Did you know that chocolate can go bad before reaching its expiration date? Yes, expiration is not the only condition that makes chocolate no longer edible. For example, exposing it to excessive moisture will cause it to deteriorate.
The good news is that when chocolate goes bad, it is noticed. There would be a layer of green mold covering its upper surface.
But to be honest, this scenario rarely happens, as chocolate is highly resistant to moisture. The thing that you more often see in chocolate is bloom, which is different from mold.
This blog will widely discuss the differences between them. So you will be able to identify chocolate bloom and mold.
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What is Chocolate Bloom?
Chocolate bloom refers to the white buildup on the outer surface of any stored chocolate. Bloom won’t cover the entire outer surface. It usually appears in the form of streaks.
Chocolate bloom is not a single type. It refers to two different types: fat and sugar blooming. Both types appear when proper storage is neglected.
Generally, leaving chocolate unrefrigerated or transferring it to a moist or humid environment causes the formation of a blooming layer. Despite the same name, fat, and sugar blooms are different. But regardless of the blooming type, the chocolate remains edible and tasty.
- Fat bloom
This is the most common type of chocolate bloom. It simply results from separating cocoa butter and other oils from the chocolate ingredients. This separation allows the fatty substances to get to the surface, where they can become solid again.
So generally, the white streaks, in this case, are nothing but chocolate fats. You can easily recognize fat bloom by its soft texture.
- Sugar bloom
It also looks like a white layer or separate dots that its rough and dry texture can recognize. As the name suggests, it results from taking refrigerated chocolate to a hotter place. This lets the moisture in this warm environment induce the crystallization of sugar. When these crystals are formed, they find their way to the top surface.
What is Chocolate Mold?
Chocolate mold is rare. It seldom happens, and many people do not see it. Chocolate mold is a green layer that forms on the upper surface of the chocolate due to poor storage conditions.
Mold formation is commonly associated with letting water or excessive moisture reach the chocolate. This gives mold bacteria a chance to become active and makes the chocolate go bad.
In addition to the unusual greenish color, you can recognize chocolate mold by the off-putting smell and taste. Generally, edible milk, dark or even white chocolate, smells like cocoa butter and milk. But when chocolate smells weird or tastes sour, it indicates mold.
It is not safe to consume chocolate with mold on its surface. It can lead to severe problems in the digestive and respiratory systems. So, the best action to take is to toss the moldy chocolate in the trash.
Before you start doubting that bar of chocolate you found in your cupboard, you should know that stored chocolate barely forms mold. This can happen when you try to make chocolate at home and use ingredients in their liquid form.
The presence of liquids makes an ideal environment for bacteria to change the condition of these components. Additionally, chocolate mold was more common in the early days of making chocolate, which was many decades ago.
Differences between Chocolate Bloom and Chocolate Mold
Chocolate bloom and mold are considered the same despite being so different. Many people consider moldy chocolates to be those that have formed white layers or streaks due to improper storage.
Chocolate mold is not likely to happen and looks different from these more common white blooms. This section will widely discuss everything related to chocolate bloom and mold.
One of the most obvious ways to differentiate between chocolate bloom and mold is their color—chocolate blooms with its two types, white and whitish gray. Chocolate mold, on the other hand, is green.
The most common shape for chocolate bloom is separate marks or strikes. They might take the form of a layer. The green mold looks like a whole layer covering the surface of the chocolate.
Chocolate bloom has two distinct textures depending on its type. Sugar bloom has a dry and coarse texture because it comes from sugar crystals. Fat bloom has a leaner and oilier texture. Chocolate mold is very soft or, more accurately, powdery.
Chocolate bloom does not affect the flavor of chocolate. Chocolate mold, on the other hand, can significantly change the taste of chocolate. Regardless of the moldy chocolate type, you will notice a sour taste.
5. Effect on health
Consuming chocolate bloom won’t result in any health risks. They are fat or sugar molecules. Chocolate mold renders it unfit for consumption. It can cause a few severe problems with breathing and digestion.
Chocolate bloom comes in only two varieties. These varieties are named after sugar and fat components causing the bloom. Chocolate mold has various types, as any fungi or bacteria that causes green mold can accumulate on the chocolate’s surface.
7. Chances of occurring
Chocolate bloom is more common in all types of chocolate. It is associated with temperature and storage changes in chocolate. Chocolate mold, on the other hand, rarely happens. This is because it mainly consists of dry components.
Moreover, in its modern commercial form, chocolate is highly resistant to mold. No need to mention that commercial chocolate has added preservatives that make it even more versatile.
Fat blooming has the highest chance of occurring among all these changes.
Fat bloom occurs when chocolate is left in a warm or hot environment. This can make the fat molecules in cocoa butter melt and accumulate on the surface. On the surface, the fat will have a fair chance to regain its original solid form.
Sugar bloom, on the other hand, happens when sugar molecules turn into crystals due to exposure to humidity. Chocolate mold directly results from water getting into the chocolate or extremely poor packing and storage.
Preventing either chocolate bloom or mold depends on eliminating the causes in the first place. But since the causes are different, the prevention methods will ultimately differ. Preventing chocolate bloom requires placing chocolate in a cool and dry area.
Prevention of chocolate mold, on the other hand, requires keeping any liquids, such as water, away from chocolate.
Chocolate Bloom vs. Chocolate Mold: are they the same?
Chocolate bloom and mold are different formations on the chocolate surface. However, there is common confusion between them. For many people, the chocolate bloom is a type of mold, which is untrue. Unlike chocolate mold, bloom does not change the qualities of chocolate.
The only notable change that results in bloom is the loss of shine in chocolate. However, the taste and smell remain intact. Chocolate mold changes the color, smell, and odor of chocolate.
Moreover, chocolate bloom won’t make chocolate go bad, while mold makes it risky to consume. Additionally, chocolate bloom happens all the time, whereas mold seldom happens. The only opportunity to see chocolate mold is when you make truffles at home.
Lastly, chocolate mold has various varieties, while chocolate bloom has just two.