The quick answer is yes. It is possible for chocolate to mold. That being said, it is highly unlikely and rare that chocolate will grow mold.
The sweet treats at the store do not have enough moisture in them to support the molding process. The only times we may see actual mold growing on chocolate is if it’s homemade and made with more liquid than normal.
The other time would be if a piece was left unwrapped for a prolonged period of time in a dark, moist place. Even more rare, chocolate may mold if it contains fruit or nuts that were contaminated.
Candy companies take great care to ensure this does not happen. If it does grow mold, it will be green mold, not the fuzzy white mold we see on fruit and plants.
Chocolate sealed in a package will not mold.
So what’s with that white stuff we often see on our chocolate? If that’s not mold, what is it?
What’s The White Stuff In My Chocolate?
We sometimes see a white film or lines running through our beloved bar of confection. Our first thought is usually that it’s gone bad or it’s the dreaded mold. The truth is quite the opposite. The white “stuff” is bloom.
This will happen if the chocolate has been stored improperly.
If it’s kept above 80 degrees, or in an area with a lot of moisture, the sugar and fat will come to the surface of the chocolate, causing these white streaks or chalky film. But the chocolate is still perfectly safe to eat.
It may have a chalky or grainy texture, but again, it’s just sugar and fat that has “bloomed” or come to the surface.
How Do I Tell If Chocolate Is No Longer Good To Eat?
Just because chocolate does not typically mold, does not mean it’s always good to eat. All good things come to an end, even chocolate.
Here are some tips for you to decide if you should try it or trash it.
1. Expiration Date
Always check the date on the package. Especially if the chocolate has other ingredients like peanut butter, caramel, or fruit. It may not mold, but can age and lose its flavor.
Chocolate tends to take on the smells of the foods around it. So don’t be afraid to give it a sniff. If it’s been unsealed in the fridge with onions or fish, it’s not going to taste good.
As stated earlier, the bloom will give the chocolate a chalky or grainy taste. It’s safe to eat and won’t make you sick, but you may not like the feeling of it.
It probably should not come to this, but if you really need to know and won’t sleep until you do, give it a little taste. You’ll know right away. Then spit it out and rinse!
Can I Store Chocolate In The Refrigerator?
Whether or not you should stick your Snickers bar in the fridge is totally up to you. Many people like cold chocolate.
Some people even like to freeze their chocolate. The choice is yours, but know that some unpleasant things can happen including:
- breaking a tooth
- causing the appearance of the dreaded “bloom”
- the chocolate could absorb the odor of your leftover Chinese food or that fish that’s marinating for tomorrow’s dinner
- lose its bold flavor
If you must refrigerate your chocolate, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an air-tight container.
Some tips for storing your chocolate treats:
- store the chocolate in a cool, dry place (65-68 degrees is best)
- store in a dark place
- keep in an airtight container
- keep away from light
- do not store near any other food
- store it where pets, especially dogs, cannot get to it
What Should I Do If I Feel Sick After Eating Chocolate?
Sometimes, we all over do it. Whether it’s the holidays or a night at the movies. We forget just how much chocolate we’ve eaten. Our bodies are not used to too much of a sweet, sugary thing at once.
You could end up with nausea, a headache, or a feeling of being exhausted. First, don’t beat yourself up, we’ve all been there. Next, take action.
- throw or give away any leftovers
- drink lots of water
- eat some good carbs like oats, sweet potatoes, or quinoa
- eat some fruit
- get some exercise
1. Can you still use chocolate with white spots on it?
Yes. There is nothing unsafe or unhealthy about the white spots. They just look funny, and the chocolate may taste chalky.
2. What is chocolate bloom?
Chocolate bloom is white chalk, spots, or streaks on your chocolate. This comes from either sugar bloom or fat bloom.
In both cases, storing the chocolate at the wrong temperature or in less than ideal conditions are the cause. The sugar and/or fat have “bloomed” to the surface.
Sugar bloom will have a chalky, gritty texture, but that’s the worst of it. You won’t expire and you won’t get sick.
3. Can I do anything with chocolate that has turned white?
Sure. Melt the chocolate down and remold it. Scrape off as much bloom as you can, like you’re peeling a potato. Finally, you can eat it. There’s nothing wrong with it!
4. What’s the difference between green mold and white mold?
No matter what the color, white, green, pink, or purple (yes there’s actually pink and purple mold), it’s all fungus. But the main difference between white and green mold is what they like to grow on and feed off.
Green mold will appear on food such as citrus fruit, bread, and cheese. White mold will appear on plants, pulp, paper, and wooden surfaces.