Ah, chocolate! A universally adored treat, it is as much a comfort food as it is a gourmet delight.
Whether it’s dark, milk, or white, the rich, indulgent pleasure it brings is second to none.
But have you ever opened a chocolate bar, expecting to see its usual glossy brown sheen, only to be greeted with a dull, white coating?
Why does that happen?
In this post, we will look into the fascinating science behind why chocolate sometimes turns white, exploring phenomena like ‘fat bloom’ and ‘sugar bloom’.
Why Does Chocolate Turn White?
Chocolate turns white due to a process known as ‘blooming’.
There are two types of bloom: ‘fat bloom’, caused by changes in the fat or cocoa butter due to temperature fluctuations, and ‘sugar bloom’, caused by the reaction of the sugar in the chocolate with moisture.
Both result in a white or greyish coating on the surface of the chocolate.
Despite the change in appearance, bloomed chocolate is still safe to eat, although the texture and taste may be slightly altered.
Related post: What is Chocolate Blooming?
When Chocolate Goes White, is it Safe to Eat?
Yes, when chocolate goes white, it is still safe to eat. The white appearance is due to a process known as ‘blooming’ – either ‘fat bloom’.
This occurs when the cocoa butter in the chocolate separates and rises to the surface due to temperature fluctuations, or ‘sugar bloom’, which happens when the sugar in the chocolate absorbs moisture and then crystallises on the surface.
While blooming changes the appearance and texture of the chocolate, it does not make it unsafe to consume.
However, it may alter the taste and the overall eating experience.
Related Post: What Is Milk Chocolate?
How to Prevent Chocolate From Going White
Preventing chocolate from going white, or ‘blooming’, involves careful handling and storage. Here are some steps you can take:
- Proper Tempering: If you’re making your own chocolate, proper tempering is essential. This is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to certain temperatures to achieve the right crystal structure in the cocoa butter, resulting in shiny, smooth chocolate.
- Avoid Temperature Fluctuations: Store your chocolate in a cool, dry place, ideally at a consistent temperature between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius. Extreme or fluctuating temperatures can cause the cocoa butter to separate, leading to fat bloom.
- Avoid Moisture: Keep your chocolate away from moisture. When chocolate is exposed to moisture, it can absorb it, causing the sugar in the chocolate to dissolve. When this moisture evaporates, it leaves sugar crystals on the surface, causing sugar bloom.
- Proper Storage: If possible, store chocolate in an airtight container to protect it from humidity and changes in temperature. Avoid storing chocolate in the fridge unless absolutely necessary, as this can lead to condensation and sugar bloom.
- Avoid Contamination: Chocolate can absorb odours, so keep it away from strong-smelling foods. Also, avoid touching the chocolate with wet or moist hands.
By following these steps, you can maintain the appearance and quality of your chocolate, ensuring it stays as delectable as the day you bought it.
Related Post: Types of Chocolate.
Does Chocolate Turn White if You Store it in the Fridge?
Storing chocolate in the fridge doesn’t automatically cause it to turn white, but it can contribute to conditions that lead to blooming, causing a white or greyish coating on the chocolate.
The two types of bloom that can occur are fat bloom, caused by changes in temperature, and sugar bloom, caused by exposure to moisture.
If you put chocolate in the fridge and then move it to a warmer room, it can cause condensation to form on the surface of the chocolate.
This moisture can dissolve the sugar in the chocolate, which then recrystallises on the surface as the chocolate dries, resulting in a sugar bloom.
Similarly, drastic changes in temperature can cause the fat or cocoa butter in the chocolate to separate and rise to the surface, causing fat bloom.
While it’s generally best to store chocolate in a cool, dry place at room temperature if you must store chocolate in the fridge (for instance, in hot weather), try to minimise temperature fluctuations and condensation.
Place the chocolate in an airtight container before refrigerating, and when removing it, let the container come to room temperature before opening it to avoid condensation forming on the chocolate.
Related Post: What Nutrients Are in Chocolate?
Where Can You Buy Chocolate for Cooking and Baking?
If you’re looking for excellent cooking chocolate, look no further than Whitakers Chocolates’ Easymelt.
With a high cocoa content of 55%, this superior-quality dark chocolate couverture has been specially designed for a myriad of culinary uses.
It’s ideal for melting, dipping, decorating, flavouring and a whole lot more.
What sets Easymelt apart is not just its intense, rich flavour but also its ease of use.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional baker or a home cook dipping your toes in the world of chocolate-based recipes, Easymelt is perfect for enhancing your dishes with a touch of chocolatey indulgence.
It melts smoothly and evenly, ensuring a consistently delicious result every time.
Moreover, Easymelt has been created with dietary requirements in mind.
It’s suitable for those following a vegan diet and is also gluten-free, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of recipes.
This high-quality cooking chocolate is readily available for purchase on the Whitakers Chocolates official website.
It may also be found in specialist food shops and select larger supermarkets.
So whether you’re baking a batch of decadent brownies, creating intricate chocolate decorations, or just making a luxurious hot chocolate, Easymelt is an excellent choice to ensure a superior taste and texture.
Some Notes From an Expert Chocolatier
As an experienced chocolatier with Whitakers Chocolates, I can tell you that one of our paramount goals is to ensure that every piece of chocolate we produce and sell reaches our customers in perfect condition.
Over the years, we’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge and expertise about the intricate and delicate process of chocolate making.
When it comes to issues like blooming, it’s all about understanding the fundamental characteristics of chocolate and how to manipulate them to our advantage.
Chocolate is a remarkably complex substance, and as such, it demands a high level of care, precision, and skill.
In terms of avoiding blooming, temperature control is crucial.
We keep our factory conditions at an optimal level to prevent the separation of cocoa butter, which is the cause of fat bloom.
This involves maintaining a stable temperature throughout the production process, especially during tempering, which is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures to achieve the desired crystal structure of cocoa butter.
Similarly, in our warehouse, we use advanced temperature-control systems to keep the environment consistently cool, but not cold, to prevent any drastic changes in the chocolate’s temperature.
This consistency is maintained during the shipping process as well.
Chocolate is especially susceptible to temperature fluctuations, which can lead to both types of blooming.
Moisture control is also vital to prevent sugar bloom.
We ensure our storage areas are dry, and we package our chocolates in a way that protects them from any ambient moisture.
At Whitakers, we’re proud of our deep understanding of chocolate, its quirks, its demands, and its delights.
Our expertise, honed over many years, means we are able to deliver chocolates that are not just beautifully crafted but also stored and delivered under the best conditions to maintain their quality.
When you purchase a Whitakers product, you can trust that every measure has been taken to ensure it reaches you in the perfect condition, ready for you to enjoy.
Final Notes On Why Chocolate Goes White
Chocolate turning white is due to processes known as ‘fat bloom’ and ‘sugar bloom’.
These happen when the cocoa butter or sugar in the chocolate reacts to changes in temperature or exposure to moisture, leading to a white or greyish coating on the surface.
Despite its less appealing appearance, bloomed chocolate is still perfectly safe to eat, though you might notice changes in texture and a possible slight alteration in taste.
Preventing chocolate from blooming requires careful storage – ideally in a cool, dry place with a stable temperature.
Avoid drastic temperature changes and exposure to moisture, which can trigger blooming.
If you need to store chocolate in the fridge, take precautions to minimise condensation and temperature fluctuations.