Whenever food is not stored properly, it could bring about some undesirable changes to the food such as discoloration.
Discoloration on any food could be concerning, and in chocolates, it may appear as whitish streaks on the surface of the chocolate.
You may assume that the changes on the surface of the chocolate is a mold due to its appearance, but most times, this whitish discoloration on the chocolate is as a result of chocolate bloom.
Both chocolate bloom and mold can occur when chocolate is not stored properly, however, unlike mold, chocolate bloom is still edible.
But what is chocolate bloom and how can you differentiate it from mold?
Continue reading to find out more about chocolate bloom and mold.
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Difference between chocolate bloom and mold
Warm and humid conditions can cause chocolates to bloom or to form molds.
However, the main difference between chocolate bloom and mold is that chocolate bloom occurs as a result of recrystallization of fat and sugars within the chocolate, while mold results from fungal growth.
Also, the flavor and smell of the chocolate is unaffected by the formation of bloom while mold may cause the taste and smell of the chocolate to be altered.
Cholate bloom appears as a chalky coating, while chocolate mold is quite fuzzy.
Also, chocolate bloom can be safely consumed, but it is not safe to eat a chocolate with mold on it.
What is chocolate bloom?
Fluctuations in the temperature and exposure to humidity could cause chocolates to bloom.
Blooming is also an indication that the chocolate hasn’t been tempered properly.
The color and texture of the chocolate can also be affected by bloom. It becomes grainy with a less uniform texture.
Chocolate bloom is still edible. however, it makes the chocolate aesthetically unpleasant.
There are two types of chocolate bloom. One is known as sugar bloom, and another is called fat bloom.
Sugar bloom occurs when there’s too much humidity.
The sugar dissolves in contact with moisture, and then recrystallizes on the surface
When the sugar recrystallizes, it appears as the whitish streaks on the surface on the chocolate.
The chocolate also has a grainy texture as a result of sugar crystals solidifying on the surface of the chocolate.
Fat bloom occurs when the chocolate is stored at warm temperatures.
Heat typically causes fat bloom, as the warm temperatures could cause the separation of the cocoa butter in the chocolate from the other constituents
The coco butter is full of fat, and this appears as whitish discoloration on the chocolate.
The cocoa butter in the chocolate softens due the heat, thus separating from the other constituents.
Once it becomes solid again, the fats do not simply reconstitute with the other ingredients, instead it forms on the surface of the chocolate.
Melting the chocolate and solidifying it in a process known as tempering can fix fat bloom.
How to prevent chocolate bloom
Food products usually come with labels that indicate how to properly store the products.
To avoid blooming from occurring, the chocolate has to be stored under appropriate conditions, including low humidity and at the appropriate temperature in an airtight container.
Tempering chocolates properly would also prevent fat bloom from occurring
Mold can form on chocolates, however, it is quite uncommon.
For mold to grow, it needs a warm environment with lots of moisture.
Chocolate has a low moisture content which does not favor the growth of microorganism.
As long as the pack of chocolate is kept unopened and in a dry place, mold cannot grow.
However, for a chocolate that has been left opened or stored in a place that is humid, mold may form.
The molds could also be caused by poor packaging, contamination before packaging the chocolates, or when poor quality ingredients are used in producing the chocolate.
Mold on chocolate may appear and feel fuzzy.
The flavor and smell of the chocolate is affected by the mold, and it not safe to eat.
Chocolate bloom and mold reduces the value of the chocolates.
Blooming does not alter the flavor of the chocolate. however, it results in the distortions of the appearance and perhaps the texture of the chocolate, however, the chocolate can still be eaten
Mold is also likely to occur on a chocolate that is not sealed properly or stored well, A chocolate that doesn’t taste too good might be a mold.
If you come across a chocolate with chalky white streaks on their surface and an unaltered taste, then it’s likely chocolate bloom.
However if you are not too sure, it is safer to discard the chocolate than eating it.
Storing chocolate properly is key to preventing the chocolate from blooming or forming molds.