General Question

flo's avatar

Which grains, seeds, nuts,legumes, pulses etc. have the longest or the shortest shelf life?

Asked by flo (13313points) January 30th, 2015

Is there is a site that lists them, according to length of shelf life, the shortest or longest shelf life?
I just learned the term pulse. Lentils are pulse.
Anyway I just want to know among all those things we eat (whatever they are called technically) which ones to use up first before they go bad, kind of thing.

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5 Answers

Unbroken's avatar

I’m not sure. There seemed to be conflicting and incomplete data on the timing of nutrient depletion. But I did stumble upon emergency food storage

It had everything on it but nuts. I would say shelled most of those have a very short life span. Because of moisture content and the likely hood they have some form of mold.

thorninmud's avatar

Since all of these foods are typically stored in dried form, there can’t be any microbial spoilage. The main factor is going to be fat content. All fats are subject to oxidation (which is a chemical reaction, not something living in the food). Oxidation creates some pretty nasty tasting compounds, which we call “rancid” flavors. They won’t make you sick, but the food is “spoiled” in the sense that no one will want to eat it.

All nuts are pretty high in fat, and most cereals (especially whole grain) contain some fat as well. Pulses are mostly very low in fat. But not all fats are equally subject to oxidation; it depends on their particular fatty acid composition. And some nuts contain other compounds that inhibit oxidation. Walnuts, for instance, are very high in fat, and but they’re also high in tannic acid, which is an anti-oxidant, so they end up keeping fairly well despite their fat content. Macadamias, on the other hand, will go rancid in a heartbeat because they don’t have a similar anti-oxidant.

There can be insect damage, of course; even though packages remain intact, you never know which products already contained eggs or larvae before being packaged. Grains are more susceptible to this than are pulses or nuts.

ibstubro's avatar

Check out EatByDate, and I think you can find all your answers there very easily.

There is so much difference between grains, nuts and legumes I doubt you could find a meaningful list that included them all.

majorrich's avatar

I’ve been told Rice lasts really well if you keep it dry.

flo's avatar

Thank you so much everyone, I’m still reading the links you posted. I asked because someone said yellow peas? just refused to cook and lost all the flavor after I forget how long they said.

Brown rice can last longer if refrigirated it says Good to know.

So much to learn, like what makes something seed what makes it grain etc.

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