Who doesn’t love chocolate? We love chocolate so much that we often buy it in bulk. You might wonder how long they can be edible. No food lasts forever. Can chocolate get moldy? Is the white stuff appearing on your chocolate mold?
Well, we have the answers to all those questions.
Can chocolate get moldy?
Chocolate cannot get moldy since there is no water. For food to become moldy, moisture must be present. However, after a certain time passes, your chocolate can look moldy, which is referred to as chocolate bloom. Although it does look similar to a fungus, it is not the same as mold.
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Chocolates can’t get moldy while they’re unopened. But if it is exposed to moisture or temperature differences, the chocolate bloom may appear. This layer of chocolate is often mistaken for mold. Chocolate does not get moldy but they do go bad after a certain period.
Chocolate chips can go bad after their expiration date. You can still eat them around 4 to 6 weeks after their expiration date. But in general, if they are still unopened, they can last 2 years without going bad.
Once opened, they can last around 2 months and if opened and refrigerated, they can go another 2 months.
Dark chocolates have the longest shelf life because of their cocoa percentage. The greater the cocoa percentage, the longer it will last. If stored properly, they can last over two years but can last longer if stored in a freezer.
White chocolate expires the fastest out of its counterparts. This is because the ingredients of white chocolate include dairy and cocoa butter. Due to this, they expire more quickly.
While packaged, they can stay in optimal condition for around six to eight months. It might last longer if you store it in the freezer.
Milk chocolate is the most popular of all but they stay fresh only for around a year when unopened. Once opened, they go bad after 2 months. They might go bad faster if there are nuts or fruits included. For example, dairy milk with nuts.
Chocolate truffles have a very short shelf life. They might go bad in less than a month but you can store them for a few more months if you refrigerate them. Storing chocolate truffles in the freezer will keep them fresh the longest.
Another thing that is a factor is preservatives. The more preservatives it contains, the longer it will last.
Chocolate bars contain ingredients that go bad faster. They should be eaten within 3 months after the ‘best before date’. If refrigerated properly, they can last around 6 months.
Why does/doesn’t chocolate go mouldy?
Let’s find out why does/doesn’t chocolate go mouldy –
Does not contain water:
The reason why chocolate does not go moldy is that mold requires moisture, air, and higher temperatures to go.
Chocolate is not exposed to that when packaged but once opened, it can form a layer of chocolate bloom that resembles a mold. This is also why chocolate remains fresh when kept in colder environments than warm.
How to spot this “moldy” chocolate bloom? If white streaks or blotches appear on the exterior of your chocolate, then you have spotted chocolate bloom. Two types of bloom occur in chocolate.
One is fat bloom and the other is sugar bloom. Fat bloom occurs when your chocolate has been exposed to high temperatures. The cocoa butter inside separates from the other ingredients.
Sugar bloom happens to chocolates exposed to air and water, due to moisture.
How can you tell if chocolate is moldy?
Although chocolate cannot be moldy, it does go bad. Expiry is inevitable. The white streaks do not necessarily mean your chocolate has gone stale. First, check the expiry date.
Depending on the chocolate type, it’s generally best to not consume it after a year if it has not been refrigerated.
Look out for smells and tastes. If your chocolate has a slight taste of onion, garlic, or other flavors that are not chocolate-like then your chocolate might be stale. Spots and dots are also other indicators of spoiled chocolate. No flavor is a sign of stale chocolate too.
You can increase the shelf life of chocolates by keeping them in the freezer.
Can you eat moldy chocolate?
Chocolate with white streaks or ‘bloom’ is perfectly safe to eat and use even with its unpleasant appearance and texture. It also might slightly change the taste of your chocolate. You will not fall sick if you consume it or put it in a batter.
But chocolate that has gone stale or spoiled should not be consumed. Since it does not contain water and has been wrapped, it cannot grow fungus or mold.
Can you get sick from eating moldy chocolate?
You can get sick from eating moldy chocolate. The chances are low but many people have reported getting sick after consuming expired chocolate. You could get poisoning or even diarrhea.
Expired chocolate will not hurt you but you might go through an upset stomach and other problems for a short period of time. Chocolate can survive years before going bad so unless you notice symptoms of spoiled chocolate, you are good to go.
What happens if you eat moldy chocolate?
The following incidents can occur if you eat moldy chocolate –
Notice the texture before eating. If it’s too soft, it’s best not to eat. While eating, it could have no taste or a garlic-like taste.
There could be no smell at all. If you notice any putrid or funky smell, it is not safe to eat.
Chances are that you might not have any symptoms. But you can experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache. If it doesn’t go away in a few hours, you could need emergency care.
Is moldy chocolate dangerous?
Chocolates that have bloom on them are not dangerous at all. But stale chocolate can give you a stomach ache and other digestive problems. You should be fine within a few hours if anything happens. However, it is still recommended that you do not try spoiled chocolate.
Some people reported having many issues starting from nausea, food poisoning, and dizziness.
If the chocolate has been left unwrapped for months, it is likely to have expired.
Is the white stuff on chocolate mold?
The white stuff on chocolate is not moldy. As we learned earlier, it is called Chocolate bloom and it is harmless. It is completely natural and you don’t have to throw it away. It usually does not alter the taste of the chocolate but the appearance can be unsightly.
This white stuff seems to appear in high temperatures, either in very cold weather or high temperatures. So if you live somewhere that goes through a lot of temperature changes, your chocolate could have some bloom.
These white blotches or spots are also rarer in good-quality chocolate. Good quality chocolates are tempered well to prevent this.
If you want to avoid the white or gray stuff from appearing on your chocolate, store it in your fridge. Make sure it’s not too chilly though. The optimum temperature is 17 degrees celsius.
What does moldy chocolate taste like?
Stale chocolates are typically flavorless or taste similar to garlic. They can also become more bitter than usual. It could taste a bit like cheese as well. All of these are signs that your chocolate has gone bad. It can taste cardboard-like too.
This is because the ingredients have now broken down and mixed with each other, especially the cocoa butter. This alteration changes the taste of the chocolate.
Does heat remove mold on food?
Heat is known to remove mold on food. The microorganisms and bacteria in the mold can be terminated by temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees Celsius. Boiling water can remove mold from most food items.
The temperature has to be high enough to penetrate inside the food since mold does not only grow on the exterior part of the food.
The case of chocolate is different. The white spots or blotches do not have to be heated to remove. Slightly wiping it should make it go away. Since they are not the same as mold, you don’t have to heat them. But many people heat ‘moldy’ chocolate.
Do not use any harsh elements to remove it.
There are two methods you can use. The first one is to wash the chocolate using warm water and dry it right away. If you don’t want to use water, you can warm the chocolate a little bit and wipe off the surface using a microfiber cloth.
84 degrees should work fine for milk and white chocolate.
Chocolate cannot form mold but it can go stale if exposed to moisture or left unwrapped. Chocolate can be safely consumed past its expiry date if stored correctly. The white or grey blotches on the surface of chocolate are not harmful nor mold. Be careful eating chocolate that tastes bad.