eggs
that
can
hatch
under
the
right
conditions.
The
eggs
may
take
months
or
weeks
to
hatch.
So
before
storing
flour,
you
must
get
rid
of
them
in
order
to
avoid
a
nasty
infestation. 

To
get
rid
of
the
eggs,
you
can
either
microwave
or
freeze
the
four
before
storing
them
in
an
airtight
container.
This
will
help
you
store
your
baking
flour
for
about
10
months.
After
all,
it
won’t
eliminate
the
oxygen
in
the
container. 

Some
of
the
best
containers
for
this
job
include:

  • Vacuum
    sealer
    containers
  • Mason
    jars
  • Airtight
    containers


Freezer

As
mentioned,
freezing
is
one
method
that
can
also
kill
insect
eggs.
So,
if
you
have
space
in
your
freezer,
then
you
can
store
the
flour
in
the
freezer.
The
flour
can
remain
fresh
in
the
freezer
forever,
but
you
have
to
be
prepared
in
case
of
a
blackout.
During
a
blackout,
you
can
either
use
a
generator
or
solar
power.

But
before
using
flour,
you
will
have
to
get
it
to
room
temperature
after
removing
it
from
the
freezer.
Because
of
condensation,
the
baking
flour
may
absorb
some
moisture
as
its
temperature
increases.
That’s
why
it’s
important
that
you
store
the
flour
in
a
sealed
container
and
make
sure
condensation
occurs
on
the
container
instead
of
the
flour.

If
the
flour
gets
wet,
you
should
be
ready
to
spread
it
on
the
baking
sheet
and
heat
it
at
a
temperature
of
200
degrees
Fahrenheit.
If
it’s
too
damp,
you
may
have
to
heat
it
for
about
an
hour
and
remove
the
clumps
after
it
has
dried
before
baking.


Vacuum
Sealing

Air
is
an
enemy
of
flour
shelf
life,
so
you
have
to
eliminate
the
oxygen
using
vacuum
sealing.
However,
these
bags
are
not
100%
leak-proof;
therefore,
humidity
and
air
can
still
seep
through.
The
stored
flour
will
still
remain
fresh
for
about
24
months.

Vacuum
sealing
may
not
kill
the
eggs,
but
it
can
keep
other
insects
away.
This
is
why
you
need
to
kill
the
insect
eggs
before
storing
the
flour. 

When
vacuum
sealing
flour,
you
should
do
the
following:

  • Pour
    the
    flour
    in
    huge
    vacuum
    sealer
    bags.
    Make
    sure
    you
    don’t
    pour
    the
    flour
    directly
    into
    the
    vacuum
    sealing
    bags
    if
    you
    don’t
    want
    the
    particles
    to
    stick
    to
    your
    machine.
  • Seal
    the
    bag
    using
    your
    machine.
  • Store
    the
    sealed
    bags
    in
    the
    freezer
    for
    about
    96
    hours
    to
    help
    kill
    the
    insect
    eggs.
  • After
    removing
    the
    sealed
    bags
    from
    the
    freezer,
    you
    can
    place
    them
    on
    the
    table.
    Let
    its
    temperature
    increase
    to
    room
    temperature
    before
    storing
    it
    in
    another
    container.
    This
    step
    will
    help
    prevent
    the
    condensation
    stage.


Jars,
Plastic
Containers,
or
Buckets
With
Oxygen
Absorbers

Oxygen
absorbers
are
the
best
solution
for
preventing
oxygenation.
So,
after
pouring
the
flour
into
the
storage
containers,
you
can
add
the
oxygen
absorbers.
The
oxygen
absorbers
will
help
absorb
the
trapped
oxygen
and
prevent
spoilage.
Remember,
no
oxygen
means
the
trapped
insect
eggs
will
never
hatch.

Unfortunately,
most
storage
containers
are
not
100%
airtight.
Therefore,
they
will
eventually
leak.
So,
the
best
option
for
storing
flour
is
a
bucket
with
a
gasket
lid. 

Canning
jars
can
also
be
reliable;
plus,
you’ll
know
if
the
oxygen
absorbed
worked
since
the
lid
will
be
sucked
in.
But
make
sure
you
store
the
container
in
a
dark
and
cool
place.


Mylar
Bags
With
Oxygen
Absorbers


Mylar
bags

can
store
flour
for
over
10
years,
especially
when
used
together
with
an
oxygen
absorber.
These
bags
are
produced
using
metal-like
materials
that
are
impervious
to
air
or
moisture. 

So,
by
sealing
the
Mylar
bags
with
an
oxygen
absorber,
your
food
will
be
protected
from
oxygen,
moisture,
and
light.

Plus,
the
insect
eggs
won’t
hatch
in
the
Mylar
bags
where
there
is
no
oxygen.
When
stored
in
Mylar
bags,
whole-wheat
flour
can
remain
fresh
for
over
a
decade.


How
Will
I
Know
If
the
Flour
Is
Spoiled?

When
it
comes
to
baking
flour,
you
should
always
trust
your
instincts.
If
the
flour
has
a
funny
smell,
then
you
should
discard
it.
It
won’t
leave
you
with
stomach
poisoning,
but
the
baked
product
won’t
be
delicious.
So,
you
should
inspect
the
flour
for
evidence
of
pests
and
bugs
before
using
it.

Aside
from
flour,
you
should
also
stock
these

survival
foods
with
long
shelf
life
.


Takeaway

Just
because
it’s
considered
non-perishable,
it
doesn’t
mean
that
your
baking
flour
won’t
go
bad.
After
all,
exposure
to
oxygen,
insects,
light,
and
moisture
can
affect
the
quality
of
your
flour.
Fortunately,
consuming
spoiled
flour
won’t
make
you
sick,
but
it
will
leave
you
with
a
stale
baked
product.
So
you
should
consider
these
factors
when
storing
the
flour.
The
good
thing
is
that
you
can
choose
from
several
methods
to
increase
the
shelf
life
of
your
flour
from
6
months
to
over
5
years.
But
before
storing
the
flour,
make
sure
you
kill
the
bug
eggs
by
either
freezing
or
microwaving
them.

Original Source