Does Flour Go Bad? Useful Tips On How To Keep It Fresh


Jessica Blythe

If you need anything to do with cooking, then this blog is your perfect home away from home. I will also be sharing my experience, knowledge and research results with everyone who will be willing to read the content on this site.


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Yes, it does! All type of flours. It’s best to check the date on the bag. Flour generally, has a long shelf life – but it can go rancid, or have weevils, or contain tiny worms or worm larvae. Does flour go bad is a tricky question.

You can extend the shelf life of some flours by storing them in the fridge. Also, you need to use airtight containers. Moisture is the enemy your flour. Water bonds with gluten and gliadin to form a starchy gel, in the batter. It’s not recommended to store all flours in fridge or freezer.

Find more easy ways to store flour:

Does Flour Go Bad?

A strong gluten structure is important for some recipes and won’t affect the outcome. Chewy cookies and a doughy type of bread are fine to make with flour that may be slightly damp, but light pastries and cakes require perfect ratios of dry and wet ingredients to achieve the right consistency, during baking.

  • All-Purpose Flour & Self-Raising: lasts 10-15 months in the pantry
  • Bread Flour & Gluten:6 months in the pantry
  • Instant Flour: 6-8 months in the pantry
  • Rice Flour: 5-6 months in the pantry
  • Whole-wheat Flour: 3 months in the pantry, 6 in the freezer
  • Buckwheat & Spelt: 3-6 months ( Freezer: one year)
  • Rice Flour: 1 year in the pantry. ( 2 years in the freezer)

Correct storage is essential when preserving the “power” of your flour! Different flours need different storage to extend their shelf lives. There are many varieties of flour on the supermarket shelves – from rice flour to whole grain mixes, flour with seeds and the more traditional cake and bread flour. They can all go off.

How Do I Know if My Flour is Off?

Flour will smell bad if it has turned. It will not be effective to bake with – once it has spoiled! There are particular proteins in flour that mix with water – and form gluten. Depending on your recipe, the right crust or texture of your cake, bread or pie will not form if the flour is not good.

Can I Freeze Flour? Which Flours Can I Freeze?

You can freeze flour – but only flours that have oils. Whole wheat flour, nut flours and flour with seeds all have traces of oil. They have a shorter shelf life, generally, because the oils can turn. It is recommended that you store these flours in your refrigerator or freezer, to extend their shelf life.

Why Can’t I Freeze Normal Flour?

Self- rising and regular baking flour, need to stay perfectly dry. Storing them in your fridge is not recommended because of the possibility of moisture in the air, even using a tightly sealed container. Moisture in the flour will affect the power of the flour, and baking powder.

Baking Powder, which is added to flour, along with salt, to make self – Raising flour – has a shorter shelf life too.

Flour Storage

It is best to store flour in an airtight container or to use a plastic bag that seals, over the original bag. Flour needs to be stored out of direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place. Humidity levels affect the efficacy of this baking staple.

Square shaped containers are a better choice than round. They will take up less space, and hold more flour.

Check You Flour For Worms or Worm Larvae and Weevils

If you suspect that your flour may be off, you can check for worms and larvae by placing the flour into a glass. Fill it up and flatten the surface just below the rim of the glass. Place the glass in a sunny spot and leave it for two hours.

If there are the flour worms, tiny larvae will be seen crawling on the surface. They are less than 1 mm wide. Should you discover flour worms it is recommended that you discard all the flour products, in your pantry. They are not harmful to humans, but not a tasty addition to your meal. Being safe is the best option when it comes to food preparation.

Weevils are tiny insects that are commonly found in flour. Being small and dark and in a good number, it is possible to remove the dead insects by freezing flour and sifting it. This is a lot of work, though, and it’s a safer option to throw out the infested flour, and start with a fresh bag.


A hygienic environment is essential to preserving your flour at home. Insects, pests, and rodents may have been inside your pantry or kitchen cupboards.If your flour has had pests or discovers weevils or flour worms, you should wash out the entire area, as well as your containers.

A sanitary storage area will help to keep for your flour safe from unwanted visitors. So, now if any asks that does flour go bad? You have an answer and a solution too.

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