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 Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>