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27 April 2012 @ 04:02 pm
Chickpea and soy flour  
I discovered a container of chickpea flour and one of soy flour at the very back of my pantry where they were out of sight, out of mind until I did some spring-cleaning today. :\ I don't know how long they were there - I have to assume the flour is between one and two years old.

Both containers are air tight and the flours look and smell fine, but... I'm just not sure if they're still okay to use. Does anyone know the lifespan of chickpea and soy flour? Do they go rancid, or otherwise bad? Googling has given me conflicting results. Thanks in advance!

If it matters, I only use these two kinds of flour for breadmaking.

(Cross-posted to several food-related comms.)
epijunkieepijunkie on April 29th, 2012 10:10 am (UTC)
I'm not a food storage expert but I have done quite a bit of research on the topic. So this is just an educated opinion at best.

There are two different aspects of storage to consider here. Spoilage and breakdown. If there is no bacteria or fungus or other nasty stuff in your flour then it isn't "spoiled". Theoretically you could seal a can of flour in an airtight container and as long as no germs got introduced into it you could store it for a 100 years and it wouldn't be spoiled. The other thing to consider would be natural degradation of the food. Breakdown of various compounds might alter the flavor or nutritional content of the flour but I doubt it would be unsafe to eat.

Heck, you can store grain for several years if you store it properly. I personally have used flour that was over a year old that has just been sitting in a non airtight bag in my kitchen. I would expect your stuff to be perfectly safe to eat. Now realize that "perfectly safe" and "rises like it did when it was new" are two different things. But I'd be very surprised if you found that your flour had actually "spoiled".
Catmomwildflower399 on April 29th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you - you make a very interesting point! The flours probably weren't "spoiled" by this definition, but they must definitely have degraded, if that includes rancidness. :( I made a small "test pancake" of each flour to see if it still tasted edible, and unfortunately they both tasted like a cross between dirty socks and the most bitter thing you can imagine. So I ended up composting them both. They may still have been safe to eat, but it truly wasn't worth it - thankfully there wasn't much of it to waste.