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Storing Grains

storing grains

Bulk Grain Storage Guidelines

Storing grains? Everything you need to know about grain storage bags, containers, and the key factors that will effect your bulk whole grain storage life and nutritional value.



  • Oxygen
    This bountiful element is the key ingredient in oxidation; a process that adversely changes the chemical properties of whole grains. To preserve whole grains, oxygen must be removed. Airtight containers help, but very few are 100% effective. The best solution is to use a small, safe, chemical-filled packet called an oxygen absorber, which, when used correctly, will remove up to 99.5% of oxygen from storage containers.



  • Moisture
    Generally, the higher the moisture content in the product, the shorter its life. Moisture allows bacteria and mold to grow, causing whole grains to turn rancid more quickly. Moisture breaks down food. The warmer the water the faster the breakdown.

  • Temperature
    When storing grains, temperature is one of the most important factors in determining shelf life. A general rule is the lower the temperature the longer the shelf life. Storing your whole grains in the garage with a room temperature of 90 degrees during the day and 50 degrees at night is very hard on your whole grain storage and will cut your shelf life tremendously. In addition to storing your whole grains cool and dry, it is also important to keep a stable temperature. Fluctuating temperatures can cause your whole grains to deteriorate over time. Optimal storage recommendations include storing your whole grains in a cool, dry, dark area with a constant temperature between 50 and 60 degrees. We realize that is not always achievable, so we suggest storing your whole grains as close to the optimal recommendation as possible. In short, store your whole grains in a cool, dark, and dry environment.

  • Type of Packaging
    When storing grains, the type of packaging can drastically affect shelf life of whole grains. Whole grains should only be stored in food-grade containers. These containers do not contain any hazardous chemicals and are safe for storing whole grains even for long periods of time. Grain storage containers not approved for food use include trash or garbage bags, paint cans, and industrial plastics that have been used or designed for non-food purposes. Oxygen absorbers are essential for long-term shelf life. It is recommended to have whole grains packaged in either a #10 can or metalized food grade plastic bag with an oxygen absorber. This process is sometimes referred to as "nitrogen packed" because once the oxygen is removed all that remains is nitrogen.

  • Protection from insects, rodents, and chemicals
    This is especially important when deciding how to store your whole grain. Food grade containers such as #10 cans and metalized food storage bags (mylar bags) are great for storing grains. Mylar bags work perfect as grain storage bags. Quality #10 cans are double enamel coated inside and out, so they will not rust. The metal and enamel coating protects whole grains from insects and rodents because they cannot smell the whole grain through the can. Metalized food storage bags are similar to the #10 cans in their ability to protect whole grains from insects and rodents. It is important to remember to not store your whole grain storage near any chemicals including household cleaners.

Storing Grains

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