Can White, Brown Or Powdered Sugar Go Bad

does sugar go bad

Everybody loves sugar. The taste of it, the texture of it, and the sheer quantity of the product is hard to downplay.  It’s very easy to find in any supermarket, small store, or outdoor market. You can end up buying it very easily for you and your family to enjoy without too much trouble. Sugar is an extremely versatile product, which can be used with many different foods. It’s also an essential yet overlooked ingredient that appears in many soft drinks, candy bars, or regular cakes and other baking products. In addition, sugar can be added to foods like cereal, waffles, ice cream, and other sweets. While sugar isn’t the healthiest food product to eat and consume in large quantities, it can be considered a staple of any household’s food supplies. If you see a big sale on packages of sugar at the local supermarket and you want to save money for the future by buying a lot of it now, what should you do? Can you rest easy knowing that your sugar will last for the long term without too much trouble? The ultimate question remains; does sugar go bad?

Does Sugar Go Bad Or Expire?

The good news is that the lifespan of sugar is usually indefinite, meaning an indefinite period of time. However, despite the good news, it’s important to remember that sugar can still spoil and go bad if it isn’t properly stored and taken care of. To prevent sugar from going bad, you’ll want to make sure to know how to extend its’ shelf life as much as possible. Above all else, using your common sense is the best possible option when it comes to making sure that your sugar supply will last indefinitely.

Most sugar retailers place a 2-year best by date onto the sugar bags, however the product will be safe to eat even after that expiration date.

Does Brown Sugar Go Bad?

Brown sugar has the same shelf life as white sugar. However, brown sugar dries out over time as the moisture in it begins to evaporate which makes the sugar hard and clumpy. The sugar is still safe to consume.

It’s best to keep your brown sugar in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer shelf life. Just make sure to put it in an airtight container.

The easiest way to soften hard brown sugar is to heat it up in the microwave. Place a desired amount in a microwave safe bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and heat it up for about 30 seconds.

Does Powdered Sugar Go Bad?

Powdered sugar, also called confectioner’s sugar, can also stay indefinitely if it’s not exposed to moisture. It’s best to store it in an airtight container.

Properly Storing The Sugar

When it comes to storing sugar properly, the most important thing to be aware of is that sugar must be stored in a cold, dark place for the long term. The area or place that the sugar is stored in should also be dry and not too exposed to any outside elements. Examples of these cold, dry, and dark places include kitchen cupboards, pantries, and even the kitchen counter if the sugar has been tightly sealed. Remember to keep your sugar away from wet, sunny, hot, and bright places because these conditions will affect the sugar and cause the product to go bad pre-maturely. Unlike other food products, the refrigerator is not a good place to store the sugar for the long term. Do not leave your sugar out in the sun too long or put the contents into a microwave, oven or stovetop anytime soon. The reasons why wet places like refrigerators are not good places to store sugar is due to the fact that it can absorb water quite easily. The moisture and wetness will cause the sugar to harden up instead of staying separate and soft as usual. Heat and sunlight would also be absorbed by the sugar reluctantly causing irreversible changes to its’ flavor and texture over time.

Sugar would do best being stored in a cool, dark, and dry environment away from these outside elements. If the sugar has been opened already, it may be best to transfer the contents of the product over to a glass or plastic container that can be sealed tightly. Instead of its original packaging, the sugar will be safer in a safe container where it won’t be exposed to the outside elements. When you open up your original bottle or jar of sugar for the first time, you’re opening up a can of worms from which it may not recover. With the airtight container, as a consumer, you won’t have to worry about oxygen, heat, or sunlight anymore affecting the longevity of the sugar you bought in bulk due to common sense measures such as storing the contents in a different place than its original packaging.

Shelf Life of Sugar

As mentioned before, it is highly unlikely that the sugar will ever go sour or bad on you as the consumer. It won’t expire on you either unlike what it says on the obligatory “best use before”, “use by” dates that are on the original packaging. Of course, there are ways for sugar to go bad but that is primarily due to not storing the contents properly for the long term. Even if the lifespan of sugar is indefinite, it’s still necessary to use it sooner than later as it may be fresher and have higher quality days or weeks after purchase rather than months or years later. Regardless of it is brown, white, or granulated sugar, it will last for many years if the proper precautions are taken. Sugar is a very useful ingredient due to its’ durability and its’ longevity especially when compared to other additives that don’t have the same kind of lifespan.

Signs of Bad Sugar

When it comes to sugar, it is unlikely that it will ever go bad on its’ own. However, if you want to be sure about that, it may be best to check to see if the texture has stayed the same or if its’ gotten clumpy or mushy. You can also look to see if there’s any change in its’ color or form over time. It’s unlikely to change at all but smelling the sugar for any hint of an odor may be worth your while too. A simple taste test with a small spoon to see if the flavor of the sugar is still there won’t make you sick and can give you a definite idea about whether or not the sugar is still good or not. The biggest thing to watch out for is to make sure that no bugs or insects get into the container or jar of sugar on their own accord.

It may be useful to wrap up or tightly seal the container to prevent any unwelcome visitors from eating your sugar or taking up homes in the sweet product. Above all else, it’s vital that you use your own common sense and to remember to take the steps necessary to preserve the sugar as long as you possibly can. It won’t go bad or go sour on you unless you neglect the product and don’t store it properly as indicated.

 

References:

http://www.ussugar.net/id4.html

http://www.eatbydate.com/other/sweets/how-long-does-sugar-last/

http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/does-powdered-sugar-go-bad/

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