Know : List of Foods’ Storage Periods

 

Food-storage-shelf-items

Proper food storage helps maintain food quality by retaining flavor, color, texture and nutrients, while reducing the chance of contracting a food-borne illness. Foods can be classified into three groups.

  • Perishable foods include meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs and many raw fruits and vegetables. All cooked foods are considered perishable foods. To store these foods for any length of time, perishable foods need to be held at refrigerator or freezer temperatures. If refrigerated, perishable foods should be used within several days.
  • Semi-perishable foods, if properly stored and handled, may remain unspoiled for six months to about one year. Flour, grain products, dried fruits and dry mixes are considered semi-perishable.
  • Staple, or non-perishable, foods such as sugar, dried beans, spices and canned goods do not spoil unless they are handled carelessly. These foods will lose quality, however, if stored over a long time, even if stored under ideal conditions.

There is no exact method to determine how long a food will maintain quality and be safe to eat, because many conditions affect the quality. The storage life of foods is affected by the:

  • freshness of the food when it reached the grocery store
  • length of time and the temperature at which it was held before purchase
  • temperature of your food storage areas
  • humidity level in your food storage areas
  • type of storage container or packaging the food is stored in
  • characteristics of the food item

 

Storage Periods for Retaining Food Quality
Food Room Temperature Refrigerator Freezer at 0°F
Milk/Milk Products
Milk 1 week 1 month
Butter 2 weeks 12 months
Canned or dry milk (unopened) 6 months
Cottage cheese 1 week 3 months
Cream 1-2 weeks
Ice cream 2-3 weeks
Margarine 1 month 12 months
Natural cheese 1 month 4-6 months
Processed cheese 1 month 4-6 months
Sour cream, buttermilk, cream cheese 2 weeks Not recommended
Yogurt 1 month
Meat
Fresh roasts, steaks, chops 3-4 days 2-3 months
Fresh livers, hearts, kidneys, other variety meats 1-2 days 3-4 months
Fresh ground meat, stew meat 1-2 days 3-4 months
Cured pork and lunch meat 1 week Not recommended
Cooked meat, gravies made with meat stock 2-3 days 2-3 months
Canned meat 1 year
Meat pies, stews, casseroles, meat salads 2-3 days 3 months
Hotdogs 1 week (opened) 2 weeks (unopened) 1-2 months
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw from pork, beef, turkey 1-2 days 1-2 months
Hard sausage-pepperoni, jerky sticks 2-3 weeks 1-2 months
Poultry/Eggs
Fresh poultry 2 days 6-8 months
Cooked poultry 2-3 days 6 months
Poultry stuffing 1 day
Poultry pies, stews, creamed dishes, gravies 1 day 6 months
Poultry salads 1 day
Eggs 2-4 weeks 1 year
Raw yolk, whites 2-4 days 1 year
Hardcooked eggs 1 week Not recommended
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes 10 days (unopened) 3 days (opened) 1 year (unopened)
Egg-containing products: custards, custard sauces, puddings, custard-filled pastries or cakes 1-2 days Not recommended
Puddings, canned 1-2 days (opened)
Fish/Seafood
Fresh fish 1-2 days 3-6 months
Cooked fish 3-4 days 1 month
Fish salad 1 day
Smoked fish 10 days 4-5 weeks
Canned fish 1 year Not recommended
Dried or pickled fish 3-4 weeks
Clams, oyster (shucked) and scallops 7-9 days
Crab 7 days 2 months
Shrimp 3-5 days 6-12 months
Lobster (shelled or unshelled) 3-7 days 6-12 months
Wild Game
Venison 3-5 days 3-4 months
Rabbit, squirrel 1-2 days 12 months
Wild duck, pheasant, goose(whole) 1-2 days 6 months
Fruits
Apples Until ripe 1 month
Citrus fruits 2-6 weeks
Grapes 1-3 weeks
Melons, most varieties 1 week
Peaches, nectarines 2-3 weeks
Pears (mature but not fully ripe) 1-3 months
Pineapple, ripe 1 week
Other fresh fruit Until ripe 3-5 days 9-12 months
Canned fruit 1 year 2-4 days (opened)
Dried fruit 6 months 2-4 days (cooked)
Fruit juice concentrates 1 year
Canned fruit juices 1 year 3-4 days (opened)
Vegetables
Asparagus 2-3 days
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, green peas, green onions, lima beans, rhubarb, greens, summer squash, mushrooms 3-5 days
Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, snap beans, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes 1 week
Carrots, beets, parsnips, radishes, turnips 2 weeks
Corn 1 day
White potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, rutabagas, dry onions 1 week (several months at 50-60°F)
Canned or dried vegetables 1 year 1-4 days (opened/cooked)
Cereal Products
Flour, white 1 year
Flour, whole or wheat 6-8 months 1 year
Rice, white 2 years
Rice, brown 6 months
Ready-to-eat cereals 1 year
Uncooked cereals 1 year
Pasta 1 year
Corn meal 1 year
Bakery Goods
Breads, baked with no preservatives 2-3 weeks 2-3 months
Breads, quick, baked 2 months
Cake, angel 6-12 months
Cake, baked, frosted 1 month
Cake, baked, unfrosted 2-4 months
Cakes, batter 1 month
Cakes, fruit 6-12 months
Cinnamon rolls, partially baked 2 months
Cookies, baked, homemade 2-3 weeks 6-12 months
Cookies, dough 1-2 days 3 months
Cookies, packaged 2 months 12-18 months
Crackers 2 months
Doughnuts, unfrosted 2-4 months
Muffins, baked 6-12 months
Pies, fruit 2-3 days (baked) 1-2 days (unbaked) 6-8 months (baked) 2-4 months (unbaked)
Pies, pumpkin or chiffon 2-3 days 1-2 months
Rolls and bread, unbaked 2-3 weeks 1 month
Waffles 1 month
Mixes/Packaged Foods
Biscuit, brownie, muffin mix 9 months
Cake mixes 6-9 months
Casserole mix 9-12 months
Cookies, homemade 2-3 weeks
Cookies, packaged 2 months
Crackers 3 months
Croutons and bread crumbs 6 months 6 months 1 year
Frosting, canned 3 months
Frosting, mix 8 months
Hot roll mix 18 months
Pancake mix 6-9 months
Piecrust, mix 6-9 months
Potatoes, instant 6-12 months
Rice mixes 6 months
Sauce and gravy mixes 6-12 months
Soup mixes 12 months
Toaster pastries 2-3 months
Other Foods
Baking powder 18 months
Baking soda 2 years
Chocolate syrup 2 years (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Cocoa mixes 8 months
Coffee, lighteners (dry) 9 months (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Cornstarch 18 months
Gelatin 18 months
Pectin 1 year
Salad dressings, bottled 12 months (unopened) 1-3 months (opened) Not recommended
Sugar, brown 18 months
Sugar, confectioners’ 18 months
Sugar, granulated 2 years
Vinegar 2 years (unopened) 1 year (opened)
Cheese, parmesan, grated 10 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Coconut, shredded 12 months (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Imitation bacon bits, etc. 4 months
Peas, beans, dried 12 months
Popcorn 2 years
Whipped topping, dry 12 months
Yeast, dry Expiration date on package
Honey, jams, syrups, molasses 1 year
Nuts, unshelled 6 months
Nuts, shelled 6 months
Peanut butter 6 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Chocolate 1 year
Coffee 1 year (unopened) 2-4 weeks (opened)
Coffee, instant 6 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Pudding mixes 1 year
Shortening, solid 8 months
Vegetable oils 1-3 months
Tea, bags or loose 1 year
Tea, instant 1 year
Soft drinks 3 months
Bouillon products 1 year
Mayonnaise 10-12 weeks Not recommended
Spices, Herbs, Condiments, Extracts
Catsup, chili sauce 12 months (unopened) 1 month (opened)
Mustard, prepared yellow (refrigerate 2 years (unopened) for longer storage) 6-8 months (opened)
Spices, whole 1-2 years
Spices, ground 6 months
Herbs 6 months
Herb/spice blends 2 years (unopened) 12 months (opened)
Other extracts 12 months

Exclusive Cupboard Storage Chart
• Store foods in cool cabinets and away from appliances which produce heat.
• Many staples and canned foods have a relatively long shelf life, but buy only what you can expect to use within the time recommended in the chart. Date food packages and use the oldest first. Foods stored for longer than recommended times or beyond date on the package may change quality, color and flavor.
• Buy fresh-looking packages. Dusty cans or torn labels can indicate old stock. Do not purchase dented or bulging cans.

Cupboard Storage Cupboard Storage2

Courtesy & Credits : UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA–LINCOLN &  North Dakota State University

Excerpts from original articles by


 

Know : A Few Facts about Sugar : Sources & Types

Sugar is the generalized name for a class of chemically-related sweet-flavored substances, most of which are used as food. They are carbohydrates, composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources.  

Chemically-different substances may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Some are used as lower-calorie food substitutes for sugar described as artificial sweeteners.

Types of sugar

Monosaccharides

Glucose, fructose and galactose are all simple sugars, monosaccharides, with the general formula C6H12O6. They have five hydroxyl groups (−OH) and a carbonyl group (C=O) and are cyclic when dissolved in water. They each exist as several isomers with dextro– and laevo-rotatory forms which cause polarized light to diverge to the right or the left.

Glucose, dextrose or grape sugar occurs naturally in fruits and plant juices and is the primary product of photosynthesis. Most ingested carbohydrates are converted into glucose during digestion and it is the form of sugar that is transported around the bodies of animals in the bloodstream. It can be manufactured from starch by the addition of enzymes or in the presence of acids. Glucose syrup is a liquid form of glucose that is widely used in the manufacture of foodstuffs. It can be manufactured from starch byenzymatic hydrolysis

Fructose or fruit sugar occurs naturally in fruits, some root vegetables, cane sugar and honey and is the sweetest of the sugars. It is one of the components of sucrose or table sugar. It is used as a high fructose syrup which is manufactured from hydrolized corn starch which has been processed to yield corn syrup, with enzymes then added to convert part of the glucose into fructose.

Galactose does not generally occur in the free state but is a constituent with glucose of the disaccharide lactose or milk sugar. It is less sweet than glucose. It is a component of the antigens found on the surface of red blood cells that determine blood groups.

Disaccharides

Sucrose, maltose and lactose are all compound sugars, disaccharides, with the general formula C12H22O11. They are formed by the combination of two monosaccharide molecules with the exclusion of a molecule of water.

Sucrose is found in the stems of sugar cane and roots of sugar beet. It also occurs naturally alongside fructose and glucose in other plants, particularly fruits and some roots such as carrots. The different proportions of sugars found in these foods determines the range of sweetness experienced when eating them. A molecule of sucrose is formed by the combination of a molecule of glucose with a molecule of fructose. After being eaten, sucrose is split into its constituent parts during digestion by a number of enzymes known as sucrases.

Maltose is formed during the germination of certain grains, most notably barley which is converted into malt, the source of the sugar’s name. A molecule of maltose is formed by the combination of two molecules of glucose. It is less sweet than glucose, fructose or sucrose. It is formed in the body during the digestion of starch by the enzyme amylase and is itself broken down during digestion by the enzyme maltase.

Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar found in milk. A molecule of lactose is formed by the combination of a molecule of galactose with a molecule of glucose. It is broken down when consumed into its constituent parts by the enzyme lactase during digestion. Children have this enzyme but some adults no longer form it and they are unable to digest lactose.

mono-di-ply

Production

Most of the sugar in the world comes from two sources: Sugar Cane and Sugar beets, as it is easily extracted from both and both contain large quantities of sucrose. 

beetandcane

From Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) is an annual plant in the Family Amaranthaceae, the tuberous root of which contains a high proportion of sucrose. It is cultivated in temperate regions with adequate rainfall and requires a fertile soil. The crop is harvested mechanically in the autumn and the crown of leaves and excess soil removed. The roots do not deteriorate rapidly and may be left in a clamp in the field for some weeks before being transported to the processing plant. Here the crop is washed and sliced and the sugar extracted by diffusion. Milk of lime is added to the raw juice and carbonatated in a number of stages in order to purify it. Water is evaporated by boiling the syrup under a vacuum. The syrup is then cooled and seeded with sugar crystals. The white sugar which crystallizes out can be separated in a centrifuge and dried. It requires no further refining.

Sugarcane

Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is a perennial grass in the family Poaceae. It is cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions for the sucrose that is found in its stems. It requires a frost-free climate with sufficient rainfall during the growing season to make full use of the plant’s great growth potential. The crop is harvested mechanically or by hand, chopped into lengths and conveyed rapidly to the processing plant. Here it is either milled and the juice extracted with water or the sugar is extracted by diffusion. The juice is then clarified with lime and heated to kill enzymes. The resulting thin syrup is concentrated in a series of evaporators after which further water is removed by evaporation in vacuum containers. The resulting supersaturated solution is seeded with sugar crystals and the sugar crystallizes out, is separated from the fluid and dried. Molasses is a by-product of the process and the fiber from the stems, known as bagasse, is burned to provide energy for the sugar extraction process. The crystals of raw sugar have a sticky brown coating and can either be used as they are or can be bleached by sulphur dioxide or treated in a carbonatation process to produce a whiter product.

Sugars; clockwise from top left: White refined, unrefined, brown, unprocessed cane

Sugars; clockwise from top left: White refined, unrefined, brown, unprocessed cane

Story : Sugar Seller and 500gm Sugar

balance4-571x379Once upon a time a baker in a small village approached a wise judge. He complained on his usual sugar seller that he had cheated him. The wise judge asked what had he done.

The baker said “I used to buy sugar from his shop as 500gm packs every day. After purchasing it I used to weigh it before I use for making cakes. You know that I need to calculate and add ingredients else my reputation will be lost among my customers. Today when I measured I am stunned that all the 500gm packs were containing only 450gm of sugar. He tried to cheat me and I caught him red handed. I want justice.”

By the time few more people also joined him and complained that they too were missing some sugar in their packing.

The wise judge knew well about the sugar seller and he demanded him an explanation. The Sugar seller is a good man and admitted whatever he had done. He said “Wise Judge, I always use the 500gm standard stone on the weighing scale against the sugar. Yesterday while cleaning up the shop I have misplaced it somewhere. I could not find it. By the time he arrived at my shop I have no 500gm stone so I thought for a while and used the bread I bought from his shop, which says on its cover its 500gm. I never intentionally fooled him or anyone. Please forgive me”

The Judge asked a person to get a bread packet from the baker’s shop and weighed it against the sugar pack. It was equally balanced. He ordered to check all the sugar packs with complaints and everything shown the same result. The Baker was the one who was cheating everyone and not the sugar seller.

The Judge fined the baker and ordered him to compensate the sugar seller for spoiling his reputation.

Moral : You cannot hide the truth forever. You can fool someone sometime, You can fool someone all the time. But You cannot fool everyone every time.