Storing Corn Meal and Flour

by Leveta
(Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA)

I want to store whole grain corn meal and flour. What do I need in order to keep it from going rancid?

RESPONSE:

Both can be stored for 5-10 years if sealed in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. The lack of oxygen will postpone rancidity.

I have read that whole grain corn is a better option than corn meal, has a longer shelf life and won't go rancid as fast. But you must have a good grinder that will accommodate grinding corn - it's tougher than wheat.

A good practice is to put both the corn (or corn meal) and the flour into the freezer for a week or two before sealing in Mylar with O2 absorbers - to kill any larvae from weevils that are naturally in grains.

Comments for Storing Corn Meal and Flour

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Yellow & Buttermilk Cornbread
by: Dee

Will yellow and buttermilk cornbread store just as long? What about self rising white flour?

RESPONSE:

Any cornbread bought at the store has some kind of oil in it and will have a very short shelf life - maybe 2 years.

Self-rising flour will lose its ability to rise. You can make your own by adding 1 tsp of baking powder to each cup of flour.

No mylar for cornmeal
by: Marie

When using oxygen absorbers for storing dry goods they must have a moisture content LESS than 10%. Cornmeal can have moisture content up to 18%. For botulism to occur you need these conditions:

a moist, low-acid food
a temperature between 40° and 120°F
less than 2 percent oxygen

I wouldn't advise storing cornmeal in a mylar bag with oxygen absorbers.

White flour and cornmeal
by: Cookie

Can you store like self rising flour and corn meal as well or can you do just the whole grain stuff? If so, do you do it the same way you do the whole grain?

RESPONSE:

Self rising flour will lose its ability to self rise if stored too long. Yeast is easier to store. Buy it in a package that is vacuum packed and it will last for years.

Flour of any kind should not be stored long term. Several months is okay, if you are using it regularly, but it will go rancid after a while. It's best to store whole grains for long term storage and purchase a hand grinder - in case there is not electricity some day.

Cornmeal has a shelf life of about 5 years if packaged with oxygen absorbers and kept in a fairly cool place (about ~75 degrees or less).

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