From the Mailbox: Ultra Gel Shelf Life and Storage

It’s a cold, rainy, September day here in Utah and so I decided it was a good time to address a couple of our most asked questions when it comes to storing Ultra Gel.

Ultra Gel

What is Ultra Gel?

For those who are new, Ultra Gel is a gluten free, non-GMO instant thickener made from a particular kind of corn called waxy maize. It can be added to hot or cold liquids for instant thickening which makes it good from everything from ranch dressing to gravy. Ultra Gel is fridge and freezer stable, meaning your products don’t turn into soup or harden up like a rock in the freezer or refrigerator. As well Ultra Gel is stable under high heats and thickens evenly which means it can safely be used for canning and storage and is approved by the Utah State Extension Service. Ultra Gel is known as a ‘magic mix in’ because just a little bit is so useful in so many situations from helping cookies to stay soft longer to making the perfect apple pie filling.

How long of a shelf life does Ultra Gel have?

This answer is for Ultra Gel itself and not products made from Ultra Gel, as those shelf lives vary. Ultra Gel itself has a very long shelf life. It doesn’t go rancid as there are no oils or fats in it and it does not break down quickly. Eventually (several years along) the thickening power of Ultra Gel can break down, but it is still safe to use. For absolutely best results, we advise rotating your Ultra Gel at least every five years, though properly stored it will remain usable for two to three times that long.

How do I store my Ultra Gel?

Because its water availability is so low Ultra Gel does not attract insects or vermin, and there are no oils so it will not go rancid. It is, however, very hygroscopic, which means Ultra Gel LOVES water. If it’s left in an open container it will actually start absorbing moisture from the air (even here in the desert!) and that top layer of starch will harden and get nasty, and open containers always invite cross contamination from dust or other items which could fall inside. So Ultra Gel should be stored in an air tight package. It’s even better if it can be kept in a dark, low moisture environment, but the key thing is keeping the air and the water out. It can be stored in containers from 5 gallon buckets down to zip lock bags, size doesn’t matter as long as it’s sealed.

If it happens that a container of Ultra Gel is left open you can recover. Simply remove the top layer of starch and discard. Anything under about the first 1/2 inch should be fine, as long as there hasn’t been a big contamination, IE: if water has been poured directly into the container or such you’ll likely have to throw it all out.

So there you go. Three things you may not have known about Ultra Gel. What is it? How long is Ultra Gel’s shelf life? And how do I store it?

Have more questions? Send them to us and we’ll get you answers!

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