Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's a matter of ....choosing between purchasing Wheat versus Wheat Flour

In light of the recent caselot sales, I have received inquiries about different food items and how long they store. Here is a recent question:

"Does it take 5 gallons of wheat to make 5 gallons of wheat flour ground? I ask this because Macey's has wheat for $18.99 and wheat flour for $19.99/for 5 gallon buckets. So for one dollar more, I would not have to grind all that wheat. Should I look at it this way?"

Here is my answer:
Wheat versus flour: In regard to volume, you will have more flour after it is milled. However, once wheat has been milled or ground, it needs to be used quickly. Some sources say that it must be used within 2 weeks, others say between 2 months up to 6 months. I believe the 6-months suggestion is really an outlier. However, if the fat content is below 2 percent, you could try to store it for several months.

In general, whole wheat flour cannot be stored long term. However, all purpose flour can be stored for years. The difference with whole wheat flour is that the fat within the wheat kernel is disturbed during the milling process. The fat goes rancid when it is ground and not used. All purpose flour has had the fat removed and it is bleached. If you purchase the wheat flour already milled or ground, you would know that you would need to use it right away. Lastly, wheat can be stored (unmilled) for years and years.

Hopefully this information can help you make an informed decision about what you wish to purchase. Best wishes on your efforts to be prepared.

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