FoodDemystifying the white film on chocolate: Harmless blooming and the art of proper storage

Demystifying the white film on chocolate: Harmless blooming and the art of proper storage

White coating on chocolate
White coating on chocolate
Images source: © Own archive

7:46 AM EST, December 21, 2023

It's quite usual for us to stock up on food. There's always a tub of ice cream in my freezer, saved for later. In my kitchen pantry, I try to maintain a minimum of two chocolate bars at all times, just in case a sudden craving for something sweet hits. Needless to say, chocolates received as holiday gifts are a constant.

While I typically refresh my stock regularly, there are moments when I go for several weeks without indulging in sweets. In the past, I've opened a chocolate bar after a significant hiatus, only to find a white coating on it. Initially, I assumed the chocolate had spoiled, but when this situation occurred repeatedly, I felt compelled to delve deeper into the matter and seek answers to the questions that had been bothering me.

Is a white film on chocolate a sign of spoilage?

Contrary to common assumptions, a white film on chocolate is entirely harmless, and the chocolate is safe to eat. This occurrence is connected to the way chocolate is stored and can be a result of fluctuating temperatures or high humidity.

Adam Turoni, a confectioner and chocolate producer, illuminates the intricacies of chocolate making on the Yahoo! Life portal. He mentions that the production of chocolate involves a tempering process, which encompasses heating and cooling the chocolate to endow it with the right hardness and sheen. Chocolate that endures this process will be devoid of smears and spots.

What is "chocolate blooming"?

The coating we've been discussing is referred to as "chocolate blooming". It can be classified into two categories: fat bloom and sugar bloom. What differentiates them? Fat bloom in chocolate is an outcome of temperature alterations or improper storage of chocolate. The fat in the chocolate begins to melt under high temperatures, and when the temperature subsides, the fat solidifies into a white coating.

On the other hand, sugar bloom in chocolate is linked with changes in humidity. In such instances, sugar crystals dissolve, forming a white film on the chocolate's surface. This phenomenon is prevalent when the chocolate is cooled.

Turoni admits that discerning the type of bloom solely based on appearance can be challenging. However, a makeshift test can be conducted. If the coating on the chocolate is smooth to the touch, it's probably a fat bloom. Conversely, if the layer feels rough, it's likely a sugar bloom.

White coating on chocolate
White coating on chocolate© Adobe Stock

What is the best way to store chocolate?

The article also includes advice on how to store chocolate accurately. Turoni advises against storing chocolate in a refrigerator or freezer because the high humidity in these appliances can be detrimental to the chocolate's structure.

Elizabeth McDaniel, another expert in this conversation, emphasizes that chocolate is best kept at room temperature. In addition, chocolate should be stored away from strong light, heat, high humidity, and pungent odors, all of which could potentially compromise the taste of the chocolate, and surely, that's an outcome you'd want to avoid.

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