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"Blooming" Chocolate Won't Hurt You

If the Valentine's Day chocolates you received develop some whitish discoloration on the surface, the chocolate is still safe to eat.

The whitish discoloration is called "fat bloom," which occurs when cocoa butter separates from the crystallized chocolate mixture and comes to the surface, says Dr. Barbara Struempler, an Extension nutritionist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. This usually happens when the chocolate is kept at a temperature of 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

The discoloration also could be due to "sugar bloom," which occurs when loosely wrapped chocolate is stored in the refrigerator, Struempler says. Moisture condenses on the surface and sugar from the chocolate dissolves in it. As the moisture evaporates, it leaves behind a crust of white sugar crystals.

One way to avoid white discoloration is to wrap and store chocolate carefully in a cool place but not in the refrigerator, says Struempler.

SOURCE: Based on information from Barbara Struempler, PhD, Extension nutritionist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System (www.aces.edu/dept/extcomm/newspaper/chocolate2.html)

 

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Developed By:

Alice C. Henneman, MS, RD
Extension Educator
University of Nebraska
Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Fax: (402) 441-7148
Phone: (402) 441-7180
E-Mail: ahenneman1@unl.edu
Web site: lancaster.unl.edu/food

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