Moldy Chocolate

by Lynn Miller

I have a question about moldy chocolate...

I melted milk and some dark chocolate and added a bit of Crisco to thin it. I dipped fudge balls in the chocolate and then wrapped them in cellophane.

I kept the dipped fudge balls in a cool place~not the refrigerator. In a couple of months they developed mold. What happened?

What preservative can I put in the melted chocolate to preserve them? I have heard of adding calcium propionate and/or potassium sorbate?

What do the major chocolate companies use to keep their chocolate fresh for months?

Thanks you sooooooo very much!
Lynn Miller

Dear Lynn,

I don't really know what all the big chocolate manufacturers use to preserve their chocolate candies for a longer shelf life, but I just looked at the label on my stash of Reese's cups and the preservative they are using is Tertiary Butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ as it is more commonly called.

TBHQ is a chemical that is a form of butane and doesn't really sound like something we "should" be eating, although it is in a ton of stuff.

Chocolate alone should not go moldy when left for months or years in a moderate temperature. However, I can probably guess what has happened to your fudge balls that would cause you to have mold on your chocolate.

You mentioned that you dipped fudge balls in the chocolate. Most fudge has a form of dairy in it. That's probably what has gone off since you didn't refrigerate the finished dipped fudge balls.

Once you start adding other ingredients to chocolate, it loses its natural stability and won't stay fresh indefinitely. The shelf life will depend on the specific ingredients used.


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