Wheat, food storage


There is interest in the long-term storage of low-moisture foods for applications such as space flight, disaster relief, and personal preparedness. Wheat packaged in restaurant-size No. 10 cans has been available in the retail market for decades. However, the quality of such wheat held in long-term storage is not well characterized. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of long-term storage on the quality of wheat packaged in No. 10 cans and held at ambient temperatures up to 32 years. Twenty samples of hard red wheat (including 4 duplicates) packaged in No. 10 cans were obtained from donors. Samples ranged in age from <1 to 32 years and had been stored at ambient temperatures. Can headspace oxygen, seam integrity, kernel moisture content and color were measured. Sensory properties of bread made from the milled wheat were evaluated by a 50-member consumer panel. Samples were evaluated for aroma, appearance, texture, flavor, and overall acceptability using a 9-point hedonic scale. Panelists also indicated whether they would consume the bread in everyday and emergency situations. Cans that were poorly sealed had headspace oxygen at atmospheric levels, while those that were properly sealed had <2% oxygen. Kernel moisture content ranged from 4.50% to 9.96%. L*, a*, and b* color values ranged from 43.93 to 56.7, 7.88 to 10.84, and 18.33 to 25.16, respectively. Overall acceptability hedonic scores ranged from 6.5 to 7.3. Flavor and overall acceptability scores showed a slight decline with age (p<0.05). However, all samples maintained >70% acceptance for everyday use and >97% acceptance for use in emergency situations. Results indicated that, regardless of headspace oxygen level, wheat packaged in No. 10 cans throughout 32 years of storage at ambient temperatures made bread acceptable to a majority of consumers, and therefore wheat should be included in long-term storage applications.

Original Publication Citation

Green R, Rose DJ, Ogden LV, and Pike OA. July 25. Effects of long-term storage on quality of retail packaged wheat. Poster Presentation. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting.

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Life Sciences


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science