If you want to make someone happy, the first thing that comes to your mind is chocolate, it is a delicious gift. Many of us got this gift for many occasions and want to save these sweet treasures for good times to enjoy. Have you ever asked yourself “Does Chocolate Go Bad?” Does Chocolate Expire? A Lot of questions you should ask before you decide to eat that bar you got on your birthday two years ago.
You may find grey streaks on your new bar, and start to worry if you can consume safely it or it is better to throw it all away. Now you’re not quite sure and need to know more about the signs of spoilage to decide to eat, or should you toss it out.
In this article we will answer all these questions and give you all the information about Chocolate Storage, Shelf life, How long does it lasts to decide what to do with your precious bar. so let’s get started.
(Image used under Creative Commons from: roykatalan)
Does Chocolate Go Bad?
Each bar of sweet treat can be expensive, losing your bar does not only mean losing a great delicious pleasure but also your hard-earned money. So, you need to know exactly How to tell that your treat has gone bad.
Generally speaking, chocolate is not prone to spoilage. This can be attributed to plenty of reasons. Firstly chocolate contains little to no water and this makes it bad media for bacterial and fungal growth. Secondly, it contains flavonoids which is a powerful antioxidant substance that protects fats from oxidation.
despite these reasons, we cannot say that your bar won’t expire. This is because it’s like many other products, degrades in quality over time, a 10-year-old bar won’t be nearly as good as a fresh one.
How Long Does Chocolate Last
Chocolate like other products such as Syrup, comes with an expiration date, it is only a rough estimation of the shelf life of the bar to inform you of How long is it good for.
(Credit: Charisse Kenion)
Chocolate usually lasts much longer than the date of expiration, This is because of the Flavonoids that keep the oxidation of fats from occurring. Flavonoid is an antioxidant substance that preserves it from spoilage. The “Use by” date only means that the chocolate should be of best quality up until that time and it doesn’t mean that it goes bad the day after, it is only a rough estimate.
According to David Lebovitz, author of The Great Book of Chocolate, Dark chocolate lasts much longer than its milk or white counterparts. If you look at the expiration date of dark and milk chocolate you will find the date reflect this fact. According to this fact, you can assume that your dark chocolate will last for a longer time past the date than a white or milk chocolate.
Chocolate products, such as candy bars like KitKat, Galaxy, or Twix, their expiration date depends on the ingredients in these products other than the brand itself. Like we mentioned above is the least perishable ingredient on the list. We prepared a schedule of the best-by date on the label to stick to when you in doubt of the period of it will be good for.
|Milk - Unopened - Opened||3 – 6 months|
|White - Unopened - Opened||3 – 6 months|
|Dark - Unopened - Opened||9 – 12 months|
Should You Refrigerate or Freeze Chocolate?
According to Many sources, storing chocolate in the fridge and the freezer can accelerate the spoilage of your bar. This is because the fridge attract will attract moisture to your bar, and this would make your treat a fancy feast for for mold growth. If you store chocolate in a pretty cool environment, like in the pantry, it will last longer.
(Credit: amirali mirhashemian)
In summer, you should keep your bar in a cold place, to overcome the problem of moisture you can use a freezer bag to keep moisture away. Unless you live in a hot and humid climate, the pantry is your better option to keep your bar of sweets safe for longer, as the temperature of the fridge is not the ideal temperature to store it.
To freeze your bar safely, you should make sure it is in a freezer bag or an airtight container to avoid moisture, but this will not lengthen the shelf life much of your chocolate bar, so it’s not that helpful of a deal.
How To Store Chocolate?
Chocolate needs to be stored in a dark and dry place like a pantry or a cabinet in your kitchen, as the ideal storage temperature is between 54 °F and 61 °F (or 12°C and 16°C), a few degrees higher or lower is okay too but this is the standard condition of storage for chocolate.
(Credit: Joanna Kosinska)
You should also store your treat away from any strong odors like garlic and spices, as it can taint the flavor of the bar and you will lose your bar due to the bad taste. You should also remember to store your bar away from any sources of heat, as heat can negatively affect the quality of the chocolate.
If you open your bar and you can’t finish it, remember to always wrap it well before you put it back into the pantry or the Frigdge to keep it for as long as possible.
How To Tell If Chocolate Has Gone Bad?
Chocolate can last for years if stored properly, but there are some signs by which you can know if chocolate is bad or not:
(Credit: Louis Hansel)
- Flavorless chocolate is past its prime and you should toss it out, even if it seems to be perfectly okay. Good chocolate should retain a fairly good taste for the whole time.
- Finding green or mold-like things on the surface of the bar is a very bad sign, and you should toss the chocolate out. Mold growth on the chocolate surface means moisture got to the product.
Overall, If it looks fine, smells like chocolate, and tastes fine, it’s safe to eat it.
Other signs may concern you about your bar, yet, they are perfectly fine. Here they are:
If the surface of your bar turns White-ish or Grey-ish, fear not, it is just “Chocolate Bloom”. It can also be seen as grey streaks on your chocolate bar but it’s not harmful in terms of food safety. When chocolate is exposed to heat, coca fat rises to the surface and these grey streaks appear. In other words, it’s unattractive but harmless, you don’t need to get rid of these bars.
it is the formation of sugar crystals on the surface, and it’s harmless too. It is safe to consume this chocolate, but its quality is somewhat changed, and you will likely notice the altered taste
The answer to your question “ Does Chocolate go bad “ is quite obvious now, Chocolate in most cases is fine for a longer period than its “Best by” or “Use by” states, but this doesn’t mean forever. it can go bad after a couple of years especially if you store it in a cool and moist environment, it will go bad faster.