Does sugar go bad? This is something that not everyone can answer. If one day you look at your sugar jar and wonder: How long have I had it? When is its expiration date? And can I continue to consume it safely?
Although sugar is a familiar spice in everyday food processing, not everyone understands all about the source, the uses, and the expiry date of sugar. Don’t worry! I’m here to help you.
Not only answering the question of whether sugar goes bad, but I will also introduce you to the effects of sugar and know a few tips on how to use and store it. Let’s learn about sugar with me!
Table of Contents
What Is Sugar?
Sugar is one of the sweetening ingredients for making drinks or cooking. Sugar is usually produced from sugar cane or sugar beet, fruit, honey, etc., and in many other sources. Indeed, sugar is one of the spices that every kitchen has.
Whether you’re cooking savory or sweet dishes, you’ll need sugar. Sometimes, sugar can also be a stand-in for molasses or other ingredients. Therefore, it can be said that sugar is an indispensable spice in recipes and life.
Not only as a condiment to bring sweetness to dishes, drinks, and sugar, but also applied to a few tips in life such as beauty, anti-burn, etc.
Types Of Sugar
Currently, on the market, there are two most common types of sugar: brown sugar and white sugar:
White Sugar (Granulated Sugar)
White or granulated sugar is produced from sugarcane, using technology to remove colorants by activated carbon. White sugar has a deeper, darker sweetness. Granulated white sugar is also easy to dissolve.
Also, white sugar is the best sugar added to baked goods. People in Puerto Rico make various desserts with just white sugar. Moreover, it gives a more neutral taste, so it’s a perfect choice for fruity pastries as well.
Besides, white sugar contains substances such as vitamins C, B1, B6, B2, and some trace elements such as Ca, P, organic acids, and Fe.
Brown sugar is simply sugar with molasses, which gives sugar its brown color and a strong aroma. Thus, it’s quite compatible with cinnamon in several sweet treats. Also, this sugar contains a lot of water, making it best incorporated in baked goods.
Brown sugar is also divided into two types: dark brown and light brown. Light brown sugar contains fewer molasses than dark brown sugar. Light brown sugar is commonly used in most recipes, while dark brown sugar is used mainly only in molasses-flavored baked goods.
Furthermore, brown sugar contains slightly more minerals and fewer calories than white sugar. However, the nutritional difference between the two is negligible.
Notes: Choose between white or brown sugar depending on personal preference. They are nutritionally similar, leading to similar health effects. Remember that you should limit your sugar intake because overeating can be harmful to your health.
How To Use Sugar
How to use sugar when preparing food so that the sugar is not degraded and the dish is delicious:
- Sugary dishes should be cooked with low heat so as not to burn the soup.
- With typical braised dishes such as braised pork, it is necessary to marinate the sugar in the food to absorb it.
- With soup, wait for the water to boil. When the dish is about to cook, you can add sugar. Remember not to use it before cooking the food.
Notes: The amount of sugar that an adult should eat is less than 6 teaspoons/day. This is the dose that the WHO has studied to protect human health.
You can take advantage of sugar beyond cooking, such as:
- Hold some sugar or sugar candy in your mouth to help relieve the burning sensation caused by drinking too hot water.
- Reduce harmful side effects of drugs with a spoonful of sugar.
- Keep bread, cakes, and cheese such as cheddar fresh by putting a few sugar cubes in an airtight container.
- Sprinkle some sugar on the wound before it can help kill the bacteria.
Does Sugar Go Bad?
So, after all, does the sugar go bad? Does sugar have an expiration date?
The answer is no! The interesting thing is that although the manufacturer clearly states the expiry date on the packaging of sugar, if the sugar still does not show any signs of spoiling, you can continue to use it.
You may have once wondered whether your confectioners’ sugar can go to waste. Well, in theory, granulated sugar can last up to two to five years in the pantry once opened.
However, in practical terms, the sugar never goes bad. Although you may hear recommendations that sugar should be discarded after two years, it will most likely still serve many useful purposes.
This indefinite shelf life applies to all sugars, including brown sugar, sugar candy, etc. Unless the line shows signs of bad sugar in the next section, which I will cover, you never need to throw it away!
Signs Sugar Goes Bad
If the sugar has the following bad signs, well, you should throw it away without regrets:
- Strange Smell: If your sugar has a strange smell, it may be due to contamination from other foods placed next to the sugar or because when you take out the sugar, you do not use hygienic tools, so the sugar is contaminated.
- Insect Penetration: If insects such as ants or flies contact sugar, the sugar will become watery and discolored. In this case, whether the insect is alive or dead, you should not use sugar again because it will not ensure food hygiene and safety.
- Color and Texture Changes: If you see signs of mold or any other microbial growth that causes sugar to change color or watery, it indicates that bacteria and moisture have entered your sugar. If that’s the case, you should replace yourself with a new sugar jar.
How To Preserve Sugar
Are you upset because you don’t understand why your sugar jar keeps leaking for a while or has ants inside? Let me guide you on how to preserve sugar for a long time, without damage, without fear of insects:
- To keep the sugar granules loose and dry, you should put the sugar in some jars, an untouched cookie jar for instance, and close the lid. Make sure your jar is air-tight.
- If it’s in a plastic bag, you should tie the bag tightly, but it’s best to keep it in a jar with a tight lid.
- Remember to clean the remaining sugar particles around the bag or jar to avoid ants sniffing the smell and finding a way to enter the jar or bag of sugar.
- After each use, close the lid carefully and check carefully to prevent insects from entering.
- Put the sugar jar in a cool, dry place such as a pantry, kitchen counter, or refrigerator.
- Do not place the line near high heat sources such as microwave ovens, stovetops, ovens, etc.
- Do not place the sugar jar in a humid place, with a lot of water, a dark, dirty place, because sugar easily absorbs water and clumps, so it will easily spoil or degrade.
You can see this video to know more:
How To Handle When Sugar Goes Bad
Here’s how to deal with common sugar problems:
When There Are Insects In The Sugar Jar
When your sugar jar is full of ants, you just need to put a knife or metal piece in the sugar jar. The ants will automatically crawl out.
Another way to easily get ants out of the sugar jar is to stick a chopstick in the jar, let the ants slowly crawl onto the chopstick. Now you just need to take the chopstick out and shake it off.
If there are still ants in the sugar, repeat the action of sticking the chopsticks into the sugar jar several times until the inside is clear of ants.
Notes: Note that you need to clean the knife, iron, or chopsticks and let them dry completely before putting them in the sugar jar to avoid getting dirty or wet. Because if the tools are not clean, they will probably still keep the ants out of the sugar jar, but they will also make the sugar dirty and wet.
When The Sugar Is Lumpy
- If the sugar is lumpy due to moisture, you can use different blender types to break up the lumps. Or a stiff spoon can do the work for you.
- Or you can put one slice of bread or apple in the sugar jar. After a short while, the sugar will no longer clump.
How To Make Use Of Bad Sugar
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t save your sugar, you can still use it to do a few useful things:
- Keep your cut flowers looking fresh longer by adding sugar to your flower vase.
- Combine sugar and warm water to remove grass stains on clothes
- Trap flies and wasps by mixing sugar with water, bringing it to a boil, and placing it outside your home.
- Clean your coffee or spice grinder by adding sugar and letting it run for a few minutes. The sugar will break down and clean up all the excess oil that builds up in the machine over time.
- Deodorize hands by combining a little olive oil and sugar to remove dirt and grease.
- Get rid of bugs and cockroaches by mixing baking soda with sugar and sprinkle the mixture over any areas where you suspect insects.
Wrapping It Up
Yes, the shelf life of sugar is endless. But to keep the sugar clean, dry, and long-lasting, you need to apply the tips that I have shown you above immediately.
Through this article, I hope you will use sugar better and longer. If you know many other good sugar preservation secrets, please share them with everyone by commenting in the box below!