A US researcher is studying the causes of staling in aging tortillas with the hope of giving wheat tortillas a longer shelf life.

Chemist George Lookhart, from the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, aims to one day stall the everyday occurrence of staling.

Lookhart has already recently developed a test that can determine whether a particular wheat flour will yield the ideal tortilla, which he believes is about two millimetres thick and evenly opaque, with a shelf life of at least three weeks.

His research and the new testing method could eventually help the tortilla industry and breeders develop wheat varieties ideally suited for tortilla production.