Can Cornstarch Go Bad

does cornstarch go bad

Cornstarch is an integral ingredient and additive that is made from the starch that comes from corn stock and kernels. Its main use is to be added to the sauces, pies, cakes, and breads that require its’ starch in order to turn into some of our favorite foods. Cornstarch is used around the world and is known for its’ thickening purposes. There are many types of cornstarch out there in supermarkets for consumers to buy and choose from. If you go to your local supermarket and you see a big sale on bags of cornstarch, and you want to save time and money, what should you do? If you want to get the most out of your product and make it last for a long time while staying fresh, is cornstarch the right product to buy in bulk? The ultimate question remains; does cornstarch go bad?

Does Cornstarch Go Bad or Expire?

Contrary to popular belief, cornstarch can and does go bad. However, it can last for indefinitely if it is stored properly and with caution. If you follow the necessary steps and procedures, you will get the most out of every ounce of cornstarch you buy on sale. It’s important to keep in mind that since cornstarch is a fine and thin powder, it’s much easier to store for a long time without any significant problems when compared to other food products. By extending the shelf life and being cautious, you and your guests will enjoy the cornstarch for a few years or more.

Usually cornstarch has a sell buy or best buy date, however when stored properly you can consume it past that date.

Storing The Cornstarch Properly

When it comes to cornstarch, the most important thing to keep in mind in terms of proper storage should be where the product is going to be placed. Cornstarch, like many other products is best preserved in cold, dark, and dry places. The worst environments for cornstarch should be avoided if you want your cornstarch to last for a very long time. These environments include wet, humid, and hot areas that are filled with sunlight or other types of light. Exposing the cornstarch to outside elements such as water and oxygen will be harmful to your ability to store the product for the long-term. Instead, you’ll want to find a cool and dark place to put your cornstarch. Examples of these types of places include a kitchen cabinet, a pantry, or even a cellar if that is available for use.

It’s also good news for consumers to find out that cornstarch can also be stored at room temperature as long as that same room isn’t too hot or exposed to sunlight. When the package of cornstarch is opened for the first time, it may be a good idea to transfer the remaining contents to a container that can be tightly sealed. You will want to remove all of the air before you seal the container of cornstarch. After moving the cornstarch to a sealed container, it should remain that way and not be opened unless its’ necessary. It is very difficult for cornstarch to get wet and because it stays dry rather easily, storing the product for many years is not difficult at all. If you prefer to store the sealed container of cornstarch in the refrigerator, that’s also another option, which will help to expand the lifespan of this product without too much trouble.

Shelf Life of Cornstarch

Compared to most other products, the shelf life of cornstarch comes close to indefinite and could be considered that if you follow the necessary steps and precautions. If not stored properly, it is natural for cornstarch to be at a higher risk of going bad prematurely. Cornstarch has a “use by” or “best before” date but that doesn’t mean it will go bad on that date. Quite the contrary, the cornstarch will last for many years especially if its’ stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. As stated before, it’s necessary to store the cornstarch away from any heat, sunlight, humidity, or moisture.

Unlike most products, however, cornstarch will not be significantly affected if it gets wet with water. Instead, what will happen is that the wetness will dry out due to the ingredients of the cornstarch. Thus, the cornstarch will absorb the moisture and the water won’t negatively affect the product. This is partly why cornstarch is an effective product to keep and use for the long-term.

Signs of Bad Cornstarch

In the very small likelihood that your cornstarch goes bad, what are the signs to look out for in order to avoid using the product when its’ best days are behind it? There are a few signs to look out for in order to be able to tell just exactly that. While cold water doesn’t affect cornstarch that much, a lot of warm water will cause the cornstarch material to start to dissipate and lose its’ texture and form. You’ll want to avoid exposing your cornstarch to water, especially warm water, which can do more damage than cold-water exposure. If the cornstarch has become unusually thick, clumpy, or mushy, then it’s a sure sign that the product might have started to go bad. Also, a simple smell test can tell you if the cornstarch is normal or if there is a bad or unusual odor emanating from it.

Lastly, putting some of the product into a cake, or other food product and doing a small taste test will tell you whether or not you should keep or throw out the cornstarch. With these three tests of taste, smell, and texture, you should be able to tell if the cornstarch you bought has gone bad or not.


Cornstarch is one of the few products out there on the world market that can last for an almost indefinite amount of time. It works well in tons of recipes and is quite a useful ingredient. You will most definitely get the most bang for your buck if you decide to buy this product in bulk. Just make sure you use common sense and store it properly for the long-term in order to avoid any potential short falls in shelf life. Enjoy!



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