Despite the fact that cornstarch is merely a fine powder manufactured from the starch found in corn kernels, there are a number of doubts that many people have regarding it. The most frequently cited reason for this is that it loses its ability to thicken liquids over the course of time.
I will explain why cornstarch has a long shelf life or why it technically never expires.
You may discover more about cornstarch storage, shelf life, and how long it lasts by continuing reading this article.
Does Cornstarch Go Bad?
No, cornstarch does not go bad if stored properly and well-maintained. It is practically a pure and stable substance that won’t degrade easily. Some companies that process and package cornstarch may specify shelf life beyond which it cannot be used. When cornstarch is exposed to moisture and pests, it can go bad but that is a rare occurrence.
If cornstarch is stored properly, it will never expire or go bad. Unless it has been processed and the company has provided an expiry date for it, which is an estimate of how long corn starch will be useful beyond that date if it is stored properly, it will not be useable until that date.
Also, unless pests or moisture find their way into the container, the powder will not go bad any time soon.
If you manage to store cornstarch properly, you won’t have to worry about it expiring before its best-by date, which is typically printed on the packaging.
You may use it in sauces, stews, and pies for many years to come, and it is very versatile.
Why Cornstarch Does Not Go Bad
Corn starch does not expire because it is made out of corn kernels, specifically their starch. In a container, this starch does not react with the air particles in the surrounding area and remains in the same condition. This allows maize starch to be stored for a longer period of time before becoming spoilt.
Once dried and protected from insects/known pests that might feed on it, corn starch is practically pure and extremely stable.
I can’t come up with a logical explanation for how things would degrade.
Even though it contains a trace amount of oil that could go rancid and influence the taste, I’ve never heard of this ever happening in the real world.
Does Old Cornstarch Lose its Effectiveness?
Because cornstarch is primarily utilized as a thickening agent, many people are curious as to whether or not its usefulness diminishes over time.
There are some products on the market, such as baking powder, that do not go bad but do lose their effectiveness over time as a result of the passage of time. Fortunately, cornstarch does not fall in this category, so you won’t have to be concerned about it when you’re thickening your favorite sauce for the upcoming dinner party.
How to tell if Cornstarch Has Gone Bad or Expired?
Essentially, the only way cornstarch may go bad is if it is exposed to water. Cornstarch virtually disappears when heated liquid is added because the starch molecules form bonds with hydrogen molecules and subsequently absorb the water in the liquid mixture. Once the cornstarch has been added, the sauce becomes murky, then transparent and thick as it continues to cook. If your cornstarch has gone bad, take a look at our list of substitutions.
As with any meal, there are potential health concerns linked with it. Always remember to practice food safety and to consume your food before its shelf life has ended.
How To Store Cornstarch
Cornstarch should be stored just like one would store wheat flour should be stored. That implies that it should be kept in a dry and generally cool environment. The pantry is the greatest solution, although a cabinet in the kitchen would suffice in most situations.
Should you store cornstarch in the refrigerator? No, Cornstarch is not required to be refrigerated at any time, and it will not benefit from doing so.
When you first open the product, make sure to keep it well wrapped until you are ready to use it. Some cornstarch firms sell their products in plastic containers, and those containers are ideal for storing the powder once it has been opened.
For a variety of reasons, properly packaging cornstarch is essential. First and foremost, it shields the powder from contact with the outside world, particularly moisture and any strong scents that may be present. Second, cornstarch attracts pantry pests and insects, and storing it in a tightly sealed container keeps them at bay, as previously stated.