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The right way to store chocolate and confectionery


Some people with a sweet tooth will say “I don’t have a problem storing chocolate – I just eat it!” But sometimes even the biggest chocolate fan will have to face the fact that there is no way of consuming all the chocolate you bought, or were given, at a sitting. So how do you store chocolate and confectionery without them losing in taste or quality?

Chocolate: Traditional chocolate bars are best stored at temperatures between 10 and 18 degrees in a dry place, because chocolate doesn’t like to be stored too cold or too warm. Above all it doesn’t take kindly to temperature fluctuations. Moisture, and too much light or air flow are also not good for chocolate.


What happens when chocolate is stored at high temperatures or the storage temperature fluctuates too much is that fat blooming occurs. A very thin, white layer of fat crystals forms on the chocolate surface. It’s sometimes confused with mould, but unlike mould it presents no health risk. The fat bloom doesn’t affect the taste of your chocolate; it simply looks unappetising.


If chocolate is stored in a damp place or is moved from very cold storage to very warm surroundings, sugar bloom occurs, a form of condensation that produces a rough, irregular surface on the chocolate.


If the chocolate comes into contact with light or air, the fats in the chocolate decompose and the taste is lost. This is called oxidation. This may be accompanied by an unpleasant smell. Dark chocolate because of its greater cocoa content contains more antioxidants, ie, the darker the chocolate, the longer its shelf life. Dark chocolate will keep for at least two years, milk chocolate about a year and a half and white chocolate about a year. If you store the chocolate correctly it will still be edible, but there’s no guarantee that after all that time it will be particularly tasty.

Confectionery: The shelf life of filled chocolates naturally depends primarily on the contents. La Madeline au Truffe, the world’s most expensive filled chocolates, will keep only a few days. Small wonder, seeing they contain real truffles. The manufacturer recommends that his masterpieces are consumed within at most a week. Chocolates with a fruit filling should also not be stored much longer, those with a cream filling can be kept for up to two weeks. By contrast, chocolates containing alcohol will keep a whole lot longer.


Conclusion: Chocolate products are best stored in a cool, dry, dark and airtight place. Temperature fluctuations should be avoided at all costs, starting at the transport stage. Many chocolate and confectionery producers, will in fact distribute their wares only from October to April to guarantee their products’ quality. Each year from May to September, for instance, the confectionery specialists Rocher take their products off the shelves for a summer break, because they can’t guarantee consistent product quality in the event of temperature fluctuations and hotter weather.