There are some famous foods that never expire. Honey, vinegar and salt are three of the most well-known ones, but what about the sweet granules you have stored in your pantry? Does sugar go bad or can you keep it forever too?
Does sugar go bad? How long does it last?
Good news! Sugar belongs among the foods that never go bad! It can last forever, provided you keep it under the right storage conditions.
Sugar doesn’t retain moist very well, which is why it tends to get hard as a rock if you don’t use it for long periods. To soften and loosen it again you must add moistness or it might not break down.
This lack of moist makes it an uninviting environment for bacteria and germs to thrive, thus keeping it intact and good for consumption for long. You must, however, keep it in an airtight recipient, in a cool place and away from direct sunlight.
Does sugar go bad if I don’t store it properly? How do you know?
Sugar has an eternal lifespan as long as the proper storage conditions are met. But what if they are not? Does sugar go bad then?
Texture and smells won’t be of much help, as each type of sugar reacts differently with time – clumping, softening, becoming paste-like, etc. – and still remain good. You may, however, try a small spoon to check if the flavor is still the same. If you notice any change, discard the sugar.
Most importantly, you should check for bugs and insects appearing in the middle of your sugar or going around it. Just throw the sugar away and open a new bag.
How to store sugar
The basic rule to store sugar is to put it inside a sealed airtight recipient. Then you need to store the recipient in a dark place, away from direct sunlight, with balanced conditions: not too hot and not too cold, not too dry and not too humid.
The fridge doesn’t meet all these conditions, so if you thought you were being clever by putting it in there, think again.
Facts about sugar: Did you know…?
Sugar was used as a medicine
Back in 600 A.D., sugar was described as a new revolutionary medicine coming straight from India and impressed the greatest thinkers and scholars of the time.
Sweeteners became popular due to rationing
Saccharin was developed in 1879 but it wasn’t until the First World War, when sugar rationing was restricted to 120g per person per week, that it became widely popular.
When the first health concerns regarding this sweetener were raised in 1977, though, the FDA placed a moratorium on it that was only lifted in 1991.
Sugar can preserve other foods
Although this characteristic is mostly associated with salt, sugar can also be used to preserve other foods. The reason is the same that gives it its eternal life.
Since it doesn’t retain moist well, germs and bacteria cannot prosper and spoil the food.
Sugar can give you wrinkles
According to a 2010 study, sugar components link collagen fibers in groups of two, rendering them unable to repair the skin.
Without enough active collagen, the skin begins to lose its ability to bounce back to its original state after repeated movements, which create wrinkles.
Brown sugar is not healthier than white sugar
Brown sugar is often markable as healthier than the white variety, but this is nothing but a misconception.
Its color does look more organic and salutary, but that’s only because it wasn’t refined as many times as white sugar and it wasn’t stripped completely from its small content of molasses.
Want more facts?
Check out the video below to learn 10 interesting facts about sugar.