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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:02 pm 
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I had a whole stash of saltine crackers, feeling all smug and self satisfied. I gave some to my 10 year old with his tomato soup thinking everything was fine. His response: Mom, these crackers don't taste right. So I gave one a bite and had to spit it out.

This batch was less than 2 years old. So, FYI, don't plan on stocking saltine crackers. Their shelf life is less than stated. :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:27 pm 
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It's the salt.

Better storage strategy - store the ingredients and bake 'em as you need 'em - or make a batch each month.

Alternate to saltines for soups and such. Sailor Boy pilot bread. Long shelf life, tastes fine. No salt.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Damn, I thought saltines would last longer than twinkies.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:57 am 
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TacAir wrote:
It's the salt.

Better storage strategy - store the ingredients and bake 'em as you need 'em - or make a batch each month.

Alternate to saltines for soups and such. Sailor Boy pilot bread. Long shelf life, tastes fine. No salt.



How does salt go rancid?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:08 am 
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I would place bets on the oil used in them going off, since they don't use trans-fat anymore tho, some brands still use trans-fats I don't think nabisco does anymore

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:37 am 
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I have never had that issue with regular saltines. We buy them in bulk and I have eaten crackers straight out of the package more than 2 years "out-of-date" and they were still fine.

What brand were you using?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:49 am 
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polliedes wrote:
I have never had that issue with regular saltines. We buy them in bulk and I have eaten crackers straight out of the package more than 2 years "out-of-date" and they were still fine.

What brand were you using?


Nabisco Saltines. I was surprised myself. They're a little more than a year old - I've never had that problem before, and I KNOW I've had Saltines for longer. My eldest goes through stages where he'll want tomato soup for lunch every day for months, then he'll stop... usually right after I've gotten into the habit of buying enough to keep ahead of his eating.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:27 pm 
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http://www.thereadystore.com/mountain-h ... 0-can-1836

They used to be staples in the larders of sailors and their families. I know Nabisco used to make them, but I think they are no longer made. Heavier then regular saltines--actually more of an unleavened bread-- they last longer.

Anyway, and alternative to saltines.

I found these also, http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-827 ... ead/Detail

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:57 pm 
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OKMommila wrote:
polliedes wrote:
I have never had that issue with regular saltines. We buy them in bulk and I have eaten crackers straight out of the package more than 2 years "out-of-date" and they were still fine.

What brand were you using?


Nabisco Saltines. I was surprised myself. They're a little more than a year old - I've never had that problem before, and I KNOW I've had Saltines for longer. My eldest goes through stages where he'll want tomato soup for lunch every day for months, then he'll stop... usually right after I've gotten into the habit of buying enough to keep ahead of his eating.


Pretty sure half the restaurants I've eaten saltines at stocked them for longer than that lol, really odd that it did that... What was the offending taste like?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:09 pm 
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OKMommila wrote:
polliedes wrote:
I have never had that issue with regular saltines. We buy them in bulk and I have eaten crackers straight out of the package more than 2 years "out-of-date" and they were still fine.

What brand were you using?


Nabisco Saltines. I was surprised myself. They're a little more than a year old - I've never had that problem before, and I KNOW I've had Saltines for longer. My eldest goes through stages where he'll want tomato soup for lunch every day for months, then he'll stop... usually right after I've gotten into the habit of buying enough to keep ahead of his eating.

It's NOT the salt. Salt keeps bloody well forever, beyond 30 years.

It's the fat. I googled the ingredients, http://www.nabiscoworld.com/Brands/ProductInformation.aspx?BrandKey=premium&Site=1&Product=4400000386 , there's soybean and cottonseed oil in there. Those are the only things in there that would go rancid rather than stale.

No idea if the recipe was changed, if this batch (or the oil that went into it) had been on the shelf longer before you bought it, or if this batch (or the oil that went into it)was exposed to different heat conditions before or after you bought it. I suspect this is a rare occurrence.

Pilot Bread (which I can't find an ingredients list for) also has fat in it, not sure why it 'never' goes rancid.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:27 pm 
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duodecima wrote:
OKMommila wrote:
polliedes wrote:
I have never had that issue with regular saltines. We buy them in bulk and I have eaten crackers straight out of the package more than 2 years "out-of-date" and they were still fine.

What brand were you using?


Nabisco Saltines. I was surprised myself. They're a little more than a year old - I've never had that problem before, and I KNOW I've had Saltines for longer. My eldest goes through stages where he'll want tomato soup for lunch every day for months, then he'll stop... usually right after I've gotten into the habit of buying enough to keep ahead of his eating.

It's NOT the salt. Salt keeps bloody well forever, beyond 30 years.

It's the fat. I googled the ingredients, http://www.nabiscoworld.com/Brands/ProductInformation.aspx?BrandKey=premium&Site=1&Product=4400000386 , there's soybean and cottonseed oil in there. Those are the only things in there that would go rancid rather than stale.

No idea if the recipe was changed, if this batch (or the oil that went into it) had been on the shelf longer before you bought it, or if this batch (or the oil that went into it)was exposed to different heat conditions before or after you bought it. I suspect this is a rare occurrence.

Pilot Bread (which I can't find an ingredients list for) also has fat in it, not sure why it 'never' goes rancid.


Salt is hygroscopic. Those 'dry closet' crystals? Salt. Sailor Boy hardtack is made without or with very little salt.
Keeps forever. If kept dry.

BTW -
Future Essentials Canned Sailor Pilot Bread Crackers is canned Sailor Boy Pilot Bread - a staple here in Alaska and the only real 'bread' you find in the more rural villages.

(for fun) facts about pilot bread

and

How to eat Sailor Boy Pilot bread

And since this ZS, here what was said before in rolling your own
http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... 34#p820434

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Salt could make it go stale faster by drawing in water. But that gawdawful "rancid" taste is a fat thing. Now, if water can get in to the saltines to be drawn to the salt, air would too.

Maybe there was a tiny pinhole or defect in that saltine pack?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:18 am 
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duodecima wrote:
Salt could make it go stale faster by drawing in water. But that gawdawful "rancid" taste is a fat thing. Now, if water can get in to the saltines to be drawn to the salt, air would too.

Maybe there was a tiny pinhole or defect in that saltine pack?


I do know folks that open a box, and then wrap the sleeves of crackers they don't open in alum foil and freeze 'em to help them stay 'fresh'.

And just when you thought a Master's Thesiscouldn't get any stranger...

(Abstract to linked thesis)
The objective of this study was to examine the affect of hermetic sealing on
extending the shelf life of a biscuit product. Hermetically sealed packages
were compared with non-hermetically-sealed packages received from the
biscuit manufacturer. The package materials were the same so the only
variable was the hermetic integrity of the package. A pressure test was
conducted to determine the hermetic integrity of the package samples. The
maximum moisture content that the biscuits gained before they were
considered spoiled was then determined. Moisture gain of biscuit products
kept in a 100% RH environment was monitored by recording the changes in
biscuit weight over time. Data collected was analyzed in order to show a
distinct and comparable trend of the hermetic samples and non-hermetic
samples. A analysis of variance test was conducted to determine whether or
not the means of the moisture gain of both samples was significantly
different at a 0.05 significance level. Hermetically sealed packages for
biscuits provide for longer shelf life of product than packages which are not
hermetically sealed.

Cool, huh?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:26 am 
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Graham Crackers have the same problem. It's the fats/oils.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:59 am 
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I love how my reply was completely ignored and then someone else finally mentioned exactly the same thing, great comprehension skills there people. :awesome:

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:53 am 
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Fletch wrote:
I love how my reply was completely ignored and then someone else finally mentioned exactly the same thing, great comprehension skills there people. :awesome:


Happens to me all the time. I know your pain.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Fletch wrote:
I love how my reply was completely ignored and then someone else finally mentioned exactly the same thing, great comprehension skills there people. :awesome:


Not ignored, perhaps my experience =/= your experience.

That is saltines and pilot bread are both made from the same set of ingredients - except for the amount of salt used.

Saltines go 'bad' - pilot bread does not.

Nutrition fact for pilot bread
Amount Per Serving (1 biscuit)
Calories 100
Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 120mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 17.0g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
Protein 2.0g

Nabisco Premium Saltine Crackers (original family size?)(Source)

Calories 70 Calories from Fat 15
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.5g 2 %
Saturated Fat 0g 0 %
Trans Fat 0g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 0 %
Cholesterol 0mg 0 %
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 0g 0 %
Sugars 0g

Both contain nearly the same amount of fats/oils. The pilot bread may have a bit more.

Pilot bread is packaged in a plastic membrane sleeve, the saltines are normally packed in a waxed paper sleeve (I looked but couldn't find exactly what the sleeves are made of) and I would note that individual crackers are often packed in individual cellophane wrappers for the food service industry..

OP - May be worth looking to a restaurant supply house and see what the price point is for a box of the individual wrapped crackers - that way, if they sit for a while, the crackers may not go funky.

Otherwise, Fletch - drop me a PM and let me know how life in the Forbidden Kingdom is treating you of late.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:42 pm 
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OP, are you sure that the cheap whatever it is (it seems like pseudo plastic) packaging wasn't compromised?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:50 pm 
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As for the first sleeve, I couldn't tell, as my son had already opened it. The second sleeve was still airtight.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:40 pm 
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When crackers have gone soft, re-crisp them in the oven at 350 for a few minutes.
Rancid though, is just gone.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:49 pm 
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doc66 wrote:
http://www.thereadystore.com/mountain-house-pilot-crackers-10-can-1836

They used to be staples in the larders of sailors and their families. I know Nabisco used to make them, but I think they are no longer made. Heavier then regular saltines--actually more of an unleavened bread-- they last longer.

Anyway, and alternative to saltines.

I found these also, http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-827 ... ead/Detail

Not as "sexy" as Mountain House, but Saratoga Farms brand ain't bad either: http://www.thereadystore.com/saratoga-farms-pilot-bread-crackers-10-can?___SID=U

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:25 pm 
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I had vacuum sealed a whole bunch of saltine crackers a while back. They sealed well, good and tight. Kept them in the dark all safe and sound. Fast forward 3 years I open a pack and YUCK GROSS! They tasted like plastic and funky. I contacted Food Saver and the suggested storing them in quart canning jars using the lid saver. But the thing is the seal held on the bags. I got that hiss when I opened the packages. So I'm not sure what the exact problem was, but that project was an epic fail. Long term I'll just stick to making my own.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:00 am 
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TacAir wrote:
It's the salt.

Better storage strategy - store the ingredients and bake 'em as you need 'em - or make a batch each month.

Alternate to saltines for soups and such. Sailor Boy pilot bread. Long shelf life, tastes fine. No salt.


Sailor Boy does contain salt. It has about 45% less salt than the the Saltines (based on sodium content), but does contain salt. The recipes for pilot bread (aka hardtack) I am finding also contain quite a bit of salt.


Nabisco Premium Saltine Cracker

INGREDIENTS: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, Malted Barley Flour, Baking Soda, Vegetable Monoglycerides (Emulsifier), Calcium Carbonate.

Image



Sailor Boy Pilot Bread

INGREDIENTS: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Shortening (Contains one or more of the following partially hydrogenated oils: soybean, canola, cottonseed), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Whey, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Ammonium Bicarbonate), Salt.

Image




In theory, the monoglycerides in the Saltines should extend their shelf-life. It could also be that those crackers were a bad batch to start with, but we can't know that for sure if none were consumed shortly after purchase. Both products contain wheat flour, which can also go rancid. Even the malted barley flour could be the culprit. It may not be any one thing, but a combination of things breaking down. We can speculate all day on why (or even whether) one would go rancid and the other wouldn't, but without the equipment to test them, there really is no telling. Sure, there are examples of ages-old hardtack preserved in museums, but that doesn't mean they're still tasty. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:57 pm 
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I typically keep several cans of soup and boxes of crackers in my desk. This is for when I am tied down with work and have to work through lunch, or forget to bring a sandwich, or get caught working late and just have to eat something.

Several months back I caught a sale on crackers and so I bought several boxes. I kept them in my drawer and have been using them periodically.

Today I just opened a fresh sleeve - or rather, what should have been a fresh sleeve. It was still in the box, still factory sealed.

I crumbled a handful of them into my soup and started eating. The first bite told me something was WRONG. It tasted like a superfund toxic waste cleanup site. Egad, something bad in that spoonful... so I tried another... ewww, plastic fire at the garbage dump! Had to spit it out. It was the crackers. Somehow they had gone "off". I don't mean stale, as in, not crispy, not fresh... I mean toxic. Really awful. I would have thought crackers would be good for a long time, provided they were kept sealed. Apparently, this is not the case. In case you suspect I'm just being finicky - NO. My wife will tell you I eat roadkill. I won't admit to that, but I will say that I have a very forgiving palate. These things were bad, bad bad. Could. Not. Eat. Had to dump the whole bowl out. Tragic waste of good beef stew, too.

I hope someone has an answer for this. You can't stockpile bread, so I have hoped that crackers would be a ready-to-eat adjunct to things like soups and stews. But if this experience is any indication... nope, not going to happen.


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