Heat wave: can you eat chocolate that has melted in the sun?

If the melted chocolate is not “bad for health, nor even toxic”, it remains (very) unpleasant to the taste. (Illustration © Duris Guillaume – stock.adobe.com)

Cold, the heathumidity and light are the main enemies of the chocolate. As summer is on its way and the thermometer is going crazy, how do you eat it in peace? It’s a global puzzle. Who has solutions.

Below 25°C, you don’t have to worry. The ideal storage temperature is between 14 and 18°C, recalls the famous Fauchon brand. But it supports well a temperature of 22-23°C as long as it is not in full sun. But beyond that is another matter.

Cocoa butter has its “melting point” at around 35°C

What you need to know is that the more a chocolate contains cocoa butter, the faster it melts, the more sensitive it will be to variations in temperature and humidity. Cocoa butter, as its name suggests, is a fat, which softens quickly on contact with heat.

Generally, say the specialists we interviewed in Normandy, cocoa butter has its “melting point” at around 35°C. Beyond this temperature, the chocolate becomes liquid, which is why it melts so quickly in our hands (which are at 37°C, normally). It begins to melt at 25°C even.

Is it dangerous to consume it? No, answer the chocolatiers interviewed. Too long an exposure denatures the fats contained in the chocolate and will especially damage its taste and smell. And its texture. It’s not good, but not dangerous in summary.

The fridge solution?

The advice is therefore to do not leave your chocolate in contact with the air or exposed to light for too long.

The fridge solution? She is to be forgotten. It freezes the cocoa butter, brings it out and whitens the chocolate and removes some of the cocoa flavor. This bleaching is not therefore dangerous for health, but goes there, too, to alter the taste qualities and the aromas.

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The ideal is to store your chocolate in a cupboard, and if you have to go on a warm excursion, carry it in a cooler bag. Also consider pack it well : aluminium, airtight box or cling film so that your chocolate retains all its flavors and is protected from surrounding odors, mold and germs.

Be careful with milk chocolate and white chocolate

Good to know too, chocolate generally has a long shelf life, there is no health risk to consume “expired” dark chocolate. In contrast, you have to be more careful with milk chocolate and white chocolate. Less rich in cocoa, they keep for a shorter time.

So that your chocolate does not get too hot, the best solution is to place it in a cellar (why not a wine cellar!). This not only allows you to benefit from an ideal temperature for storing chocolate, but also from a good level of humidity.

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