Are you a chocolate-lover? Most probably you are! Chocolate is a favorite treat for many children and adults and everyone knows that it does not tolerate exposure to the sun, as well as high temperatures. How to store chocolate properly? Can you refrigerate chocolate? What is the shelf life of chocolate? We shall give you the answers of these questions and the advice of experts that will help you preserve the taste and appearance of chocolate.
Chocolate consists of grated cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar. To change the taste additives like milk, raisins, nuts, vanilla, mint, etc. are used. All ingredients, the amount of cocoa butter and cocoa powder affect the shelf life and storage conditions, which must be observed so that the taste of the chocolate does not change over time.
On the Internet you can find different (often diametrically opposite) opinions how to properly store chocolate. That is why it is better to trust professionals, so read the tips below!
How to store chocolate properly?
Chocolate is a very delicate product. It does not tolerate exposure to air, moisture, sunlight or temperature changes. To prevent chocolate from spoiling and causing more harm than good, it, like other products, must be stored properly.
On the first place, chocolate is afraid of high temperature and exposure to sun’s rays. It should not be kept in places where it would be exposed to sunlight. In the sun, it will not only melt, but also get an unpleasant bitter taste. Light and oxygen can also damage not only the flavor but the texture of chocolate.
The ideal temperature for storing chocolate is a temperature of +16 degrees Celsius/60 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, nothing bad will happen if the chocolate is kept for some time at a temperature of +20C/68-70F. But it should be remembered that at temperatures above +21C/70F, the chocolate will simply begin to melt. That is, the cocoa butter, which is contained in chocolate, will begin to melt, then when the temperature drops, the fat contained in the butter will undergo a crystallization stage and a white spots will appear on the surface of the previously shiny chocolate bar.
Chocolate absorbs odors very easily, so it is recommended to store it in a tight package, away from spices, perfumes and other strong aromas.
So, how to store chocolate properly? It is best if you store chocolate in a cool, dry place away from excessive heat or humidity. Keep it wrapped up and stored in an airtight container. The cupboard is a good place, but avoid open shelves.
Can you refrigerate chocolate?
The general rule is not to keep chocolate in the fridge or freezer. However, during summer months you may need to do that to prevent melting. As we mentioned, chocolate does not tolerate moisture, it absorbs odors, so if you want to store it in the fridge, tightly wrap your chocolate in moisture-proof plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container.
Keep in mind that if you store it there for a long time, then the cocoa butter will turn into crystals white spots will appear. This does not mean that the chocolate cannot be consumed. It is just that its appearance will no longer be so appetizing.
How long can you store chocolate?
You cannot store chocolate indefinitely. Like any other product, chocolate has its own expiration date and shelf life. These are different things and it is worth knowing them.
The expiry date indicated on the label of a chocolate or box of chocolates means that the manufacturer guarantees the preservation of the quality of the product for the specified period. If the shelf life is slightly longer than the specified one, then the chocolate can still be consumed. But if the expiration date is exceeded, then this chocolate should simply be thrown away, it can be hazardous to health. Therefore, when buying chocolate, carefully check the expiration date and shelf life of the product.
What is the shelf life of each type of chocolate? Every type of chocolate has its own shelf life depending on fat content and additives.
Dark chocolate without additives lasts longer than milk and white chocolate. Unopened and stored properly, dark chocolate lasts 2 years but if opened, it should be stored for no more than 6-10 months.
Milk and white chocolate bars can be stored for up to one year if unopened and stored properly, and 6-8 months if opened and stored properly.
Chocolate with additives and fillings – 3 months.
Handmade chocolate with fruits and other fillings are stored for no more than two weeks from the date of manufacture.