Mmm, now a delicious piece of chocolate! But what do you do if the chocolate bar looks somehow strange? What do white or grayish spots mean? And how long can expired chocolate still be edible? We at Theyo are chocolate lovers with heart and soul and have set out to find answers for you. We also have 3 practical tips on how you should store chocolate so that it doesn't go bad in the first place.
Can chocolate get moldy?
We can reassure you: chocolate very rarely molds because it hardly contains any water. If the chocolate is covered in white or grayish spots, there is usually no reason to worry. It is usually fat ripeness or sugar ripeness. Fat or sugar comes out of the chocolate and crystallizes. The chocolate can be eaten without any problems. However, if it has been stored unsealed or contains other ingredients such as nuts or raisins, you should take a closer look to see whether mold has formed. You can find out here how you can tell whether you can still safely eat expired chocolate.
Sugar ripe: Rough and grayish coating
When there are large temperature fluctuations, especially from cold to warm, water condenses out of the chocolate. Sugar crystals remain on the surface.
Chocolate bar with sugar frost © Dandelion Chocolate
Fat ripe: White, soft coating
If the chocolate is stored too warm or the temperatures fluctuate greatly, the fat will come out of the chocolate and crystallize on the surface.
This is what fat frost looks like on chocolate ©Theobroma Cacao
Sugar ripeness and fat ripeness are often confused with mold, but they do not change the edibility of the chocolate! At most, the enamel on the tongue can feel different.
How long does chocolate last?
Is looking at the best-before date clouding your anticipation of chocolate? The chocolate has expired? No reason to worry. As a general rule, the best-before date does not correspond to the use-by date. It's just the manufacturer's warranty. She says that the chocolate can be eaten until at least the corresponding date and retains its taste quality. If stored correctly, chocolate can be enjoyed even after the best-before date has passed.
Fans of dark chocolate will be happy about this rule of thumb: the higher the cocoa content, the longer the shelf life. While dark chocolate lasts up to 24 months and milk chocolate up to 18 months, white chocolate lasts around 12 months. If you want to be on the safe side, you can keep this information in mind. Nevertheless, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can last much longer! If you are in doubt, you will now find out how you can tell whether the expired chocolate is still edible.
White chocolate has the shortest shelf life ©Theyo
Can I still eat this?
Just like with many other foods, rely on your senses to tell whether the chocolate is still edible. Take a close look at the board and learn to distinguish fat and sugar frost from mold. Remember: chocolate rarely molds. Smell the board and try a small piece to be sure. Usually the worst thing you have to worry about is that the flavors of the chocolate are gone. Our tip: If the chocolate has lost its aroma, it is still ideal for baking. Once the chocolate has melted, the fat and sugar frost can no longer be seen. We'll now tell you how you should store chocolate so that it doesn't lose its aroma in the first place.
Take a close look at the board before snacking ©Theyo
3 tips on how to store chocolate - this way it doesn't go bad in the first place
- Cool. Chocolate needs temperatures between 12 and 20 °C. Above all, avoid higher temperatures and temperature fluctuations, otherwise fat frost or sugar frost will occur. By the way, the fridge is the wrong place to store chocolate! The formation of condensation promotes the escape of sugar. In addition, the flavors of the chocolate only develop at room temperature.
- Dark . When chocolate is continuously exposed to light and air, the oxidation process begins. This causes fats to dissolve in the chocolate, which leads to a change in taste and an unpleasant smell. White chocolate is particularly sensitive to light.
- Dry & airtight. Once the packaging has been opened, you should continue to store the chocolate in a dry and airtight place. Otherwise the aroma can be lost and smells from other foods can be absorbed. In addition, it is advisable not to store chocolate next to foods with a strong smell such as onions or cheese. Unless you want to experience a flavor miracle of a slightly different kind. ;)
Storing chocolate is not rocket science
All in all, chocolate is a pretty easy-care cupboard dweller. It very rarely molds and lasts for up to two years when stored in a cool, dark and dry place. If it has a high cocoa content, it has the longest shelf life - usually well past the best before date. White or grayish spots do not indicate mold, but simply incorrect storage.
Are you looking for high-quality, special chocolate? Then take a look at our Theyo online shop . We have really good chocolate from all over the world that you're guaranteed to devour long before the best-before date has passed! Do you still have “leftover chocolate”? However this happened, we regularly provide you with recipes (e.g. fluffy banana bread or ultimate chocolate cookies) so that this chocolate also gets a new meaning in life.
FAQ on storing chocolate
What is the best way to store chocolate?
The basic rule when storing chocolate is: cool (not cold), dark, dry and airtight.
At what temperature should you store chocolate?
Between 12 and 20 °C is ideal. Avoid temperature fluctuations during storage as these can lead to fat or sugar ripening.
Does chocolate last longer in the fridge?
No, the ideal temperature for storing chocolate is between 12 and 20 °C, so the refrigerator is too cool.
What is the best way to store opened chocolate?
As soon as you open the airtight packaging of chocolate, the chocolate begins to lose flavor. If you are not going to eat the chocolate immediately, we recommend storing it in an airtight container.
Can chocolate go bad?
That depends on the type of chocolate. For example, high-quality dark chocolate only contains cocoa ingredients and sugar, so nothing that can really spoil. Here the chocolate only runs the risk of losing its flavor over time. However, if the chocolate contains other ingredients such as milk powder or raisins, it can go bad. However, don't let the best-before date scare you away. If this has expired and the chocolate looks normal, smells normal and tastes normal, you can still enjoy it without worry.