Flour & Grain Products – Shelf Life Guide during the current wet and high humidity conditions

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Flour & Grain Products – Shelf Life Guide during the current wet and high humidity conditions

Flour and grain products consist predominantly of minimally processed natural ingredients which will deteriorate over time. They can also be hygroscopic which means they are likely to absorb and release moisture as the surrounding atmosphere changes.

Whilst the paper bags used are specifically designed to prevent sweating and other contamination, under the wet and very humid conditions such as that being currently experienced the products can absorb moisture from the atmosphere which may cause the product to lump together during storage.

This may change the appearance of the product and in extreme cases mould may also develop if the product absorbs sufficient moisture under favourable growth conditions. These are natural phenomena and despite the best manufacturing practices and storage conditions deterioration may still occur.

Due to these natural factors the stated shelf life of these products may be reduced and cannot be guaranteed in all conditions. This is especially the case during the current period of ongoing wet and humid conditions over much of eastern Australia where normal product shelf life may be drastically reduced.

Under these current conditions correct storage and effective stock rotation is critical in preventing deterioration and obtaining the best shelf life possible.

To assist in reducing the risk of deterioration we recommend the following wherever possible:

  • Remove pallet wrapping as soon as practical after receipt of the product. This will minimise high humidity and possible sweating which may occur if the wrap which doesn’t breathe is not removed.
  • Store the product in an enclosed area with minimal temperature fluctuation, ideally in an air conditioned location or cold room if available. 
  • Store product in racking of possible and ensure pallets are not store so close together that air movement and ventilation is impeded 
  • Avoid storage in production areas where high humidity or water may be present. Water should never pool under or around stored pallets. 
  • Avoid storage against walls where ventilation is poor or possible temperature fluctuations may occur.
  • Monitor product bags on a frequent basis during storage. Areas which may normally be ideal may be less so under these highly humid conditions and constant vigilance will minimise deterioration if identified early. 
  • Wherever possible minimise the quantities of stored product on hand to limit stock at risk.

For further information or assistance, please contact our Service department on 1800 684 343.