Chocolate Bloom vs Mold • What’s the Difference

If you’ve eaten as much chocolate as me, you’ve probably found yourself in the following situation. You’re at the end of a long, tiring day. As you slump down to relax and unwind, you remember that special bar of chocolate that’s still somewhere in the home. Once you’ve found the chocolate, you take it out of its wrapping but notice instantly that something isn’t quite right. The color seems… off. Has the chocolate gone moldy? If so, you ponder whether you can eat it. Or is this something over than mold, like bloom, and is the chocolate still safe to eat in this situation? Very important questions that need answering. So let’s get to it!

So, what are the differences between chocolate bloom vs mold? The main differences between chocolate bloom and mold are related to spoilage, fuzziness, color, and nature. Mold spoils the chocolate, whereas bloom doesn’t. Mold is fuzzy in texture; bloom is not. Mold is typically green, whereas bloom is white. Mold is also a fungus, whereas bloom is crystalized ingredients that appear on the surface.

In other words, you can eat chocolate bloom but mold; well, you really shouldn’t.

So to help you understand which is which, let’s delve into the differences in much further detail.

What Are The Differences Between Chocolate Bloom And Mold?

Bloom doesn’t spoil the chocolate, meaning you can still eat it. On the other hand, mold does spoil chocolate, so you shouldn’t eat it. Mold is fuzzy, whereas bloom isn’t. Mold on chocolate is often green in color, whilst bloom is always white. Mold is a type of fungus, whereas bloom is not.

Mold Spoils, Bloom Does Not

Any food that has gone moldy will smell and taste disgusting. Chocolate is no different.

Overall, mold is going to completely spoil any chocolate it contaminates.

But bloom will not spoil your chocolate. Bloom just causes an appearance change. It is completely safe to eat and will do very little to change the taste and smell of the chocolate.


Even if the mold is white, like the bloom is, you’ll still be able to tell what it actually is based on how fuzzy it is.

This is because white mold is distinguishably fuzzy, whereas bloom is not fuzzy.


Bloom on chocolate is always white. However, mold is only very rarely white on chocolate. 

In the case of food, mold is almost always green in color.

Mold Is A Type of Fungus; Bloom Is Not 

Mold is a fungus that forms multicellular thread-like structures. 

Bloom, on the other hand, is not a fungus. It is simply crystallized ingredients in the chocolate that have risen through its surface.

What Is Chocolate Bloom?

Chocolate bloom is the appearance of white residue on the surface of a piece of chocolate. It occurs in two ways: sugar bloom and fat bloom. Sugar bloom occurs when the chocolate is exposed to moisture, and the sugar content crystallizes and rises to the surface. Fat bloom occurs when the chocolate is exposed to warmth, and the cocoa butter softens, allowing the other ingredients to rise to the chocolate’s surface.

When we see some kind of white chalk on our chocolate, we know something is up. Our first instinct is to suspect it is mold.

After all, we’ve most likely seen something like this happen before with other foods.

But with chocolate, the chances are that this white chalk isn’t mold and is, in fact, bloom.

So, what actually is bloom?

Well, bloom is what chocolatiers refer to that chalky white dust on chocolate as. This commonly occurs if chocolate is left unsealed.

You” find that chocolate is very much more susceptible to bloom than it is to mold.

There are two types of bloom. They are Sugar Bloom and Fat Bloom. Let’s define each one separately.

Sugar Bloom

This type of bloom occurs when the chocolate is exposed to external moisture. 

The moisture basically causes the chocolate’s sugar content to evaporate. 

When it evaporates, large sugar crystals form on the chocolate’s surface. 

If the bloom on your chocolate looks crystallized, then this is probably the early sign of sugar bloom. You are effectively looking at crystalized sugar on the surface of your chocolate.  

Eventually, the sugar crystals will dissolve, which turns the bloom from a crystallized substance into a chalky residue. 

Fat Bloom

This type of bloom is different in that it occurs when the chocolate is exposed to warmth.

Storing chocolate in certain locations can obviously drive this, but you may be up against it if the chocolate has not been tempered properly during its production.  

The heat causes the cocoa butter in the chocolate to soften, which separates the ingredients, which then rises to the surface. 

When the chocolate solidifies again, the cocoa butter crystals will appear on the surface as a grey cast or as white streaks. 

It is important to note that this is the most common type of chocolate bloom.

Is Bloom On Chocolate Safe To Eat?

Bloom on chocolate is perfectly safe to eat. You won’t even notice much change in its taste, if any. The only factor that may have changed slightly post-blooming is the chocolate’s texture.

So, now you know why we call it ‘bloom.’ Just like flowers bloom from the earth, chocolate’s ingredients can bloom through its surface.

However, I will admit that one is a more pretty process than the other.

Now, the change in the appearance of a chocolate bar as a result of its blooming can be quite off-putting, especially as it can be compared to mold.

But despite this drastic and concerning change in appearance, there really isn’t anything to be worried about if you decide to eat some chocolate that has bloomed. 

That’s right. Bloomed chocolate is perfectly safe to eat, and it’s still delicious as well.

It won’t make you sick at all, and it won’t even taste less amazing. After all, all the ingredients are still there; it’s just that the appearance has changed.

Perhaps the only change you might notice when consuming chocolate that has bloomed is that its texture might seem slightly grainier than usual.

If you’re still a bit wary about the bloom you see on your chocolate, you can easily get rid of it.

When chocolate blooms, some of its ingredients rise to the surface. They basically step out of their designated position.

To resolve this issue, you have to put these ingredients back where they belong.

You do this by melting the chocolate and stirring it together so that the fats and sugars are reincorporated once more. 

Once the bloom has gone, you can pour the melted chocolate into some molds and leave it in the fridge to harden, restoring it to its former appearance. 

Read more: How Do You Stop Chocolate From Blooming?

Can Chocolate Get Moldy?

Chocolate very rarely gets moldy as it doesn’t contain a lot of moisture. However, there are a few instances where it can happen, mainly due to external influences such as packaging and additional ingredients.

The good news is that it’s actually very rarely the case that chocolate has gone moldy.

If chocolate does go moldy, it will appear as a green growth most of the time. So you can clearly distinguish between bloom and mold based on the fact that one is white and the other is grey.

Now you might be thinking, ‘hang on, some mold is white,’ and I would say, yes, this is true.

But white mold more commonly appears on wood and plants. Green mold appears on food, which is the nature of chocolate at the end of the day.

If you’re not sure whether the white residue on your chocolate is mold or bloom, then throw it away, as it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If your chocolate does have green mold growth on its surface, then the situation is very different from blooming.

Because, in the instance of mold, you should throw the chocolate away. It is now not safe to eat and won’t be pleasant either.

But as mentioned, chocolate very rarely gets moldy at all.

This is down to it usually being packaged and sealed but also because it doesn’t contain a lot of moisture, which is where mold grows and thrives.

So, chocolate can go moldy if it is left unsealed in a dark and damp location where it is exposed to heat and moisture. 

So storage is key at the end of the day. Therefore, one determining factor when it comes to whether it will mold or bloom on your chocolate depends if you have kept it sealed or not.

There are other causes of mold on chocolate as well. For example, mold could grow on a particular piece of chocolate if the cocoa beans used in its production process were already moldy.

The chocolate being exposed to bad packaging and pathogens is another potential cause.

And added ingredients in the chocolate, such as fruit and nuts, can contaminate the chocolate with their own mold.


So, let’s summarize today’s important lessons.

White chalky residue on chocolate is normally a sign of sugar or fat bloom occurring.

Chocolate that has bloomed is perfectly safe to eat.

However, the residue on your chocolate could still be mold, particularly if the residue is green instead.

But it is quite rare that chocolate molds, although not impossible.

If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is throw your chocolate away! 

Next up: How To Fix Chocolate Bloom