Why do store bought tortillas keep A LOT longer at room temperature than store bought sliced bread?


When it comes to taste, texture, and mold, tortillas last a whole lot longer than your standard sliced bread. I have noticed that this is true for both corn or flour tortillas. Why is that?

In: Chemistry

Food spoils due to many factors, mainly the amount of preservatives, moisture and air levels and temperature. If the preservatives are the same in both, then I would say that the higher amount of moisture and air in bread is the cause.

In any case, keeping it in the fridge will extend both products lifespan, although it is recommended to keep bread in an airtight bag at room temperature for best quality. Tortillas seem to be fine in the fridge, and can stay good for weeks!

Water content and surface. Tortillas are very dry and flat, so there’s no water and very little space to grow for mould. Sliced bread has more water and because of all the yeast air bubbles and being sliced has a lot of surface for the mould to latch onto.

Bread was made with yeast, tortillas aren’t. In addition, the typical slice of bread is more aerated and may even have a higher moisture content than the typical tortilla.

That’s also one of the reasons I always buy unsliced loaves, less handling and surface area of the moist inside bread to get mouldy. Just the relatively dry outer crust.

Follow up question: why is it when there are a small number of very old torillas left one will still seem fresh and moist like some sort of carb filled vampire?

Store bought tortillas, whether corn or flour, keep longer because they have preservatives and food stabilizers. (But they are still not as good as my Mom’s!)

Aside from the other correct answers, a big factor is air. If you take your bread bag and suck all the air out, bread can last months. Tortillas are flat so just closing the bag has much less air than with bread.

for point of comparison, i bought some “keto bread”. that stuff does not go bad. ever. it gets stale but not moldy

Like 32 hours instead of just 30 hours?

I’ll call it a statistical tie.