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STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS

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Post by UNEEK Fri May 04, 2012 1:26 am

STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS Home STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS Foodhome


STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS Walton2 Presents...



Storage Life of Dry Foods
In Consultation with Stephen Portela




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Storage Life of Foods


Determining the storage life of foods is at best an inexact science as there
are so many variables. These range from the condition your food was in when
you first purchased it and includes many other factors. This page was written
with input by Mr. Stephen Portela who has over 30 years of professional food
storage experience. This information should be used as a general guide only,
and should not be followed "as the gospel truth" because your results may be
different.



Four Factors that effect food storage:


Factor #1: The Temperature:

Temperature has more to do with how long well dried foods store than anything
else. The USDA states, "Each 5.6 C. (10.08F) drop
in temperature doubles the storage life of the seeds."
Obviously, there
is a limit as to how far this statement can be taken. However I expect it
basically holds true from room temperature down to freezing. No doubt, the
inverse could also be considered true. "Each 5.6C. (10.08F) rise in temperature
halves the storage life of seeds."
This theory holds true for non-garden
seeds as well.

Storage Life Differences
Depending on Temperature

Constant Storage Storage life
Temp in degrees F In Years
---------------- ------------
39.76 - - - 40
49.84 - - - 30
59.92 - - - 20
70.00 - - - 10
80.08 - - - 5
90.16 - - - 2.5
100.24 - - 1.25

Note: the above chart is not for a specific food but shows the relationship between temperature and storage life.


Lets look at a couple of real life examples of good and poor
food storage practices:


About a year ago we got an unopened paper bag of white flour which had been
stored at 70 degrees F, in a dry climate. It had been sitting for 3 years in a closet.

It made fine looking
bread but had such an 'old' and bad flavor that it was difficult to eat.
For another example, a couple of years ago in the Puget Sound area we were
given a 4 gallon can of wheat that had been stored up high in a garage for about
30 years. This part of the country is not as hot as some places, yet in
the summers the average garage still gets up into the 90's.

Even though
wheat will store for 30+ years under good conditions, the bread from this particular
wheat was very bad tasting and after a few batches we ended up throwing the
wheat away (something I always dislike doing).



Counter these stories with several examples told by Mr. Stephen Portela,
Walton Feed's manager: He stores his long term food storage in his basement
where the temperature hovers around 60 degrees F. The experts give brown
rice a 6 month storage life because of all the oils in it that go rancid.
Yet, Mr. Portela has been eating from a supply of brown rice that has been
in his basement over 10 years.

It is still wholesome! In another example,
there is a family living near him who purchased a supply of food in #10 cans
30 years ago. Their basement hovers around 58 degrees F.

After 28 years,
Mr. Portela took a sample of many of these items to the Benson Institute
at BYU to have it tested. The results can be seen at the bottom of Mr. Portela's
welcome page.
You will see everything tested had a 'good' to 'satisfactory'
rating except for the eggs which had a 'minimum passing' rating. After 28
years I think it is most interesting that it passed at all. Mr. Portela
tells me as 30 years have now passed, their storage is still in very good
condition.



The bottom line is even with the very best packaging methods, if you
are
planning on storing your food in a warm environment, it will only last
a
fraction of the time it would last if stored in a cool, dry place. You
can expect good storage life if your storage temperature is at 60
degrees F or below.

Optimum storage temperature is at 40 degrees F or
less. It is
important you also find a place where the temperature remains constant.
Frequent temperature changes shorten storage life. If you don't have a
cool place for your food storage, plan on rotating your storage quickly
enough
to prevent food loss. See our underground storage area pages for ideas.




Factor #2: Product moisture content:


By looking at the USDA nutritional tables, dry beans, grains,
and flours contain an average of 10% moisture. Although it is very difficult and unnecessary
to remove all moisture from dry foods, it is imperative that any food be
stored as dry as possible. Foods with excess moisture can spoil right in
their containers. This is an important consideration when packing food with
dry ice as moisture condenses and freezes on the outer surface of the dry
ice. For long term storage, grains should have a moisture content
of 10% or less. It is difficult to accurately measure this without special equipment. See the misc.survivalism faqs
for a quick and easy way of getting a rough estimate of the water
content in your foods. It is also important to know that you can not
dehydrate foods at home that reach these levels. Food that is dried to
a moisture level of 10% moisture crisply snap when bent. Those of you
who dehydrate foods at home know dehydrated foods from your dehydrator
are quite pliable when bent, especially fruits. These will not store
well long term.




Factor #3: Atmosphere the product is stored in:



Foods packed in air don't store as well as in oxygen free gasses. This
is because air contains oxygen which oxidizes many of the compounds in
food. Bacteria, one of several agents which make food go rancid also
needs oxygen to grow. Food storage companies have a couple of different
processes for removing
the oxygen:

  • Displacing the oxygen: This is done by purging out all the
    air in the product with an inert gas. Nitrogen is almost always used
    because it is the most inert gas known. People doing their own packing
    occasionally use dry ice which gives off carbon dioxide gas, and
    probably works just about as well.
  • Absorb the oxygen: Oxygen absorber packets do just
    that. Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, leaving about 1%
    for the other gasses. If the oxygen is absorbed, what remains is 99%
    pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum.


If oxygen absorber packets are used, care must be taken to use a storage
container that can stand some vacuum. If it's not air tight, air will be sucked into your container
as the oxygen is absorbed, reintroducing more oxygen that must be absorbed.
Before long, the oxygen absorbers will have absorbed all the oxygen they
can. Obviously, your product won't be oxygen free under these circumstances.



Seeds store better in nitrogen. On the other hand, seeds
you plan on sprouting, such as garden seed, or seeds set aside for
growing your own sprouts store better in air. For this reason Walton
cans their
garden seed packs in air.



Oxygen absorbers also contain a minute amount of moisture to activate
the absorber. Sometimes, with the heat generated by the absorber, they
can cause sweating if you use glass bottles or tupperware type
containers.


Factor #4: The container the product is stored in:


To get the best storage life out of your product it must have a hermetic
(air tight) seal. Containers that do this well are:

  • #10 Cans (Use only cans that are enamel lined, otherwise your food
    flavor will be tainted by the steel it comes in contact with. An enamel
    lined can also prevents the inside of the can from rusting.)
  • Sealable food storage buckets
  • Sealable food quality metal (lined) or plastic drums.

Whatever container you use, be sure it is food grade as your product can
be tainted with whatever the container is made from. Plastic sacks are not
good air tight containers, for even if they are sealed, the relatively thin
plastic 'breathes,' allowing air to pass through.

Paper sacks are of course
even worse.

There is some concern as to how good a seal is made by the lids on
plastic
buckets used by food storage companies. Manufacturer studies show an
extremely small amount of air transfer. This amount is so small,
however, that it can be considered a hermetic seal. It has also been
found that the lids can be re-used
several times without dramatically degrading the performance of the
seal.



People who purchase products from food storage providers are often concerned
about receiving their buckets bulging or with one side collapsed in. Collapsed
buckets occasionally occur when ordering from Walton's as the elevation of
their packing facility is above 6,000 feet.

As the buckets are shipped to
a lower elevation, the increased ambient air pressure can sometimes push in
one side. If a side is popped in, it is a great indication that the bucket
is indeed sealed. And this also holds true for buckets that might be under
a slight amount of pressure.

If either condition concerns you, crack the
lid to equalize the air pressure. You can do this without seriously degrading
the storageability of the product within the bucket. Remember to re-seal the
lid after doing this.



Bulging cans:
Some bulging cans have been returned to Waltons. In almost every case,
these cans held mixes that contained baking powder or soda. It is
believed
that occasionally the extremely small amount of moisture found in the
product
interacts over time with the baking powder or soda and creates a small
amount
of carbon dioxide gas.

Oxyten absorbers can also react with the baking
powder causing the cans to buldge. These
cans have been sent off for bacteria analysis and and in each case came
back negative.


Storage Life Notes About Specific Foods:


The Soft Grains
Barley
Hulled or
Pearled Oat
Groats
Rolled Oats
Quinoa
Rye
Soft Grains have softer outer shells which don't
protect the seed interior as well as hard shelled seeds
and therefore won't store as long. Hermetically sealed
in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of
8 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They
should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler
temperatures.



The Hard Grains
Buckwheat
Corn, Dry
Flax
Kamut
Millet
Durum wheat
Hard red wheat
Hard white wheat
Soft wheat
Special bake wheat
Spelt
Triticale
The Hard Grains all store well because of their hard
outer shell which is nature's near perfect container.
Remove that container and the contents rapidly
deteriorate. Wheat, probably nature's longest storing
seed, has been known to be edible after scores of years
when stored in a cool dry place. As a general rule for
hard grains, hermetically sealed in the absence of
oxygen, plan on a storage life of 15-20 years at a
stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep
proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.



Beans
Adzuki Beans
Blackeye Beans
Black Turtle Beans
Garbanzo Beans
Great Northern
Kidney Beans
Lentils
Lima Beans
Mung Beans
Pink Beans
Pinto Beans
Small Red Beans
Soy Beans
As beans age they lose their oils, resist water
absorbtion and won't swell. Worst case, they must
be ground to be used. Storing beans in nitrogen
helps prolong the loss of these oils as does cool
temperatures. Hermetically sealed in the absence
of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 8-10 years at
a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep
proportionately longer if stored 10-20 degree F cooler
temperatures.



Dehydrated Vegetables
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Onions
Peppers
Potatoes
Dehydrated vegetables store well if hermetically sealed in the absence
of oxygen. Plan on a storage life of 8-10 years at a stable temperature
of 70 degrees F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler
temperatures.



Dehydrated Dairy Products
Cheese Powder
Cocoa Powder
Powder Eggs
Butter/margarine pdr
Powder Milk
Morning Moo
Whey Powder

Dehydrated Dairy Products generally store very well if stored dry
in hermetically sealed containers with the oxygen removed. Plan on a storage life of 5 to 10 years if
stored at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep, probably 5 years
longer, if stored at cooler temperatures.

One exception is Morning Moo. As a new whey based product, it hasn't been
tested for long term storage. Plan on rotating this product after 5 years.

Our dairy powders (excluding our sour cream powder) contain no fat, an
agent that markedly decreases the storage life of dairy products.

Flours and Other Products
Made From Cracked/ground Seed

All Purpose Flour
Bakers Flour
Unbleached Flour
White Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Cornmeal
Mixes
Refried Beans
Cracked wheat
Germade
Gluten

Wheat flakes

After seeds are broken open their outer shells can no
longer protect the seed contents and seed nutrients
start to degrade. Don't try to store unprotected
flours longer than a year. Hermetically sealed in the
absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 5 years at
a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep
proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.
Note:
Granola is not a long storing food because of the nuts. They contain
high concentrations of oil which go rancid over the short term. Expect
granola to last about 6-9 months.



Pasta
Macaroni
Noodles
Ribbons
Spaghetti
Pasta will store longer than flour if kept dry. Hermetically sealed
in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 10 - 15 years at a stable
temperature of 70 degrees F. Pasta should keep proportionately longer if
stored at cooler temperatures.



Dehydrated Fruit
Fruit doesn't keep as well as many dehydrated items.
Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of
10-15 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep
proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.



Honey, Salt and
Sugar

Honey, Salt and Sugar should keep indefinitely if stored
free of moisture. Watch out for additives in the honey. It is possible
to buy honey with water and sugar added. This honey generally doesn't
crystallize like pure 100% honey does when stored for a long time. If there
are additives, there is no saying how long it will last.



Peanut Butter Powder
Peanut Butter Powder will not store as long as wheat flour.
Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of
4-5 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. It should keep
proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.



Brown and White Rices
Brown
and white rices store very differently. Brown rice
is only expected to store for 6 months under average conditions. This
is
because of the essential fatty acids in brown rice. These oils quickly
go
rancid as they oxidize. It will store much longer if refrigerated.
White
rice has the outer shell removed along with those fats. Because of
this,
white rice isn't nearly as good for you, but will store longer.
Hermetically
sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life for white rice
of
8-10 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. It should keep
proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures. Stored in the
absence of oxygen, brown rice will last longer than if it was stored in
air. Plan on 1 to 2 years. It is very important to store brown rice as
cool as possible, for if you can get the temperature down another ten
degrees, it will double the storage life again.



Garden Seed
or Sprouting Seed
All viable seeds are hibernating tiny living plants that
only need moisture and warmth to sprout. And much like a chick in an egg,
all the nutrients this little life needs to spring into existence is contained
within it's shell. Like boiling an egg, heating a seed will kill that little
life within it. However, unlike an egg, a seed can withstand cold
temperatures. As seeds usually remain edible after the life within it dies,
we must use different criteria when determining sproutable seed storage life.
And again the big deciding factor is temperature. Plan on a storage life of 2 to 3 years at a stable temperature
of 70 degrees F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler
temperatures. And remember, you want to store all of these seeds in air. Packed in nitrogen, the viability
of some seeds will last longer than others. This is still to a large
degree an unexplored science, and therefore we recommend you store all
the seeds you plan on sprouting in air.


Alfalfa is a unique seed as it actually germinates better if the seed is
2 or 3 years old. Most any sample of alfalfa contains 'hard' seed and 'soft'
seed. Soft seed germinates within two days while hard seed germinates in
about a week. The problem is, by the time the soft seed sprouts are ready
to harvest, the hard seed may not have germinated yet. As storage time draws
on, the hard seed turns into soft seed. Older seed germinates closer together.
Stored in cool conditions, alfalfa seed should have a good percentage of
germination up until it is 8 years old.



Total Vegetable Protein
Total Vegetable Protein, made from soy beans, has an unusually
long storage life. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on
a storage life of 15-20 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. meat substitute
should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.



Yeast
Yeast, a living organism, has a relatively short storage
life. Keep yeast in the original metal foil storage containers. If the
seal remains intact, yeast should last 2 years at 70 degrees F. However
it is strongly recommended that you refrigerate it, which should give you
a storage life of 5 years. Frozen yeast should store for a long time.






||
Walton Home Page
|| Whole Grains Home ||





Al Durtschi, E-mail: mark@waltonfeed.com
Home Page: http://waltonfeed.com/


All contents copyright (C) 1996, Al Durtschi. All rights reserved.

This information may be used by you freely for noncommercial use with
my name and E-mail address attached.

Revised: 30 Nov 98

*****************
Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own -- Bryant

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ― Wayne W. Dyer


To be persuasive, one must be believable;
To be believable, one must be credible;
To be credible, one must be truthful.

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Post by Horizon Fri May 04, 2012 9:32 am

Thanks!!!!...... this really will help when trying to buy in bulk. I appreciate this information!!!!STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS 4_17_206

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STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQbUTUwRpDbhT-xIofJl3G31OXoGzOAJS3qKlCApR1lrvZghQYKngbnt9AnaQMakin' Plans...STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS 7_6_8
 
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Post by Guest Fri May 04, 2012 11:26 am

UNEEK--good info to have.

I live in Southeast Texas. We don't have cellars here. Unless we have air conditioning on all the time, there is no place to store food at 70 degrees or lower on an on-going basis. And if there is no electricity for the air conditioner, well, no sustained temperature which degrades the storage life. My best bet is to rotate, rotate so it doesn't go bad.

Really good post!

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Post by UNEEK Fri May 04, 2012 1:14 pm

Thanks for your reply and concerns "aim88" -- just a quick note here as I have lots more mowing to do --

Invest in a machine that vacuum seals -- Be on the look out at yard sales - consignment shops - Craigs List etc -- but even new is not that expensive --

I like to put dry goods in the freezer for a few days to kill any bacterial and then vac seal --

I do not have a cellar or basement in my house either -- Folks will call me crazy but I have a small garage where I store my extra foods -- It is very well insulated and I have a small window a/c that I run in the summer time to protect that investment - it is not that costly on my electric bill -- and of course the winter time is a safe time - we all make sacrifices and or set our priorities -

I have had fun with dehydrating foods too - it would be nice if we had a separate section for "PREPAREDNESS" and we could file our posts there for easy and quick access -- Just a thought -- We have a Coffee Shop -- why not a Preparedness Pantry? lol UNEEK

*****************
Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own -- Bryant

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ― Wayne W. Dyer


To be persuasive, one must be believable;
To be believable, one must be credible;
To be credible, one must be truthful.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
UNEEK
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Post by Guest Fri May 04, 2012 1:33 pm

Hey, girl, good ideas! I live in an apartment. Storage room is on the patio--no garage, no air conditioner, no electricity. :-(

Come on, RV, so I can buy a house!! And a garage!! :-)

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Post by SEBtopdog Fri May 04, 2012 2:40 pm

More fantastic info! Thank you, UNEEK, for bringing this thoughtful material to us. I'm printing out this info, along with the other preparedness list you posted. This weekend I'm going to take stock again, even though I have a pretty good start already, and decide what else I can do right now, then plan for short-term and long-term additions to my emergency stocks. Sometimes it's as simple as keeping the gas tank at least half full (especially here in earthquake country), making sure there is a minimum amount of emergency supplies (blanket, flashlight, flares, first-aid kit, water, granola bars) in the car at all times. 1alaskan said he's been carrying an emergency kit in his car for 30 years. Smart fellow! Once we start thinking in terms of depending on ourselves, so many new ideas come to mind. This has been a thought provoking thread. Thank you!

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Post by dinarstar Fri May 04, 2012 2:43 pm

aim88 wrote:Hey, girl, good ideas! I live in an apartment. Storage room is on the patio--no garage, no air conditioner, no electricity. :-(

Come on, RV, so I can buy a house!! And a garage!! :-)


Laughing Laughing Laughing

You are lucky...I do not have even a patio,so if I need to reduce the temp in my apartment,I will be joining my perishables in the "feeze dried" section... Wink

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Post by SEBtopdog Fri May 04, 2012 2:47 pm

@dinarstar wrote:
aim88 wrote:Hey, girl, good ideas! I live in an apartment. Storage room is on the patio--no garage, no air conditioner, no electricity. :-(

Come on, RV, so I can buy a house!! And a garage!! :-)


Laughing Laughing Laughing

You are lucky...I do not have even a patio,so if I need to reduce the temp in my apartment,I will be joining my perishables in the "feeze dried" section... Wink

I hope we see a home with plenty of storage space in your VERY NEAR future, DinarStar! STORAGE LIFE OF DRY FOODS 949729897

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Post by dinarstar Fri May 04, 2012 2:53 pm

:yes:

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Post by Kevind53 Fri May 04, 2012 5:11 pm

Not so much dry goods, but think about building an old fashioned root cellar I have been playing with how to best do that for us .... It could be as simple as an insulated walled off corner of the basement. For those of you who are in the land of slab foundations, you'll have to do some digging. The plus is in the event of a tornado, a well built root cellar is one of the best places you can be. Fresh stuff that stores well, like carrots, turnips, potatoes, onions, cabbage, apples, winter squash etc. will last till spring when stored correctly.

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Post by SEBtopdog Fri May 04, 2012 5:19 pm

@Kevind53 wrote:Not so much dry goods, but think about building an old fashioned root cellar I have been playing with how to best do that for us .... It could be as simple as an insulated walled off corner of the basement. For those of you who are in the land of slab foundations, you'll have to do some digging. The plus is in the event of a tornado, a well built root cellar is one of the best places you can be. Fresh stuff that stores well, like carrots, turnips, potatoes, onions, cabbage, apples, winter squash etc. will last till spring when stored correctly.

Yes sir, Kev! Most of our grandparents either had root cellars (mine called it a fruit cellar), or at the very least they put food by (canning the year's garden harvest for consumption later). There was always enough food in there that the family could survine an entire winter if necessary. Many people don't realize the root cellar is the BEST way to keep the produce you mentioned above. Refrigeration ruins the flavor. As you suggested in another post, the food was always rotated and kept fresh. Food canned in Mason jars is not the same as right out of the garden, but there was some pretty yummy stuff down in that cellar. rabbit

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