Does Cocoa Powder Go Bad?

Does cocoa powder go bad? Is that what you are looking for or at least willing to know? Then, this article is especially meant for you. Cocoa powder is derived from chocolate liquor after solid substance known as cocoa butter is eliminated from it. Due to removal of cocoa butter, it can be ideally used for low caloric and low-fat recipes such as cupcakes, chocolate cakes and several other bakery products. It is an unsweetened powdery substance that is widely used to give distinct and intense chocolate flavor to baked goods and ice creams as well. Best cocoa powder is also used to prepare a huge array of chocolates such as semi sweet chocolates, sweetened chocolates, bittersweet chocolates, unsweetened chocolates, etc.

Following are two main types of unsweetened cocoa powder. Natural cocoa powder – it is made from the chocolate liquor by removing almost all the cocoa butter from it. Dutch processed cocoa powder – it is also prepared in the same way, but it is processed with the help of some alkali such as baking soda to give it distinct dark color and strong flavor of chocolate.

Valrhona Cocoa Powder and. Cadbury Cocoa Powder
Image used under Creative Commons from jamieanne

How to store cocoa powder

Here are some simple and easy to follow instructions that will certainly help you store your favorite coca powder in perfectly all right and usable condition. After opening the pouch or bottle of the cocoa powder, keep the lid tightly closed and store it in a cool and dry place. Remember that moisture will actually spoil cocoa powder and will promote the fungal growth so it is very important to keep it away from dampness or any kind of moisture. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best cocoa powder, or just a normal one, any moisture will cause it to go bad. Light can also deteriorate its distinct flavor and color so it is highly recommended to store it in dark place.

What is the shelf life of cocoa powder?

Make sure before buying a cocoa powder container that it has expiry date printed on it. It is generally safe to use cocoa powder within expiry date even if you see few lumps inside the container. Normally it is safe to use cocoa powder within 3 years. If you see few lumps, then sift it before using in any recipe. In case you see any discoloration, mold formation or change in odor, don’t try to consume such type of cocoa as this can pose many health hazards to you or your loved ones.

How to tell if cocoa powder is bad

Following physical signs indicate that cocoa powder has gone bad or deteriorated. Any change in original or natural color of the cocoa powder. Discoloration or dramatic change in odor or in taste. White spider web like mold growth also indicates that cocoa powder has actually gone bad.

If you see all or any of the above symptoms or signs in your cocoa, then it is advised not to consume it. To prevent accidental usage of the deteriorated item, it is highly recommended to discard it immediately.

Additional information about cocoa powder

Best cocoa powder not only gives a wonderful and truly amazing taste and aroma to your baked goods, ice creams and chocolates, but also offers a huge array of health benefits. It contains a very well-known natural antioxidant known as flavonoid. These flavonoids can help your body get rid of harmful free radicals. Free radicals can cause different types of diseases such as certain types of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, arthritis, skin diseases, liver diseases, etc.

So, by consuming unsweetened natural cocoa powder you can minimize the risk of these diseases. Flavonoids also improve blood circulation inside your body. This way your body gets fresh and abundant supply of oxygen. These flavonoids are good to overcome muscles fatigue problem as well. Generally dark cocoa powder contains more vital nutrients compared with the light version. It is also necessary to use it in moderation as excessive usage can trigger different types of problems inside your body.

In conclusion we can say that it is generally safe and good to consume cocoa powder in different cakes and shakes recipes, but in moderation. It is also very easy to store this wonderful product in a tightly closed container at a dark, cool and dry place to keep it safe from deterioration. So, the answer to the question “does cocoa powder go bad?” is yes, but you can minimize this potential hazard by storing it in a safe and cold place.