With a very rich history, chocolate has been enjoyed as a drink, food, and at some time, even currency. Today, chocolate-based snacks are some of the most popular dessert choices around the world. Chocolate is sweet, creamy, and decadent, and it has been proven to be an excellent stimulant for dopamine, the happy hormone.
Chocolate comes in different forms. There's baking chocolate, that's quite bitter and used for baking. The dark chocolate is a bit bitter but more enjoyable. The milk chocolate is the more popular delicious form.
In spite of how much people enjoy eating it, chocolate is known to be full of calories, and not very healthy. Nutella is a spread made primarily from hazelnut and cocoa to taste like chocolate.
Nutella is seen as a healthier form of chocolate, and its availability as a paste-like spread makes it perfect for breakfast and sandwich making, just like peanut butter.
But right now the question is, does Nutella go bad? In this article, we are going to answer that question. We will also tell you how to store your jar(s) of Nutella properly, and also how you can tell if it has gone bad.
What is Nutella Anyway?
Nutella is a spread usually used with bread during breakfast, just like peanut butter and margarine. It is generally described as a chocolate and hazelnut spread, but palm oil and sugar make up about 50% of its composition.
Some minor ingredients that makeup Nutella vary from country to country, but the primary elements include Modified palm oil, Sugar, Hazelnuts, Cocoa powder, and Skimmed milk.
The making of this spread starts from the extraction of cocoa powder from cocoa beans. Then the hazelnuts are processed and only whole and healthy fruits accepted.
A high-powered mix of the cocoa powder, hazelnuts, skimmed milk, and sugar is then done in a large tank until it becomes paste-like. Once the right consistency of this paste is achieved, there is an addition of modified palm oil.
That is to help the Nutella spread retain its paste-like consistency at room temperature without melting. Depending on the country or manufacturing plant, other minor ingredients can be added at this point.
This well-known member of the breakfast family is also used to add that chocolaty joy to a good number of foods. You can include it baking pastries, making drinks, and can even eat it on its own.
How Long Does Nutella Last? Does Nutella Go Bad?
Just like any other processed food, Nutella has a best by date. That date is the manufacturer's estimate of the best time for its consumption, based on shelf life research and knowledge of its ingredients.
Just like with most other processed foods, you know that use of Nutella after its sell-by date is still possible. But for how long? How long does Nutella last?
First off, we need to talk about its ingredients and how they affect the whole. Nutella is made from sugar, palm oil, milk, cocoa, and hazelnuts.
Sugar is quite the preservative, as it absorbs water and inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Milk is a dairy product, and it has a limited shelf life.
Hazelnuts are also known for their brief storage time, and these two contribute to the relatively short shelf life of Nutella.
An unopened jar of Nutella lasts longer than an opened one. It can still be consumed even six months after its best by date.
An opened jar can last for 12 months after being opened, it will undoubtedly lose some freshness and quality, but it will still be consumable.
So, while Nutella goes bad and its shelf life is short, you can still enjoy your jar of hazelnut spread for a long time. All you have to do is practice proper storage, follow the tips given above, and you can enjoy the best of your Nutella for a long time.
How to Tell if Nutella Is Bad?
Now, we have established that your jar of Nutella can indeed go bad. So the next thing is knowing how to tell if it has gone bad.
In detecting the freshness of food, there are three indicators. There is the smell, taste, and the look of that food; these indicators also work for Nutella.
So, outlined below are the ways you can detect if your jar of Nutella has gone bad.
Take note, Nutella contains a lot of oil. So after a while of storage, some of it comes up to the top. That is not a sign that your jar of Nutella is bad.
It is a regular occurrence with other sandwich spreads like tahini or mustard. Also, remember that refrigeration can make your Nutella hard. That's why it is not bad if you just got it from the fridge and it's not creamy.
How to Store Nutella Properly?
The way you store your food makes the difference between getting the best out of it, and regularly wasting resources. The storage of Nutella is no different.
It contains a high amount of sugar, which helps prevent the easy growth of microorganisms, thereby slowing down any degradation process.
But whether opened or unopened, you need to follow good storage practices to get your jar(s) of Nutella to last as long as possible. So listed below are a few tips for storage and use:
- 1Store your Nutella in glass jars that have tightly fitted lids.
- 2Just like the label says, "Store in a cool, dry place", your kitchen pantry is such a place.
- 3After opening your jar, ensure that you keep the lid tightly closed.
- 4Ensure that your jar is away from a heat source or direct sunlight, else the oils in the jar of Nutella will separate.
- 5Only use a clean utensil to prevent cross-contamination. Do not use your fingers.
- 6Avoid refrigeration; it hardens the spread and makes it difficult to actually "spread".
- 7Do not freeze your Nutella as it usually comes in glass jars. Glass shatters at certain low temperatures.