TIPS FOR NATURAL PEST CONTROL DURING SUMMER
It's well and truly summer in Australia and the time organic dry goods are more likely to experience pests, moisture or items going rancid. The Australian Food Standards requires that all food businesses have a program for the management of pests so we have created a guide to natural pest control to help.
Raw, unshelled nuts will keep from six months to a year in a cool, dry place. Shelled nuts and seeds will keep for three or four months in airtight containers at room temperature. They may also be kept in the freezer for up to a year if sufficiently wrapped. Be aware that because of their high fat content, nuts can become rancid quite quickly if exposed to heat, light or humidity during storage. If you find that your nuts or seeds have lost their freshness they can be by lightly toasting in the oven. Roasted nuts and seeds are at their prime straight after the roasting process. We roast our nuts in small and frequent batches to maintain optimal freshness. Roasted nuts can be stored for three or four months in airtight containers at room temperature.
Dried Fruit can be kept for three to six months in a cool dry place. As the dried fruit matures some of the moisture is lost and you will find the fruit dries further. Some fruits, especially dates and figs, may appear to have a white coating on the outside as the fruit dries. This is the natural sugar of the fruit coming to the surface, it happens with age. Dried fruit can be stored in the refrigerator to prolong the shelf life of the product. If you find some dried fruit you had forgotten about and it had really dried out why not consider re-hydrating it?
Dried beans can be stored indefinitely but are best used within one year; lentils are best used within six months. Keep dried beans and lentils in an airtight container in a dry, cool, and dark place (pantry or cupboard). Do not store in the refrigerator. Cooked beans can be refrigerated for up to 5 days in a covered container and frozen for up to 6 months in an airtight freezer container.
The most important thing to look for when determining shelf life in grains is undamaged kernels. The outer bran layer protects the kernels flavour and nutrients from destruction by light and air. Whole grains should be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark place (pantry or cupboard). Grains will keep under these conditions for up to 6 months.