Ever open up a chocolate bar, see some residue on your sweet treat and think, what the heck is that? Well, we’ve got the answers for you and the good news is, it doesn’t necessarily mean your chocolate has gone bad…so don’t throw it away! We’ll explain what chocolate blooming is and why it occurs.
What Does Chocolate Blooming Mean?
Chocolate Blooming is the term we use when we see that the chocolate has dusting or streaking across the surface. There are two types of blooms – fat bloom and sugar bloom.
Fat bloom can be identified by greyish or whitish streaks on the surface of the chocolate that typically feels slick. This blooming happens when the chocolate has been exposed to warm temperatures. Once the chocolate is warm, the cocoa butter in the chocolate softens and separates from other ingredients in the chocolate. Once it rises to the surface and re-solidifies, it creates the bloom. Fat bloom is the most common type of chocolate blooming.
Sugar bloom can be characterized as a dry, hard white surface film on chocolate. Sugar bloom is caused by moisture in the chocolate coating. The sugar absorbs the moisture, dissolves, and evaporates. The sugar then forms larger crystals on the surface of the chocolate, which causes this dusty layer.
Can Chocolate Blooming Be Avoided?
Generally, yes. Fat bloom results from inadequate tempering or temperature abuse of well-tempered chocolate, therefore you can prevent fat bloom by storing your chocolate at a constant, cool temperature and avoiding warm temperatures. Sugar bloom occurs when the sugar crystals are affected by moisture. This happens when the chocolate is stored in damp conditions (ex: humidity in the air or condensation from refrigeration), which causes the sugar to dissolve and come to the surface. You can prevent sugar bloom by preventing temperature shocks.
Can You Still Use Chocolate That’s Been Bloomed?
Yes, you can (thank goodness!). While fat bloom and sugar bloom have a negative effect on appearance, the product remains perfectly safe to eat and can be remelted to remove discoloration.
Have questions for our chocolate specialists? Ask us today.