We are naturally alarmed when we find that our chocolate has noticeably changed its appearance. Panic sets in as we instantly think of mold. But chocolate very rarely goes moldy. Chocolate is actually more likely to bloom than go moldy. Now, of course, blooming doesn’t stop us from necessarily eating and enjoying it, but something obviously causes this to happen. So, the question that we will be answering today is how we can stop chocolate from blooming. Additionally, we’ll look at why chocolate blooms. And why might we want our chocolate not to bloom?
So, how do you stop chocolate from blooming? You stop your chocolate from blooming by storing it in an appropriate location and keeping it in suitable, preferably sealed packaging. Essentially, you want to prevent the chocolate from being exposed to moisture or a sudden rise in temperature.
So with this all in mind, let’s continue to look at how we can keep our chocolate from developing that off-putting white appearance!
- 1 What Causes Cholate To Bloom?
- 2 Why Do You Want To Stop Your Chocolate From Blooming?
- 3 How To Prevent Chocolate From Blooming
- 4 Finally
What Causes Cholate To Bloom?
Chocolate will either sugar bloom or fat bloom. Your chocolate will sugar bloom if it is exposed to moisture. Whereas your chocolate will fat bloom if it is exposed to warmth. Either way, the storage conditions of your chocolate will determine whether it blooms at all.
Bloom occurs through two different yet similar processes. The result is the same, in that white bloom appears on the surface of your chocolate.
These two separate blooming processes are sugar bloom and fat bloom.
What type of bloom your chocolate experiences depends on what causes it to bloom.
For instance, sugar bloom is caused by exposure to warmth. Fat bloom, on the other hand, is caused by exposure to warmth.
Let’s look at the different causes of blooming one by one.
Exposure To Moisture (Sugar Bloom)
How does exposure to moisture cause your chocolate to bloom?
Well, moisture causes the sugar in the chocolate to evaporate.
When this occurs, large sugar crystals accumulate on the chocolate’s surface.
If the bloom appears crystallized, then this is probably a sign of sugar bloom.
But after a while, the sugar crystals will dissolve, which turns the bloom from a crystallized substance into a chalky residue.
Exposure To Warmth (Fat Bloom)
How does exposure to warmth cause your chocolate to bloom?
Well, a sudden presence of heat will cause the cocoa butter in the chocolate to soften.
This subsequently separates the ingredients, which then rise to the surface.
Later on, once the temperature has cooled down again, the chocolate will re-solidify.
At this point, the cocoa butter crystals will appear on the surface as a grey cast or as white streaks.
It will ultimately depend on the storage conditions you place your chocolate.
If you put your chocolate somewhere moist, then it will likely bloom via sugar blooming.
Alternatively, if you put your chocolate somewhere where the temperature can suddenly rise substantially, then it will likely bloom via fat blooming.
Why Do You Want To Stop Your Chocolate From Blooming?
You won’t need to stop the chocolate from blooming if you’re concerned it will make you sick, as it won’t. But you may want to stop a piece of chocolate from blooming if you are: planning on giving it as a gift, wanting reassurance, and being aware of a change in taste or texture.
Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight! Bloomed chocolate is perfectly safe to eat. So, try not to be put off by it.
The problem is that people think bloom is mold, so they often throw away good chocolate.
But if the white residue on your chocolate’s surface is bloom, there’s nothing to be worried about in terms of your health and safety.
Therefore, wanting to stop your chocolate from blooming because you are worried about it making you sick is a redundant concern.
This is true.
Eating bloomed chocolate will not make you ill, so it’s perfectly safe to eat.
The ingredients are simply rising through the chocolate’s surface (unlike mold, which is the development of fungus that you definitely should avoid eating).
So what are some legitimate reasons for not wanting your chocolate to bloom? Let’s take a look at some.
The Chocolate Is A Gift
It doesn’t matter the occasion; if you are gifting chocolate to a friend, relative, or colleague, you want it to look good.
This isn’t a case of you digging out a bar of chocolate from the cupboard to snack on whilst your eyes are distracted by the TV as opposed to the smooth, brown surface of the bar.
Who cares what their chocolate looks like in that instance?
But when it comes to gifting chocolate, it’s not just the taste that counts…although that is still important.
No one wants to receive an abnormal-looking piece of chocolate. It’s just not right, nor is it good manners.
You want the chocolate to be presentable, and that means ensuring that it doesn’t bloom. Because a bloomed chocolate bar isn’t as appealing as a non-bloomed chocolate bar plus, the lucky receiver of this gift may mistake it as mold and throw it away once you’ve left.
That’s not a good situation for anyone.
Not the receiver, who doesn’t get to enjoy a piece of chocolate, and not you, who has wasted their money and tarnished their reputation as a chocolate gifter.
So, if you’re planning on gifting a particular bar of chocolate, then this is definitely a time when you won’t want it to bloom.
The thing is that I can sit here all day telling you that there’s nothing to worry about chocolate that has bloomed. But you might be one of those people who is still concerned anyway, and that’s fine.
Furthermore, if you can’t determine whether the residue on your chocolate is mold or bloom, then it’s best to just dispose of it completely. Better to be safe than sorry, as they say.
Bloom doesn’t impact the shelf life of chocolate. Nor is it known for changing the taste of the chocolate.
However, it may be the case that you notice a slight or drastic change in your chocolate once it has bloomed.
If you are discovering an altered taste in the chocolate once it has bloomed, and this change is not for the better, then this is another instance where you might want to prevent your chocolate from blooming in the future.
Now it is more commonly reported that the texture of chocolate that has bloomed has changed.
You might find that your bloomed chocolate has a more grainier texture than its normal state. Once again, if this isn’t to your liking, then it’s time to think about how you can prevent your chocolate from blooming in the future.
Hmmm, if only we knew how to do this.
Oh, wait! We do!
How To Prevent Chocolate From Blooming
To prevent your chocolate from blooming, you must store it in a location that keeps it from being exposed to moisture and warmth. You’ll also want to control the chocolate’s temperature. You’ll also need to keep it in the right packaging and regularly check to see how it’s doing.
Ok, so there are a fair amount of preventative measures to put in place. Let’s talk through each one individually.
Proper Storage Techniques
Of course, the best thing you can do to prevent your chocolate from blooming is to store it properly.
Chocolate is best stored in a cool and dry place. After all, it’s warmth and moisture that cause bloom, two factors that are the complete opposite to cool and dry.
So it really is all down to you to get the storage conditions right if you want to keep bloom to a minimum.
We know that you need to keep the chocolate away from a sudden increase in temperature if you want to avoid it blooming.
The best way to do this is to be vigilant in keeping the chocolate within a location where you can regulate and monitor the surrounding temperature.
Try to aim for maintaining a room temperature of 20-22°C with humidity not exceeding 50%.
Also, once you’ve chosen a good location, stick to it. Don’t keep moving your chocolate about between locations, as this is when it will be susceptible to sudden temperature changes.
As you now know, chocolate blooms if exposed to moisture or heat.
It is, therefore, important to keep your chocolate properly sealed and consequently protected from any such exposure.
There will also be an issue if the chocolate is exposed to bad packaging and pathogens. Such exposure can also result in bloom.
Regular Checks On The Chocolate
By regularly checking on your chocolate to see how it’s doing, you’ll be able to see if any bloom is starting to form.
If it is, you can change your chocolate’s storage location and conditions accordingly to prevent any further bloom from developing.
Even though eating bloomed chocolate isn’t harmful or unpleasant, there are several good reasons to avoid it.
Fortunately, bloom can be easily avoided.
So long as you know what to do…
…, which you do now.
Next up: How To Fix Chocolate Bloom
Hello, I’m Matthew, a candy expert and enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the candy industry. My passion for candy started at a very young age. Since then, I have worked in numerous, large candy stores, and have been fortunate enough to try out hundreds of brands of candies, different types and flavors. In addition to my work, I enjoy sharing my extensive knowledge with others, and decided to create Sugar Stand in order to do so. My mission is to make the world a sweeter place, one candy at a time.