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A loss of various qualities, which are present in food and beverages that affect the texture, flavor and aroma of the item that becomes stale. Most often occurring from excessive exposure to heat or air, a stale food or beverage has lost moisture or essential ingredients necessary to maintain specific qualities. Bread as an example, becomes stale due to the change in the bread starches as they are exposed to air or heat and crystallize. Wines become stale when they are stored too long or are exposed to excessive amounts of air. However, not instances of food going stale are bad. As an example, "staling" bread is a procedure that is intentional in order to create a hard or crispy textured bread to be used as a stuffing or for baked egg dishes. The process may involve drying the bread in an oven to hasten the staling. Staling removes moisture from the bread so it can be reused for cooking which may involve reintroducing moisture to the bread.

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