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Can Chocolate Go Bad?
Chocolates and bad? It can't be, can it?
Can chocolate go bad? Yes, chocolate does go bad. But will you die from eating it? Probably not. You may be surprised to know that most chocolate can last for several years, even without freezing chocolate.
Suppose you are craving some chocolate and have noticed that your block of solid chocolate bars or your tub of chocolate candies is a little bit soft or no longer firm and crisp as it was a couple of weeks ago. In that case, this is when most people start worrying about whether their chocolate has gone bad.
Can a Chocolate Go Bad?
Your chocolate quality has gone bad if it smells like sour milk. It can also signify that the cocoa butter separates from the chocolate itself. If you open a bar of chocolate and it smells like sour milk, it’s already gone bad.
If you open a bar of chocolate and it smells like fresh milk, it’s good. Chocolate should always smell like fresh milk. It’s not uncommon for chocolate to develop white spots or streaks on its surface. Still, those are just crystals that form when the heat is too high during the processing stage or when the humidity is too high.
These streaks are dangerous or harmful to eat when a sour smell accompanies them. That’s a sign that your leftover chocolate has gone bad because of an overabundance of bacteria present in the food.
Chocolate’s appearance can go bad if it’s exposed to heat for long periods because bacterial growth will increase exponentially at higher temperatures, which can cause an unpleasant smell in your chocolate and off flavors and textures. This usually happens when bars are left out at room temperature for extended periods.
How Long Does a Chocolate Last?
Dark chocolate can last up to two years, while white chocolate will only last up to six months at room temperature. Milk chocolate is between these two extremes, lasting up to one year. If you’re not sure whether your chocolate has gone bad or not, there are some telltale signs to look for.
Chocolate that has gone bad will have a white film on top of it called “fat bloom” because it looks like flower blossoms growing out from under the surface of the chocolate.
This happens when sugar bloom crystals form on top of the bars over time due to exposure to air or moisture in its environment. The other sign is an off smell, and chocolate tastes; it may smell like vinegar or ammonia instead of cocoa.
How Can You Tell If a Chocolate Has Gone Bad?
The temperature in which you store chocolate can make all the difference—and that’s not even getting into how sensitive chocolate is to moisture.
Because of this, chocolate often gets bad faster than other types of food. So what do you do if you’re looking forward to some cocoa-flavored goodness and want to make sure your snack doesn’t get ruined by mold or something?
There Are a Few Things to Look for When Seeing if Your Chocolate has Gone Bad:
- Look at the color. Any change from its natural shade is a sign that it will have an off taste. This means discoloration or anything that looks different from the original shade when you first purchase it.
- Check on the texture. Chocolate should feel smooth and shiny and shouldn’t crumble when you bite into it. If it has a rough texture or crumbles easily, then it’s likely gone bad.
- Smell the chocolate. If there is an off odor coming from your bar of chocolate, then it’s time to toss it out.
Why Does a Chocolate Go Bad?
A chocolate goes bad when exposed to air, moisture, light, or heat.
Chocolates are incredibly delicious, and it can seem like a cruel joke when they start to go bad.
This is a pretty complex question, but we’ll try to break it down for you in the most straightforward way possible!
Two primary factors cause chocolates to go bad: the composition of the chocolate itself and the environment in which you store it.
Chocolate has two primary ingredients: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. These two things break down at different rates, so one of them going bad doesn’t necessarily mean the chocolate will go bad as well.
However, if one of them deteriorates enough that it distributes unevenly throughout the chocolate, or if both of them go bad at around the same time, then the whole thing will go bad. As chocolate ages and starts to lose quality, its color will change slightly—it will become more yellow or whitish than usual.
The second big factor that determines whether your chocolates are going bad is where you’re keeping them. So it’s best to keep your chocolates at ideal storage temperature—between 60°F-68°F is perfect—and away from any source of moisture or humidity.
As long as your chocolate bar is not moldy or has any other signs of contamination, you should still be able to enjoy it. If it’s just discolored and doesn’t smell right, there isn’t much need to worry.
So next time you find a chocolate bar sitting out for a while, don’t throw away that delicious treat.
Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad?
Do chocolate chips go bad?
They sure can! Chocolate chips contain the same ingredients like milk and bar chocolate, which means they can develop a white film called “chocolate bloom” when their fats start to separate. This is gross, but it doesn’t make the chocolate unsafe to eat.
The best way to store dark chocolate chips so they last a long time is in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can also freeze them for up to six months.
Chocolate chips do go bad if they aren’t stored properly, and there are a few ways you can tell if yours have gone bad:
- They’re discolored, or they’ve taken on a grayish/whitish color (this is a sign they’ve seen too much moisture)
- They’re sticky (this is a sign they’ve seen too much moisture)
- They’ve lost their luster and shine (this is a sign they’ve seen too much heat)
- They smell funky (this is a sign that they’ve been exposed to air over time and have oxidized)
There are TONS of ways to use them that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve got to throw them away.
Here are 5 things you can do with those chocolate chips:
- Use chocolate chips while making hot chocolate.
- Make brownies and throw the chips into the batter.
- Melt the chocolate chips and spread them onto a piece of parchment paper. When they harden, use a rolling pin to crush them into chocolate chip crumbles that you can sprinkle on ice cream or another dessert to add a little extra sweetness and crunch.
- Use melted chocolate chips as a dip for strawberries or other fruit slices.
- Fill an ice cube tray with melted chocolate chip mixture. Freeze it, then pop out the cubes and add them to your morning coffee for an extra hit of sweetness.
Does Dark Chocolate Go Bad?
Yes, it does. Because dark chocolate has low levels of milk and sugar, it can absorb moisture from the air and develop mold. Additionally, when dark chocolate has been exposed to heat for too long, it can alter its texture and taste. This also happens if dark chocolate absorbs too much moisture from the environment. Dark chocolate has a shelf life of about 2 years, compared to milk chocolate’s shelf life of 6 months. It’s a shame, too—dark chocolate is much healthier and more delicious than milk chocolate! But it’s just not as stable as its lighter counterpart.
If you’ve had dark chocolate for over two years, you might want to double-check to make sure it’s still good before eating it.
Does Milk Chocolate Go Bad?
It does go bad. It’s a bit more complicated than the answer for dark chocolate, though.
Milk chocolate comprises three main ingredients: cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and milk. Each of these goes bad at a different rate.
The milk in milk chocolate will spoil faster than the other ingredients because it’s an animal product. You can tell if milk chocolate has spoiled by looking at it—there will be mold or discoloration, or it might smell sour.
Cacao powder and cocoa butter are both plant products. They keep their flavor well and won’t go rancid, but the sugar in milk chocolate can crystallize over time. If you see sugar crystals on your milk chocolate, it’s not spoiled; it just needs to be melted down!
If you want your milk chocolate to stay fresh for as long as possible, make sure you store it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and any foods with strong odors (like garlic).
Does Hot Chocolate Go Bad?
Does hot chocolate go bad? This question is a bit more complicated than you might think.
In its purest form, the answer is no: hot chocolate made from powder and water cannot go bad by itself. It will never expire, and it will not cause food poisoning. If your powdered hot chocolate has been sitting for years, it may not taste great anymore, but it’s safe to drink.
However, we ask because most people don’t drink their hot chocolate straight from the can or packet.
Most will add milk (or water) and sugar, and once you do that, all bets are off. So if you’re adding milk to your hot chocolate and you leave it out on the counter for a long time after making it, then yes—it can spoil just like any other milk-based beverage would.
Can You Eat Expired Chocolate?
Is it safe to eat expired chocolate?
The short answer: No.
The long answer: Maybe, but you probably shouldn’t.
Suppose you’ve ever eaten a chocolate bar that was past its expiration date. In that case, you know that it’s possible to do so without any major consequences. However, chocolate is susceptible to heat and moisture in the air. After chocolates go bad, they can taste pretty bad, too. They also lose their nutritional value.
The main reason chocolate goes bad is its fat content, which can turn rancid over time. This is because fats are highly susceptible to oxidation, which occurs when free radicals in the chocolate interact with oxygen in the air. When fat becomes rancid, it can release aldehydes—organic compounds that produce an unpleasant odor.
While it’s possible to eat expired chocolate without getting food poisoning (since cocoa beans naturally have antimicrobial properties), not eating expired chocolate can help you avoid other problems like headaches, difficulties with concentration, and stomach cramps.
Additionally, if an expired chocolate bar has seen moisture or heat at any point—which has the potential to happen during the manufacturing process—it may contain mold or bacteria that could adversely affect your health.
So while it’s technically safe to eat expired chocolate bars (if you’re willing to withstand the bad taste), it’s probably best to avoid this practice when possible.
Can You Eat Chocolate a Year Out of Date?
Ah, the age-old question: can you eat chocolate a year out of date?
We’ve got good news for you: of course, you can. But that doesn’t mean you should!
Chocolate is an emulsion, which means that there are a lot of different ingredients that are suspended in a liquid. When it sits out and ages, the emulsion breaks down.
That’s why it gets gray or white on the outside—those are crystallized fats and sugars—and that’s also why it gets denser and harder over time.
The aging process is just the moisture evaporating from your chocolate bar as it oxidizes.
That said, aged chocolate doesn’t necessarily mean bad chocolate. It’s not going to hurt you if you eat it—it might just make your tummy grumble a little bit more than usual. And while it might not taste precisely like fresh-from-the-store chocolate, some people prefer aged chocolate because it has a more complex flavor profile when the emulsion breaks down into its component parts. In other words, if you like old cheese, you’ll probably like old chocolate too.
Can Expire Chocolate Make You Sick?
The short answer: no.
The long answer: it depends.
We’ve all had those moments when we’re digging around in the pantry and find a chocolate bar that has been expired for a whole year. We look at the label, which says it was good until date, and we’re itching to give it a taste.
But before we rip off the wrapper, we’d better ask ourselves: can expired chocolate make you sick?
First things first—let’s break down what “expired” means for food like chocolate. Doesn’t it mean the food is just sitting there rotting away—because who would eat that?
Rather, it means that the manufacturer has determined that whatever date you see on the package is when they think the highest quality of their product will be.
After this date, they can’t guarantee that the food will taste or behave as it did when it was fresh.
You’re probably only going to get sick from expired chocolate if it’s contaminated with some bacteria—and the only way to know for sure is to check out the packaging.
If it’s all bulged out or looks strange or damaged, you should maybe dispose of it and buy a new bar at your local grocery store. If not, it’s probably fine to eat.
Still worried? Then maybe try a small piece first—if that doesn’t make you sick, then chances are the rest is fine too.
Do Candies Expire?
The answer is: Yes, they do.
Some candies expire more quickly than others, but they will eventually go bad if you leave them sitting around for long enough. For example, the toffee will start crumbling after six months, while mints can last two years if left alone.
Do Caramels Go Bad?
Well, they’re candy, so yes, they do go bad.
But it takes a while. Caramels are one of the most resilient candies out there. Are they impervious to time? No. But they can hang in there longer than you’d think.
They last at least two months unopened before losing their flavor and texture. Once opened, they can last up to two weeks if stored properly (i.e., in an airtight container). They won’t make you sick or anything like that—in fact, some people prefer caramels as they age and get chewier—but the flavor is what’s going to be compromised first.
How to Store Chocolate?
Storing chocolate is more complicated than you might think. There are several factors to consider, including but not limited to:
- The temperature of the room
- The humidity of the room
- How quickly you plan to eat the chocolate (be honest!)
- The length of time you plan to keep the chocolate in storage.
You’ll want to store your chocolate in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. If you plan to store it for longer than a month or two, it’s best to wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and then put it in an air-tight container. It would help if you aimed for the container to be anywhere from 50% to 70% full so that there is enough space for air around the chocolates.
If you’re planning on eating your chocolate within a couple of weeks or less, you should be fine storing it in a dark place at room temperature. If you live somewhere with extreme heat or cold, it’s probably best to store your chocolate in the fridge or freezer.
Final Words – Can Chocolate Go Bad?
So, you enjoy chocolate. But chocolate goes bad? Yes, you can store most types of fresh chocolate in high quality for at least a year.
Before you eat it, check the expiration date since the quality and taste of chocolate can deteriorate quickly if it is not stored correctly. White and milk chocolate will last for a year, but it loses its consistency after a year and starts to lose flavor. It will taste semi-sweet and awful when expired.
When something goes bad, you know about it as you can smell that it has gone off already. If it smells rancid or sour, you should get rid of that older chocolate immediately.