Unraveling the Mystery of Why Chocolate Turns White

There’s nothing quite like opening a much-anticipated box of chocolates, only to find discolored candy with a white coating. This phenomenon is due to either sugar bloom or fat bloom, both of which can alter the appearance of your chocolate treats. Sugar bloom is normally caused by surface moisture, which causes the sugar in the chocolate to melt. Once the moisture evaporates, larger sugar crystals form, creating a white, powdery coating on the surface of the chocolate. The texture might feel slightly gritty when touched, and if the process is repeated, it can become sticky and even more discolored. Sugar bloom is most often the result of overly humid storage, but can also happen when chocolate is moved from a cool temperature to a warm one too quickly. On the other hand, fat bloom is caused by the crystallization of fats — typically cocoa butter — within the chocolate. This reaction occurs when cocoa butter fats migrate to the surface because of fluctuations in temperature. The fats crystallize in an unstable form, resulting in a white appearance on the chocolate’s surface, and the texture will become slightly greasy. Fortunately, sugar and fat bloom are cosmetic, not signs of spoilage. The chocolate might look less appetizing, but it’s still safe to eat.