Is It Safe to Eat That White Stuff on My Chocolate?

Is it mold? Is it dust?

A top-down view of a bunch of different types of chocolate

So you’ve stumbled upon a stash of candy you forgot you had. Score! But after you peel back the wrapper on that chocolate bar from Halloween circa who-knows-what-year, you notice a white or gray film around the edges of the treat you were just about to devour. Is it mold? Is it dust? Most importantly, is it edible?

We’ve got good news for you: It’s absolutely still edible, and there’s no need to throw out that perfectly OK chocolate bar. White flecks and spots on your chocolate bar are signs of either a “fat bloom” or a “sugar bloom,” and it’s totally natural.

A photo of a chocolate bar with sugar bloom

Getty Images

What Is a Fat Bloom?

Fat bloom is that waxy white coating that forms due to liquid fat like milk fats or cocoa butter moving through the chocolate and crystalizing on the surface. It usually happens due to temperature changes—so if it’s seen the chilly drafts of winter but also the blast of the heater cranked too high, you’re more likely to see those gray splotches. It more commonly occurs in cheaper chocolates that haven’t been tempered as well as the pricier, specialty varieties.

What Is Sugar Bloom?

Sugar bloom occurs most often because of moisture in the packaging drawing out the sugars within the confection, leading those sugars to crystalize on the surface. Sugar bloom is usually dry and may make your chocolate feel a little gritty or sandy—but again, just to reiterate, it’s still perfectly safe to eat.

How to Prevent Fat and Sugar Bloom

Your best bet to prevent sugar or fat bloom is to store your chocolate in a cool (but not too cold) environment. Sixty-four degrees is the scientific sweet spot, but the door of your fridge will work just fine.

Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

Is It Safe to Eat the White Stuff on Chocolate?

If you’ve got a stockpile of chocolate that has some unsightly bloom on it, but you aren’t quite ready to toss it, you can absolutely eat it as is—though the flavor will likely be a little off compared to a fresher chocolate bar. Another option? Repurpose your chocolate by melting it down.

Toasty mugs of homemade hot cocoa are perfect applications for your leftover candy. If you’ve got some higher-quality stuff on-hand like semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate that happens to have bloomed, you can melt the chocolate into ganachebrownie batter, or make your own chocolate bark that’s perfect for snacking or holiday gifting. Or, dip nuts, dried fruit, biscotti—even bacon—into melted chocolate for a cute, homemade snack to package and gift to hosts.

A version of this article originally appeared on