Whole wheat flour shelf life?

SnailLoverJuly 2, 2014

I used this on dog biscuits at least 5 years ago. The bag has been sitting in the cupboard ever since. I've run across some other pet recipes--snail food and bird suet--that call for whole wheat flour. Wondering if I can still use it? Seems like it would go bad after awhile, but how do you tell? Looks and smells the same. I know I'm cheap, but I hate to waste things. :)

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Because whole wheat flour has the wheat germ included, it is possible for the oil in the wheat germ to go rancid over time. I'd toss this bag and start with a fresh one. Keep the bag sealed well and in the fridge or freezer until you need it again.

I keep most all my grains such as cornmeal, polenta, bulgur, oat bran, wheat germ etc. in the freezer and add it to recipes straight in, cold and all. I think barley and rice are the only grains that I keep in the pantry, in glass jars with tight lids.

Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:47PM
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Normal shelf life for whole wheat flour would be about six months - I go through a bag in less than two months, but if it took me longer, I would store it in the freezer.

After two years, it is certainly unusable, and it should be thrown out. Right now, your flour is wasting space.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Thank you for the replies. I'll toss it and store in the freezer next time!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:30PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

You should toss it.
However, strange observation.
I'm incredibly sensitive the the flavor of peroxides. I've had bag of planters peanuts that were too rancid for me to eat, even though the expiration date was well in the future. (Btw one of the reasons Hubs are so tasty is they fry them in a mix including coconut oil, which is very oxidation resistant almost to the point of acting as an "antioxidant", and it helps to preserve the natural flavor of the peanuts)
However I was making a lot of pizzas back around 2010/2011 and bought too much whole wheat flour, especially the KA white whole wheat. Some of it I froze, but I still have some that's now almost 3 years old. I do keep it in a snap-closed plastic container. That probably helps. But I still make pancakes using that, and I swear, there's not a bit of rancid taste at all. I've even smelled and tasted the raw flour to be sure. Nothing, zilch, nada. I think maybe the fact it's enclosed as well as the density of the flour limits the degree to which oxygen can get in there: oxidation require an oxygen molecule be around, after all. (Unless I were subjecting it to pure chlorine gas...but that's pretty uncommon in kitchens LOL)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:07AM
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