How Long Does Chocolate Last?
Shelf life of Chocolate
How Long Does Chocolate Last? The shelf life of chocolate depends on a variety of factors, such as the best before date, the preparation method and how the chocolate is stored. Because of its unequaled flavor, either by itself or as an ingredient, there’s really nothing like pure gourmet chocolate. Chocolate can range from white to almost black in color, with the highest percentage of cocoa being in the darkest chocolate. Milk chocolate (lightest brown) is the sweetest and dark chocolate (darkest brown) tastes bitter to some people and is thus often labeled “bittersweet”. One of the best news articles ever was when dark chocolate was proven to help keep a heart healthy! The higher the percentage of cacao contained in the bar, the darker the color and the better for you!
But, how long does chocolate last? When properly stored, the shelf life of chocolate past its best by date is approximately …
|(Opened or Unopened)||Pantry||Refrigerator||Freezer|
|Past Printed Date|| Past Printed Date|| Past Printed Date|
|Chocolate lasts for||2-4 Months||4-6 Months||6-8 Months|
|Chocolate Bars last for||2-4 Months||4-6 Months||6-8 Months|
|Chocolate Truffles last for||1-2 Weeks||–||–|
|Belgian Chocolate lasts for||1-2 Weeks||2-4 Weeks||2-4 Months|
|Chocolate Chips last for||2-4 Months||6-8 Months||2-3 Years|
Of course, the shelf life of chocolate is shorter if it is not stored properly. But remember, chocolate, like a lot of other sweets, usually has a best before date and not an expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use it even after the best before date has lapsed.
There is also a difference in the grade of chocolate, whether for savoring or for cooking it is always best to use high quality chocolate for best results.
How to tell if chocolate is bad, rotten or spoiled?
Does chocolate go bad? Yes, product quality does decline with time.
Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness, so it is important to know how to tell if it has gone bad. Since pure chocolate is such a delicate flavor, eating straight gourmet chocolate really is best (most enjoyable) within about a week of the best by date. After that the taste does begins to change slightly.
Your sense of sight is best to judge whether chocolate has gone bad. If you see little white dots forming on the edges of the chocolate then it is drying out and getting old. It can still be used to cook with, but eating it plain will not be quite as enjoyable. After that, depending on the grade of the product, it may start to taste waxy. If your chocolate has gone bad and you need to find a quick replacement then check our chocolate substitute page for ideas.
There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your sweets prior to their eat by date!
How to store chocolate to extend its shelf life?
Extending the answer to how long chocolate lasts relies in practicing proper food storage as it will extend the expiration date.
You can help keep it fresh longer by storing it in a cool, dry place. It can also be kept fresh longer by keeping it in an sealed container the fridge (refrigerator), especially in warm climates. Because chocolate has a low melting point, it should not be stored in warm places or left in a closed car for an extended amount of time. Always remember to store chocolate in a tightly closed container or sealed in plastic wrap to keep out moisture and other contaminants. Additionally, chocolate should be sealed in a container or plastic wrap because chocolate is like a sponge and will absorb the flavors of its surroundings – especially when stored in the refrigerator.
For a long-term option, you can freeze your chocolate while preserving its taste if you use an air-tight freezer safe container. Although freezing is an indefinite storage spot, the quality of some foods decline after longer time periods in the freezer.
If shipping chocolates in the summer, most companies use dry ice to maintain a solid state of the product.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.
What to do with excess chocolate that might go bad?
Does chocolate go bad? Yes, chocolate does go bad.
- Although I’ve never heard of this as being a problem, here’s a suggestion:
Put on a good romance movie and indulge!
- Repeat – indulge yourself, but NEVER your dog – read our post on what dogs eat to find out more.
How long is chocolate good for when prepared in a dish?
How long does chocolate last? That depends. How long does milk last? In general, it lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!
Search the Shelf Life Guide!
What are our shelf life resources?
Our information in determining how long does chocolate last incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and food shelf life.
*An important note about expiration dates …
Although the information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and our advice should only be taken as an opinion and never serve as a replacement for the advice of your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!