Does Cornstarch Go Bad?

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As a chef, you understand the importance of having quality ingredients in your kitchen. Cornstarch is an essential pantry item with many uses — from thickening sauces to dusting surfaces for rolling dough. Basically, this post answers the question: Does Cornstarch Go Bad?

But if you’ve had a cornstarch package tucked away in a cupboard for years, does it go bad? Or can you still use it as needed without issue? Or, if you want to know how long does cornstarch last? In this blog post, we’ll cover the key points of whether or not cornstarch goes bad and offer tips on storing your cornstarch safely so that it stays fresh when cooking needs arise!

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

What Is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is a fine powder substance made from corn kernels and used as a thickening agent in recipes like sauces, gravies, and puddings. It also has other uses, such as polishing silverware or helping to absorb odors in the fridge.

Is Cornstarch Good for You?

Cornstarch is a good source of carbohydrates and energy. It’s also low in fat and has no cholesterol or sodium.

How Many Carbs in Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is powdered from corn kernels that have been ground down and treated to remove fats and proteins, leaving all carbohydrates behind. One tablespoon of cornstarch contains 6g of carbohydrates.

What Does Cornstarch Taste Like?

Cornstarch has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It’s not overly noticeable when added to dishes, but it can add a bit of sweetness.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad?

Generally speaking, cornstarch does not go bad quickly. It has a very long shelf life if kept in a sealed bag or airtight container in a cool and dry place. However, some circumstances can cause cornstarch to spoil.

We’ll discuss some of the ways that cornstarch can spoil and how to tell if it has gone bad.

What Is the Average Cornstarch Shelf Life?

Are you curious about how long does cornstarch last? On average, corn starch has indefinite shelf life stored properly. This means the expiration date will not be a concern, as it will be fine. 

Cornstarch should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct light sources to ensure maximum freshness. Though artificial preservatives are not usually used in cornstarch, keeping an eye out for signs of spoilage or odd odors and tastes is still recommended.

Be sure to also check the packaging for any signs of damage, which could affect how long cornstarch will last, even under proper storing conditions.

How Can You Tell if Cornstarch Is Spoiled?

Here are some of the signs that cornstarch has gone bad:


The most common sign of spoiled cornstarch is a musty or moldy smell. This indicates that the starch has been exposed to moisture, which causes mold to grow. It will also have an off-putting or sour flavor.


If you see any visible signs of mold, discard the cornstarch immediately. Mold can produce toxins that can make you sick if ingested.


If the cornstarch has an off or sour taste, it means that your cornstarch has gone bad.


You may also notice that the cornstarch has clumped together and is difficult to break apart. This usually happens when it’s been exposed to moisture. For instance, if it gets exposed to moisture or humidity, it can turn lumpy and lose its thickening properties.

If you find lumpy cornstarch, it won’t be suitable for cooking, so it’s best to throw it out.

How Should You Store Cornstarch Properly?

Storing cornstarch the right way is essential to ensure its effectiveness and longevity. The best way to keep cornstarch safe and fresh is to store it in an airtight container or airtight jar, away from direct sunlight and moisture exposure, in a cool dark place.

It should also be stored away from direct sunlight, which can cause the starch to break down prematurely.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

Additionally, make sure you choose an airtight container as it won’t let dust or other particles get inside, which can contaminate the product. Regularly inspect and clean containers to ensure you are getting unspoiled, usable cornstarch on hand.

What Is the Best Cornstarch Container?

Choosing a suitable container for storing cornstarch is an important decision. You want a durable, user-friendly container with a good seal. The best containers for storing your cornstarch are those made of plastic or steel.

Plastic containers come in many different sizes and have good sealing lids, perfect for keeping the cornstarch from becoming damp and lumpy. Steel containers are heavy-duty and offer excellent protection from air and moisture, both essential in preserving freshness!

With such a variety, you can find the ideal container for all your cornstarch needs!

Can I Freeze Cornstarch?

Yes, you can freeze cornstarch for long-term storage. Transfer the starch to a freezer bag or airtight container and keep it in the freezer. The frozen cornstarch will remain good for up to two years.

How to Thaw Cornstarch

To use the frozen cornstarch, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it. Once thawed, use the cornstarch as soon as possible. It will not last long once thawed, so use it quickly.

Can You Eat Expired Cornstarch?

Eating expired cornstarch is generally not recommended as it may have lost its thickening power and can contain mold or other contaminants. Discarding any old or expired cornstarch and purchasing a new container is best.

What Is the Difference Between Cornstarch and Corn Flour?

Cornstarch and corn flour are two very different products, even though they’re often confused for the same thing.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

While cornstarch is made from corn kernels that have been ground into a white powder and contain only the starchy part of corn, cornflour is a much more specialized product that uses an entire corn kernel—bran, germ, and endosperm—ground up into a powder.

This makes cornflour richer in vitamins and minerals than cornstarch. When choosing between the two products while cooking or baking, consider the result you are looking for.

Best Substitute for Cornstarch?

Corn starch is a pantry staple and used as a thickening agent for many recipes; however, if you don’t have any in stock, there are other foods that you can use in its place:

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is an ideal substitute for cornstarch, as it has similar thickening power and adds a glossy shine to sauces and gravies. It is made from the root of the arrowroot plant and is naturally gluten-free. Due to its powdery texture, it dissolves quickly in cold or hot liquids.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch is made from the cassava plant’s root. It is also a thickening agent similar to cornstarch. It’s flavorless, gluten-free, and has a silky texture when cooked, which makes it an ideal substitute for sauces and gravies.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

The drawback of tapioca starch is its higher glycemic index, which can get lumpy if not mixed properly.

Potato Starch

Potato starch is made from the potato plant’s root and works excellently as an alternative to cornstarch. It also has good thickening power but won’t be glossy like arrowroot or tapioca starch. It’s flavorless and can be used for thickening soups, gravies, and sauces.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

Rice Flour

Rice flour is made from ground rice grains and has a similar thickening power as cornstarch but a slightly different texture. It’s also gluten-free and can be used for thickening sauces and gravies. The downside of rice flour is that it takes longer to dissolve than cornstarch, so you’ll need to cook your dish a bit longer.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

Flaxseed Meal

Flaxseed meal is made from ground flaxseeds and has a thickening power similar to cornstarch. It is high in fiber and protein, giving your dish a slightly nutty flavor when cooked. The downside of using flaxseed meals as an alternative for cornstarch is that it does not provide any shine or glossy texture to sauces and gravies.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

Can I Use Flour Instead of Cornstarch?

So can you substitute flour for cornstarch? The answer is yes. Although flour has different properties, it can be used as a substitute for cornstarch.

Flour is denser and contains gluten, making it more difficult to thicken sauces or gravies. It also doesn’t absorb moisture as effectively as cornstarch, so you may need to use more flour than you would if using cornstarch.

Is Cornstarch Gluten Free?

Yes, cornstarch is gluten-free. It’s made from corn which does not contain any gluten. This makes it a healthy alternative to flour for those with gluten intolerance.

Is Cornstarch Vegan?

Yes, cornstarch is vegan. It’s made from corn which does not contain any animal products. This makes it an excellent option for vegans and vegetarians.

Is Cornstarch Keto?

Yes, cornstarch is keto-friendly. It’s made from corn, has few carbs, and is gluten-free, so it is a great option for those following a ketogenic diet.

Meals That Use Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is used in many meals; here are a few of them:

  • Fried chicken
  • Dumplings
  • Soups and stews
  • Gravies
  • Pie fillings
  • Sauces
  • Puddings
  • Custards
  • Glazes and icings

What if I Find Pantry Bugs in Cornstarch?

Finding pantry bugs inside your cornstarch can be a nightmare! First, discard any pantry cornstarch that has become contaminated. Then, empty all other pantry items and food products, putting them in sealed plastic bags. Thoroughly clean and vacuum pantry shelves and dry mop, then dispose of all vacuumed material outside your home.

Does Cornstarch Last Longer Than Baking Powder?

Cornstarch and baking powder are very different ingredients, but what about shelf life? The answer to that question might surprise you.

Cornstarch has an indefinite shelf life if stored correctly in an airtight container and not attacked by pantry bugs.

This means the shelf life of cornstarch is greater than baking powder – which is shelf stable for only a few months and must be replaced afterward. So, cornstarch has the upper hand when it comes to shelf life!

How to Use Cornstarch to Thicken Soup?

Corn starch can be used to thicken soups and sauces. The process of using cornstarch to make your soup or sauce thicker is a simple one.

Does Cornstarch Go Bad

Start by combining one tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold liquid such as cold water, broth, or juice in a small bowl until the contents are smooth.

Once combined, slowly stir the mixture into the boiling soup or sauce until fully incorporated. Simmer the soup for another 5 minutes to let the cornstarch work its thickening magic, and then test the consistency before adding more cornstarch if needed.

Be mindful that too much cornstarch added at once can result in a glue-like texture; adding small amounts at a time will yield better results.

How to Make Gravy With Cornstarch?

Gravy made with cornstarch is a simple and delicious way to add extra flavor and texture to your favorite dishes. Here’s how you can make it:

Does Cornstarch Go Bad


  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 cups of chicken or beef broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary


  1. Mix the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold broth in a small bowl until completely dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining broth over medium heat in a medium saucepan until it simmers. Add the cornstarch mixture, stirring for about two minutes or until the gravy thickens.
  3. Taste and season with salt, pepper (and herbs, if desired).

Where Is Cornstarch in the Grocery Store?

Finding corn starch at the grocery store is incredibly easy. It is usually found near the baking aisle’s flour, sugar, and other dry baking ingredients. Look for a box labeled “cornstarch” or “corn flour.” If you need help locating it, seek out a grocery store clerk, and they can help point you in the right direction.

So How Long Does Cornstarch Last?

In conclusion, cornstarch is a great keto-friendly, shelf-stable ingredient used in many meals. With an indefinite shelf life, if stored properly and not infected by pantry bugs, cornstarch lasts longer than baking powder which is shelf stable for only a few months.

It is also used to thicken soups and sauces, as well as to make delicious gravies. It can be found in the baking aisle of any grocery store, so it’s easy to stock up on. With proper storage and care, cornstarch can last indefinitely, making it a great pantry staple for any home cook!

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