Mystery solved? Why chocolate should never go in the fridge

There's a good reason not to cool your chocolate down too much.

Living in Australia, especially in the middle of a heat wave, can make keeping chocolate for more than an hour or so an impossible task.

As a result, many families tuck away those favourite sweet treats in the fridge.

But now an expert has revealed why that’s the last thing you should do – and it could actually be affecting the flavour.

New Zealand chocolate judge Luke Owen Smith, who owns the Chocolate Bar, claims lower temperatures actually change the way our chocolate tastes when we open it. He told Stuff NZ that chilling it makes it “dull” and “doesn’t release the flavours”.

Read more: Australia’s favourite chocolates ranked by calories

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Let’s face it, no-one wants flavourless chocolate. He added: “Extremely cold temperatures can mess with the temper as much as hot temperatures can.”

Experts have, however, given some tips on the best way to store it. They recommend keeping it in a cool, dark cupboard, at between 10 to 20°C. The best temperature for it is in fact 15°C – far above the inside of your fridge.

The one exception is if the temperature inside the house goes higher than 28°C – when stopping it melting would be near-impossible.

Smith adds that keeping chocolate in a container helps too, as cocoa butter absorbs flavours and odours which could harm the taste.

Read more: From apples to chocolate: Food combinations that improve health

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That’s not all it does however – and “sugar bloom” is a big issue too. You may have noticed, when taking chocolate out of the fridge, a thin white layer on top.

Smith explains it happens when chocolate is cooled down, then rapidly heats up as it’s taken out. The sugar is dissolved by condensation on the surface, before recrystallising when it’s added back to cool air.

Leading food safety expert Belinda Stuart-Moonlight claimed there was one exception to the rule, however, when a chocolate bar has a soft centre – as that is more likely to go off faster, so needs cooler temperatures.

Do you keep your chocolate in the fridge? What’s the best way you’ve found of storing it?

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