Does Sugar Go Bad?

Does sugar go bad? So you’re staring at the little decorative glass canister where some sugar is stored for at least 5 years. Can you add a scoop or two to your coffee or will it irrevocably ruin your caffeinated escape? Well, there are some contributing factors to the state of that sugar which you should evaluate before making this decision. You probably also want to know how to store sugar, so it can last for a long time. Let’s start with the storage thing ..

How To Store Sugar

Sugar of all types should be stored in a cool, dry place, like a cupboard or specialized container away from sources of extreme temperatures, such as stoves and microwave ovens. You should also notice that the refrigerator isn’t a good place to store sugar either.

To help prevent sugar from hardening it should always be kept away from moisture as sugar is a great water absorber. This includes areas of extreme temperature like above stoves and microwave ovens as the heat will cause condensation which will ultimately be absorbed by the sugar. If your sugar has already hardened (or it’s in clumps) never fear, you can usually just break it up with a fork or even an electric mixer.

Does sugar go bad?
(credit: uwehermann)

It’s good to store sugar in an airtight container (a Tupperware container is a good idea). While sugar is unopened, it should be safe from any bugs in the original (paper or plastic) packaging. Once it’s opened, it’s a good idea to transfer the sugar to an airtight container, this way you can be sure that any kind of bug won’t be able to crawl inside. Storing sugar in an airtight container also guarantees that it won’t absorb any odors. If you find that you sugar has a strange odor, it’s very probable that it’s stored improperly and it got this smell from other foods.

Shelf Life Of Sugar

Sugar has a pretty much infinite shelf life as far as an expiry date goes. No matter how old sugar is, it should not make you sick to eat it because of its age. It will never spoil nor will it smell strange. This is true of all types of sugar including, granulated, brown, powdered, and confectionary sugars.

How To Tell If Sugar Is Bad

Sugar has the potential to attract insects which may find their way into the sugar and die. So, unless any ants or other kinds of bugs got into the container, your sugar will be fine.

Sugar is one of the products that don’t go bad. If you’ll keep it safe from any kinds on bugs, your sugar will be fine indefinitely. You can easily achieve that by storing it in an airtight container.