Does granulated sugar expire?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does granulated sugar expire” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not the granulated sugar expires. Moreover, we are going to discuss the tips to properly store granulated sugar and the ways to restore the original texture of lumpy granulated sugar.

So every household around the globe has granulated sugar present in their pantries, from baking those finger-licking good cakes to making sauces to glazing donuts or waffles, sugar has found its way into most of our dishes. So if you have a large packet of sugar lying in your pantry and are wondering “does granulated sugar expire” then you need not worry as we are going to tell you exactly that thing. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does granulated sugar expire?

So the granulated sugar does not really expire but it can go bad if not stored and handled properly.

How long does ground granulated sugar last?

It won’t be wrong to say that the granulated sugar lasts for eternity when it is kept in a cool, dry, and dark place in an air-tight container. You can easily store your granulated sugar in an air-tight bottle or container in a cool and dry corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and humidity. Humidity, as well as heat, are the enemies of your granulated sugar therefore care should be taken while storing it.

The package of the granulated sugar would have the best by date but that does not mean that your granulated sugar would expire afterward. So you can use your properly stored granulated sugar for ages.

How to properly store granulated sugar?

  1. Moisture is an enemy of granulated sugar therefore granulated sugar should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce its exposure to air and humidity present in the environment.
  2. You should never use wet spoons to take the granulated sugar out of its container or jar.
  3. It is best practice to store granulated sugar at room temperature as the fluctuations in temperature can affect the quality of granulated sugar negatively. Moreover do not store them near a stove or air conditioner. 
  4. It is not advised to store the granulated sugar in the refrigerator as the moisture content of the refrigerator is quite high and it can reduce the quality of the granulated sugar. If you still want to store it in the refrigerator then it is recommended to keep it in vacuum-sealed containers.
  5. Granulated sugar should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. A cool and dry corner of your pantry can serve this purpose nicely.
  6. Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the granulated sugar jar or bottle and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the granulated sugar that you need.

Does the presence of lumps mean that sugar has expired?

No, the presence of lumps does not necessarily mean that your granulated sugar has gone bad but it does mean that the moisture somehow has found its way to your sugar jar. This can happen if you have not stored the granulated sugar properly or have used a wet spoon to scoop the granulated sugar out of its container.

Moreover, the sugar attracts the insects because of its sugary flavor so if you see some insects in your sugar container, it is better to get rid of them owing to the sanitation and cleanliness concerns.

How to prevent sugar from clumping?

As the granulated white sugar forms lumps owing to the high moisture content so you can add a slice of bread to your jar of granulated sugar which will absorb the moisture present in the jar. Moreover, you can also add a tsp of rice wrapped in a mesh or a cream cracker in your jar or bottle of sugar to suck the extra moisture out of it.

Why does sugar not expire?

So sugar is hygroscopic in nature which means that it has the ability to soak in water (it attracts the water molecules). And this is the very property of the sugar that makes it last for ages.

Osmosis is the process in which water moves from a region of low solute concentration to a region of high solute concentration. The solute in this case is sugar. So the water content of sugar itself is almost nil, so what happens is that when bacteria land on the surface of the sugar the process of osmosis sets in. Thus, the water starts to move from the body of the bacteria to the sugar, thereby dehydrating the bacteria and killing them. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “does granulated sugar expire” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not the granulated sugar expires. Moreover, we discussed the tips to properly store granulated sugar and the ways to restore the original texture of lumpy granulated sugar.

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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