General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

Why does old chocolate whiten?

Asked by AstroChuck (37543points) December 17th, 2009
21 responses
“Great Question” (8points)

I get plenty of boxes of chocolate each holiday season on my mail route. I recently opened a box that one of my customers must have wanted to unload for some time as the chocolates were all turning white. Obviously my trash can ended up enjoying this generous gift from my cheap-ass customer. Just wondering if anyone knows what causes this whitening.

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master_mind413's avatar

it dries out ?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I have always wondered this!

sjmc1989's avatar

You could have enjoy all that delicious chocolate :(

tinyfaery's avatar


Pretty_Lilly's avatar

I believe that is called the Michael Jackson/Sammy Sosa affect !

arnbev959's avatar

Uh-oh. Am I supposed to give a Christmas gift to my mail carrier?

sjmc1989's avatar

When he is an adorable 6 year old you do!

master_mind413's avatar

There’s nothing quite like opening a much-anticipated box of chocolates only to find discolored, slightly gray candy. When chocolate turns gray like that, one of two things could be the culprit: sugar bloom or fat bloom.

Sugar bloom is normally caused by surface moisture. The moisture causes the sugar in the chocolate to dissolve. Once the moisture evaporates, sugar crystals remain on the surface. If this process is repeated, the surface can become sticky and even more discolored. Although sugar bloom is most often the result of overly humid storage, it can happen when the chocolate has been stored at a relatively cool temperature and is then moved too quickly into much warmer surroundings. When this happens, the chocolate sweats, producing surface moisture.

Fat bloom is similar to sugar bloom, except that it is fat or cocoa butter that is separating from the chocolate and depositing itself on the outside of the candy. As with sugar bloom, the most common causes of fat bloom are quick temperature changes and overly-warm storage.

Although it might look a little less appetizing than a lustrous, rich chocolatey-brown piece of candy, chocolate that has suffered bloom is still okay to eat. You may find the texture of sugar-bloomed chocolate to be a bit grainy on the outside, but it should still taste good. To prevent this from happening to your chocolate, simply use proper storage methods.

Jeruba's avatar

@master_mind413, that’s the article that @sjmc1989 linked above.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@master_mind413 Thats exactly what @sjmc1989 just posted.

AstroChuck's avatar

This chocolate was more white than gray.

Grey for my non-American friends.

danbambam's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly : made me laugh!

susanc's avatar

It does it for the same reason the rest of us do it. It gets old. But yes, it still tastes nice.

Zen_Again's avatar

@AstroChuck Thanks for the clarification. I was confused until you wrote grey. Appreciated.

Fernspider's avatar

Better white/grey than containing maggots! Ewwww

ccrow's avatar

Wow, do maggots like chocolate, too?

AstroChuck's avatar

@Zen_Again- Of course. After all, you prefer Earl Grey, right?

phil196662's avatar

My father (may he RIP in 1997) had a Wholsale Candy business for 35 years and I learned that Chocolate Rarely goes Bad! It Seperates and you have to Reheat it to bring it back together- Even in your mouth… Hold it and let it melt to bring the solids, sugar and coco back mixed again!

Futomara's avatar

Hmmm…. I have the same question about dog poop. Why does dog poop turn white? Wait! Are you sure that was chocolate in the box?

borderline_blonde's avatar

Ahhh I can’t believe how much chocolate I’ve wasted over the years :(

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