The Long-term Storage of Corn Meal

For years I have been under the misconception that cornmeal could not be stored for long periods of time.  I always believed that it would turn the oils rancid.  As a result, I have always stored popcorn or dent corn in whole kernels.  In this form, it stores well, but not all grinders will handle whole grain corn.  Some like the Country Living Grain Mill will, but many of the lower-priced ones will not handle it.

I recently came across some information form BYU (Brigham Young University) in Utah.  Because of being LDS they do a lot of research on the storage life of various foods.  A recent study that they conducted involved the storage of corn meal.  Number 10 cans of corn meal with low oxygen content from 1-33 years old were studied.  The results indicated that it was acceptable for use.

The study available at https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/facpub/29/ stated  “There was no significant decrease over storage time in aroma, texture, flavor, and overall acceptability in corn meal, cornbread or corn meal cereal.”  It lost color becoming significantly less yellow and red during storage.

Based on this study I feel that storing in number 10 cans or Mylar bags with oxygen absorber is quite acceptable.

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11 thoughts on “The Long-term Storage of Corn Meal”

  1. Thanks Howard. I have a case of two year old corn meal and was just recently wondering if I should open a can to see how well it was storing. With your info I might just get another case instead. I do love me some cornbread….

    1. Adrienne B Pereira

      Being as most cornmeal is degermed (the germ, which can go rancid is removed) it can store for a very long time. Imo

    1. I would like to know the best method of storing corn meal for long term storage. Also I would like to know if this method will work for flour as well.

        1. Cornmeal has a very long shelf life. Store it in a cool location, make sure pests cannot get into it, and it should stay good for at least 10 years.

  2. I want to buy a 50 pound bag of coarse corn meal from a restaurant supply company and put it into a Mylar bag inside a bucket. Would the moisture content be low enough from this type of bulk bag, or do the commercially done #10 cans from prepper companies like Emergency Essentials do something additionally to dry them out more? The #10 can from them is regularly $10.99 for 54 oz, while the bulk bag of 50 lbs from the restaurant supply company is $10.49. Quite a difference!

  3. We recently opened a five gallon bucket with mylar bag and 2000 cc o2 absorber. It was put up in 2009 and it was fine. I made lots of cornbread for a large group of preppers and it was delicious. Just my experiences.

  4. Mrs. Jane Gelwicks

    Hello I would like to know if I can store yellow cornmeal that you buy from a store Using my food saver vacuum seal in a jar do I have to use a oxygen absorber and how long will that keep thank you

  5. This article was published back on July 29, 2013 under the name of “Howard” on this website. Can we either not repeat articles or at least state that it is a reposting for clarification?

    1. Thanks, Jose. We have a new editor and have been trying to add updated content for that very reason. There have been a few articles that republished before we could do that.

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