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Foods -- Breads and Grains

Why would self-rising flour be bad?

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Self-rising flour is simply flour, salt, and a leavening agent --is baking powder. One can make their own self-rising flour at home using these three ingredients. Genetically modifying the wheat would not affect the rising characteristics of the flour. My conclusion is that her flour is old. Over time, the baking powder's ability to leaven will decrease. My resources state that baking powder has a shelf life of about one year. Therefore this would apply to self-rising flour. Also the color indicates to me that perhaps the flour had been stored in a very warm location so the Maillard reaction might have taken place. This results in browning of the flour and can be common in dried milk powder. The bottom line is to ask her how old the flour is and where it was stored? This probably the culprit more so than genetically modified wheat.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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