If you love potatoes and want to make sure that you have them in an emergency, there is no better solution than to have some potato flakes in your storage.
Although potato flakes already have a pretty solid shelf life, you may want to take some extra measures to ensure that they are going to be suitable for long-term storage. If packed and stored correctly, you would be amazed by how long potato flakes can actually last in your stockpile.
If you want to store potato flakes long-term, it is going to be essential that you purchase them in optimal packaging with no additives or flavor enhancers. Next, you should store your potato flakes in storage containers in a place around your home that is cool, dry, and away from sunlight.
When organizing a food storage system, you want to focus on the foods that are going to serve you the best in an emergency. This implies that you need to plan to have essential food items that are going to be the most beneficial for your body and are also going to last for an extended period of time. With that being said, that does not mean that you cannot choose food items that are going to be delicious, which is why so many food storage enthusiasts decide to pack potatoes in their stockpiles. It is critical that you add potato flakes to your food storage system and not raw potatoes, as these are going to have a significantly longer shelf life. However, you need to make sure that you are storing your potato flakes properly if you want to make the most of their shelf life, as a failure to do so can result in contamination issues. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at long-term potato storage in more detail.
As a food storage enthusiast and professional survivalist, I have had an extensive amount of experience storing potato flakes for long-term storage. My experience has taught me that the best way to store potato flakes long-term is to eliminate all possibilities of contamination by establishing a well-thought-out and organized system.
Complete Guide: Long-Term Potato Flakes Storage
When consulting food storage enthusiasts about the contents of their stockpiles, I am often surprised to hear by how few people utilize potato flakes in their systems. It is easy to get wrapped up with essential grains such as wheat and rice, which are of course mandatory items, and forget about alternative nutrient-dense foods like potatoes. If stored correctly, you would be surprised by how many years you can squeeze out of your potato flakes.
After creating a well-contained and organized food storage system, you will be able to get upwards of 25 years (or more) out of your potato flakes. This makes potato flakes one of the most versatile and useful food items that you can add to your stockpile. Not only are potato flakes full of nutrients and excellent for long-term storage, but they are also absolutely delicious and versatile. Having potato flakes in your food storage is going to open up so many doors for unique recipes that can diversify your meals.
Now, if you truly want to have potato flakes in your food storage, you are going to need to handle them with care and consideration. No matter how useful a food item is for long-term storage, if you do not take the proper measures to secure its shelf life, you should not expect it to last for more than a year or two - which includes potato flakes as well! Much like all foods in your stockpile, potato flakes are subject to contamination, which is why you want to have a system that mitigates and eliminates the chances of your food going bad.
There are a number of different techniques and strategies that you can implement to increase the longevity of your potato flakes’ shelf life. What we have found is that the best way to truly maximize their long-term food storage is to incorporate a combination of measures to really seal the deal on preventing any form of contamination. Keep reading to learn everything your need to know about long-term storage for potato flakes.
No Additives or Flavor Enhancers
When shopping for potato flakes in the store, you are going to find a lot of different options. While just about all potato flakes that you see will be decent for a few years, if you truly want to plan for long-term storage, you want to select additive-free options.
There are plenty of potato flake brands that offer additional flavors that are added into the product such as ‘Garlic and Herb’, ‘Cheddar Cheese’, or ‘Butter’. We understand that these are tempting to get, as the idea of having such delicious and easy options for meals in your food storage may sound like a great idea at first, but these will actually go bad considerably faster than plain options.
If you are only planning a food storage system for a year or two, flavor-enhanced potato flakes should do just fine. However, if you are in it for the long haul, these are not going to be ideal for your food storage. The reason for this is that a lot of these flavor enhancers will start to go bad within a much shorter period. This results in a form of cross-contamination that then easily spreads to the potato flakes, which makes them expire much faster.
Plain potato flakes on the other hand are safe from this contamination effect, which means that you have got a much more secure product for long-term food storage. Now, it is easy to get duped while shopping for potato flakes as it is easy to assume that a product has no additives in it based on the ‘Plain’ title on the front of the package.
Some brands sneakily add flavor enhancers to their products to make them more delicious without the consumer knowing. This is an easy trap to fall into, which is why you want to be thorough with what you select when shopping. To avoid this, read the label and the ingredients on the back of the package carefully.
The only ingredients that your potato flakes should contain are:
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
Ultimately, the fewer ingredients the better. If you are able to find a quality product that has just these ingredients, then you should be able to get as much as 30 years out of your potato flakes.
Optimal Packaging & Storage Containers
How your potato flakes are packaged is going to be one of the most crucial factors in securing the shelf life of the product.
This food item can be found in a wide variety of different packages and some are going to work considerably better than others for long-term food storage. If possible, avoid boxes and thin plastic packaging at all costs, as you will be running some risks with this approach - even with plain potato flakes.
What we find works the best is getting your potato flakes in a tin can. Tin cans are air-tight and factory sealed from the moment that they were processed, which gives you a very good sense of reassurance that there was no risk of contamination during transport.
By purchasing your potato flakes in tin cans, you should already be able to get a shelf life of up to 30 years with this method alone. What you will also find is that tin cans generally come with larger quantities of potato flakes, which means that you can make your food storage shopping efficient. In addition, tin cans are very easy to store and organize. They are easy to stack into shelves and keep in a variety of different storage locations.
However, you may have gotten your potato flakes in sealed bags. Although these are not quite as secure as tin cans, they can still last for decades if you treat them right - especially if you combine them with additional storage container methods.
If you bought your potato flakes in tin cans, you can pretty much disregard any additional food storage containers (unless you want to be extra cautious), as this is generally sufficient enough to get an optimal shelf life. However, you are going to want to take some extra measures with your potato flakes for any other method.
Getting some air-tight containers for your potato flakes is high-advisable, as this will help ensure their longevity. If you are working with a bulk supply of potato flakes, one of the best approaches for this is to get some food buckets, as these are great for storing large amounts of food.
Food buckets are also a great way of avoiding any issues with pests. You would be amazed at what pests can get into - especially if you leave your food storage stockpile unattended for a long time. We have found that packages in plastic bags and cardboard boxes easily get chewed through by rodents and critters, which a food bucket can help prevent.
Storage Location & Organization
If you have bought a plain potato flake product with no additives and have taken proper containment measures, then the majority of the work is done.
However, you want to be sure to store your potato flakes in a good location in a way that is organized. You can do this by keeping your potato flakes away from light and moisture at all costs.
In addition, a great way to avoid issues with your potato flakes down the line is to have a well-structured system. If you have got a long-term food storage system, it is easy to lose track of where things are and what their expiration dates are. To prevent mistakes and miscalculations from occurring, we highly advise that you keep a well-organized system by labeling all of your products along with their storage methods in a log.
Once you have done so, you can choose an appropriate location around your home to store your potato flakes. The key thing that you want to focus on is keeping them in places that are cool, dry, and away from sunlight. Here are some examples:
- Attic (insulated)
These are all common areas that can be found in most people’s homes. Any one of them should be just fine for storing your potato flakes for long-term storage. However, just to be sure that they are suitable, you should check to see that they are legitimately contained areas that stay cool, dry, and away from sunlight all year long.
In addition, it would be wise to check up on your potato flakes in their food storage location(s) routinely. Contamination issues can happen when we least expect them to and the best way to avoid them is to catch them early on. Observe the area with your potato flakes and look for any signs of pests or other contamination risks such as leaks. If you are seeing droppings, bite marks, or moisture around the area, you are going to want to restrategize your system and optimize it to avoid contamination.
With that being said, one of the best places that you can store your potato flakes is in the freezer, as this is the most secure spot to ensure indefinite shelf life. The best way to do this is to utilize a large chest freezer so that you have enough space for your supply.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker