Does Cocoa Go Bad?
So, you’ve been planning to bake some chocolate cake. You have all the ingredients required for the perfect chocolate cake but before you begin mixing them you notice that the cocoa powder has stayed past the best-by date.
You’re now wondering whether cocoa powder goes bad, and if can make someone sick. If these are some of the questions that have been bothering you after you found that pack of cocoa powder that has been in storage for a prolonged time, and you’d like some answers, read on.
This article will provide you with all the information you may need regarding cocoa powder. It outlines everything about the shelf life, storage and going bad of the baking ingredient. Read on for more information.
How To Store Cocoa Powder
First and foremost, cocoa powder has to be stored in the same way that other dry ingredients such as wheat flour and baking powder. It means that it has to be kept in a cool, dry place. The best-suited areas to accomplish this are the pantry or a kitchen cabinet.
Once the packaging is unsealed, the most vital thing that you need to remember is that it should always remain tightly sealed.
How Long Does Cocoa Powder Last?
Similar to other dry ingredients, cocoa powder also comes inclusive of a best-by date on its packaging. This date is meant to inform you on how long the product will keep its original quality.
As always, the date is just approximate. The cocoa powder can easily be used after the best-by date provided. As long as the product is stored in the right conditions, and it smells okay and appears to be in perfect condition, then it’s still usable.
I bet you’re wondering how long past this date can someone use the cocoa powder? You really can’t tell, but it should be okay for usage for years and not months.
As you know, baking soda tends to lose its potency with time, and cocoa powder will lose its taste after a prolonged time. Meaning that your cocoa powder will still be in great condition for usage one year after the best by date, but it will lose its taste over the next few years.[wps_table style=”stripped”]
|Cocoa powder (unopened or opened)||Best by + 2 years|
Remember that the periods given above are meant for quality purposes only. Cocoa powder can last for a long time and still be safe for usage as long as it’s stored in the right conditions.
How To Tell If Cocoa Powder Is Bad
If you discover that there’s something unusual about your cocoa powder, for instance, it has an off smell, there’s mold or other kinds of organic growth forming on it or there are huge clumps in it, throw it away immediately.
Cocoa powder doesn’t get spoiled easily unless it was stored incorrectly. If you notice that there are clumps in it after opening the package, you can remove them with ease by sifting the powder or breaking them with a fork.
If the cocoa powder smells okay and there are no visible changes, then it is safe for use. Like we mentioned before, if the cocoa has been in storage for a prolonged time, then it will not taste great, but you’d better be safe than sorry!