Cornstarch is a multi-purpose ingredient. Many of you will use it as a coat for frying food. While others will use it as a thickening agent.
Still, there is one thing I’m certain about: Most of you might not remember where you kept it.
So, what comes to your mind if you find cornstarch lying in your pantry?
You’ll probably wonder: Does cornstarch go bad? Do I need to buy a new one, or is this pack of cornstarch fine?
So to answer all your queries let’s start with the basics: How long does cornstarch last?
How Long Does Cornstarch Last?
Packed cornstarch does not go bad because it has zero water content. It can be used for years if you store it properly.
Does your cornstarch come with an expiry date?
What if I say you can use the cornstarch way past its expiry date? Surprising, right? But as unbelievable as it sounds, you can consume cornstarch even after it is expired.
But does that mean it can never go bad? Wrong. Cornstarch can deteriorate in a few days if certain conditions are not met. One such condition that can spoil your cornstarch is the presence of moisture. Cornstarch has almost zero water content. This makes it impossible for mold or bacteria to flourish.
Another reason that can ruin your cornstarch is if you forget to seal it shut. Remember, an infinite shelf life comes when you properly store the cornstarch. Leaving it open in your pantry will only expose it to the air and moisture. This will give room for bacteria and molds to grow.
Once you know how long the cornstarch can last, store it properly. And if you notice any sign of decay in your cornstarch, throw it away. But how will you know if the cornstarch has gone bad? Read further to know more.
Does cornstarch go bad? What are the Signs to look for?
As mentioned above, water is a major reason that can spoil it. The presence of water will form lumps in your cornstarch. So make sure to use your wet cornstarch immediately or toss it away.
1. Look at the color
Signs of faded color on your cornstarch say a lot about its quality. A fresh pack of cornstarch has a bright white color. Therefore, it will be easy to look for any signs of spoilage.
2. Keep an eye out for Insects
Bad cornstarch is a home for several bugs and insects. Although these bugs are tiny, you can spot them by their dark brown/ black color. Keep an eye out for these insects before using old cornstarch. If you find any signs of bugs, immediately throw away the pack.
3. Formation of Mold
Yuck. Need I say anymore? If you see signs of molds appearing in your cornstarch, toss it away. Molds are carriers of several health problems. Some of these include immune deficiency and respiratory infection. In very severe cases, molds have also been known to cause death.
4. Your cornstarch smells awful
A sure-shot sign of spoilage is a bad odor. The smell is strong and can be easily noticed. Usually, it has a familiar smell of corn. In bad cornstarch, the sweet corn smell will be replaced by a sour smell. So make sure to give it a good whiff.
Also Read: Does Almond Milk Go Bad?
The taste of bad cornstarch will trigger your nerves
I believe raw cornstarch is not one of the tastiest things. But before using it in your recipes, give it a quick taste. If you have a strong sour taste like you consumed a lemon, it means it is no longer edible. Toss it in a bin and proceed with using a fresh pack.
Side effects of using Bad Cornstarch
There are a few cases of consuming bad cornstarch. It is because cornstarch is usually used in less quantity. But the most common cases include digestive disorders. These disorders can either be diarrhea or other gut diseases.
Besides eating bad cornstarch, consuming lots of cornstarch can make you equally sick. A few problems of consuming excessive cornstarch are given below:
1. An increase in blood sugar level
Eating food that is rich in fiber helps the bloodstream absorb sugar. Cornstarch, on the other hand, has low fiber content. As a result, consuming lots of cornstarch increases the blood sugar level swiftly.
2. Cornstarch and heart health does not go along well
Cornstarch is a rich source of refined carbs. And refined carbs are a big no-no for people who suffer from heart disease.
How to Make Your Cornstarch Last Forever?
Below are some definite ways to help you store cornstarch for years.
1. Airtight Jars are a must-have for Cornstarch
The sure-shot way to store cornstarch is in an airtight jar or bag. Whatever you use, ensure you leave no room for air to enter. And once you are done using it, make sure you seal the remaining cornstarch. Sealing the bag properly will increase its shelf life.
2. Cornstarch is best kept in Cool and Dark Places
Many flours come with a warning: keep away from direct sunlight. It is because the strong heat of the sun can damage cornstarch. Thus, storing them in dark places is your way to go. You can also store it in the farthest corner of your pantry. Keep in mind where you leave it, or you’ll buy a new pack.
3. High-Temperature areas should be avoided
Whether it is sunlight or high temperature, they can decrease the shelf-life of your cornstarch. So, avoid putting it next to your stove or your air-fryer.
Also Read: Does Cake Mix Go Bad?
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Is it OK to use expired cornstarch?
Ans. Yes. It is totally fine to use expired cornstarch. Make sure to give it a quick whiff or taste if you reuse it after months.
Q2. Can you use 10-year-old cornstarch?
Ans. Yes. You can use 10-year-old cornstarch if it does not show signs of mold. If stored properly, you can even use 10-year-old cornstarch.
Q3. Can I use 2-year-old cornstarch?
Ans. Yes. If you have sealed the pack properly, it is good to use even after 2 years. While storing, place the cornstarch in a cool dark place and away from moisture.
Q4. Can bacteria grow in cornstarch?
Ans. Cornstarch is a dry ingredient, i.e, it has zero water content. Unless the cornstarch comes in contact with moisture, bacteria can not grow in cornstarch.
Q5. Is baby powder just cornstarch?
Ans. Cornstarch was a main ingredient in baby powder for its similar properties to talc. During the last few decades, some baby powder manufacturers switched from talc to cornstarch. However, many brands remain with talc.
The Bottom Line
Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that might be present in every cook’s inventory. But not every cook might know the right way to store cornstarch. If you were one of those cooks, we hope this article was of help. Always remember to seal your cornstarch pack after every use. If you leave it open, the moisture from the surrounding will spoil the cornstarch. To prevent it, opt for airtight bags or jars to seal it shut.
Lastly, don’t go overboard while consuming cornstarch. Consuming it in adequate quantity will not only make the food delicious but will also keep you healthy. Remember always to prioritize your health.