Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When Sweet Treats Go Bad: Food Science Experts Offer Advice on the Shelf Life of Candy

06.10.2010
When checking your child's Halloween candy to make sure it is safe to eat, also keep in mind the candy's shelf life, according to Kansas State University food experts.

K-State's Karen Blakeslee, research and extension associate for food safety, and Fadi Aramouni, professor of food science, say that the shelf life of candy can vary.

"The shelf life depends on the type of candy, packaging and storage conditions," Blakeslee said. "Shelf life can vary anywhere from two weeks to a year."

More specifically, Aramouni said these factors contribute to how long the quality of the candy lasts. In terms of safety, he said the shelf life of some candy, like hard candy, may be indefinite; however, he said there have been cases of salmonella poisoning from the consumption of expired chocolate.

"It depends on properties of the candy itself: how much moisture is in it and how much fat," Aramouni said.

According to Blakeslee, if a candy appears extremely sticky or has a grainy texture, then it has most likely expired due to temperature abuse and the crystallization of sugar. As a result, she said, it may develop an off flavor, have a change in color or turn moldy if it contains fruits or nuts.

A general rule to follow is that the softer the candy, then the shorter the shelf life it will have. Keeping candy in a cool, dry and dark place is the best way to store it, Blakeslee said.

"The less exposure to air, the better," she said. "Also, store it at room temperature. Heat can cause many candies to melt and get too sticky. Chocolate can get a powdery look to it -- called bloom -- because of temperature changes, but it is still fine to eat."

So the next time a craving for candy strikes, Aramouni recommends checking labels and staying level-headed.

"It is OK to throw away old candy," he said. "Don't feel compelled to eat it. It's mostly empty calories after all."

For more specific information Aramouni and Blakeslee recommend the following guidelines from the National Confectioners Association regarding the shelf life of various types of candy.

* Chocolate: Dark chocolate can be kept for one to two years if wrapped in foil and stored in a cool, dark and dry place. Milk and white chocolates last no more than eight to 10 months.

* Hard candy: Lollipops, roll candy and butterscotch candies can last up to a year when stored at room temperature or in cool, dry conditions.

* Jellied candies: Upon opening the packaging and storing at room temperature, jellied candies can last six to nine months.

* Gum: Most gum products can last six to nine months as long as the packaging remains sealed.

* Caramel: When stored properly at room temperature and away from the heat and light, caramel candy can last six to nine months -- and even up to a year in some cases.

Karen Blakeslee, 785-532-1673, kblakesl@k-state.edu
and Fadi Aramouni, 785-532-1668, aramouni@k-state.edu

Karen Blakeslee | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>