Mystery Revealed: Does Brown Sugar Go Bad?

In today’s generation, we can firmly observe that taste and flavor are significant in terms of food preparation. It is mainly because of the taste that eating is considered to be a satisfying experience. One reason that taste sensations are important is that they prepare our bodies for processing food. To make it more sensible, tasting and smelling food activate our salivary glands and digestive juices.


The capacity to taste is very vital to the whole due process of eating that when we can't taste our food, we just don't have the desire to eat as much as we usually do. Weight loss is common for people who can't taste or smell their food for whatever reason. For some of us this may be desirable, but for others it can lead to impaired immunity, poor nutritional status and the worsening of some diseases. These are the main reasons why people have constantly formulated ways to keep flavor and add spices to our food. One of them to be considered as the most popular up to date is brown sugar.

Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinguishing brown color because of the existence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar containing sugar crystals with some remaining molasses content or it is produced by the accumulation of molasses to refined white sugar. Brown sugar is frequently formed by adding sugarcane molasses to totally refined white sugar crystals to more prudently control the ratio of molasses to sugar crystals and to decrease manufacturing costs. Brown sugar arranged in this manner is habitually much rougher than its unrefined equivalent and its molasses may be effortlessly detached from the crystals by simply washing to disclose the underlying white sugar crystals; in contrast, with unrefined brown sugar, washing will reveal underlying crystals which are off-white due to the inclusion of molasses.

Molasses and brown sugar do contain more essential nutrients that white sugar, so choosing brown sugar over white is technically healthier. For example, a tablespoon of molasses is a good source of dietary potassium -- and provides small amounts of calcium, magnesium and B vitamins. However, the amount of these essential nutrients you'd be getting from brown sugar is very small and won't do much to meet your daily nutrient needs. Furthermore, just like white sugar, molasses and brown sugar are added sugars that should be limited in your diet as much as possible to avoid unwanted weight gain and increased chronic disease risks.

Raw and brown sugar both comprise somewhat more minerals than refined white sugar, but only due to the fact that they contain molasses. While brown sugar does give you a bit of calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium in your sweetener, the amounts are too slight to have any real health benefit. A 1-teaspoon serving of brown sugar provides just 0.02 milligrams of iron, which is a miniscule amount of the daily 8 milligram requirement for men and 18 milligrams for women of reproduction age. To make the most of your health and keep minor risks for undesirable weight gain and chronic diseases, limit added sugars, including white sugar, brown sugar, and molasses as suggested by the American Heart Association (AHA). The AHA endorses most women limit added sugars to 100 calories or less per day, and men eat no more than 150 calories from added sugar daily.


It is indeed a huge mystery to all of us, as we are all under the impression that food doesn’t last forever. If you have stored brown sugar for quite some time and you are not convinced that you can still use it, you should then be notified as early as now that there are no existing conditions nor reasons not to use them and have doubts. In addition to that, when sugar is stored properly, it will last for years. The only thing that may happen in case is that it would actually harden. Well, fret no more! There’s a way to soften it and properly store them. There is nothing in sugar that expires or goes bad in a old-style sense.  Brown sugar will definitely harden over time, but is still palatable if softened.  The shelf life of powdered and granulated sugar is unspecified, though.  

Most retail chains require a 2-year best by date to be printed onto the bags, but take note that the product will be safe to eat even after that date. All brown sugar will dry out over time as the moisture in it begins to disappear. This natural process can result in hard, cluster of small sugars. Changes in the climate can be another factor distressing the steadiness of sugar. Even though the sugar gets dry and hard, it is not harmful and is still safe to consume. We suggest storing your sugar in an airtight container in a moisture-free environment. For long term storage and a better shelf life, it is highly recommended to keep brown sugar in the refrigerator or freezer. Essentially, you can keep brown sugar as long as you prefer, whereas you ensure that you know how to properly store it well. If you will keep it safe from any external factors like insects or get affected by the outside conditions and temperature, you can keep it for years. As with any other product, it’s optional to use brown sugar within a couple of years, but if you’ll make sure it’s stored properly, you may able to keep it edible for years as well.


The best way to store brown sugar to ensure a longer shelf life and guarantee that it doesn’t go bad is in its unique sealed container in the pantry. When the bag is opened, it can be discharged into another air tight container. The air tight container is the main key to protect the product good. Brown sugar lasts lengthier if it is stored in a humid and moist environment.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste. As long as the original container of sugar is unopened, you can store it in its original package. Once the package is opened, it is a highly recommended to transfer it into an airtight container or put the package into a plastic sealable bag, so the brown sugar will be sealed tightly. That will help with averting moisture from reaching the sugar. That will also prevent any bugs from getting into the package. Those are the main key points when it comes to storing brown sugar. You just have to make sure to keep it away from water and heat and don’t let any bugs get into the package. Brown sugar should be stored similarly to white sugar. This essentially means that it should be kept in a dry, cool place, like in a cupboard in the pantry. Make sure it stays away from any sources of heat like ovens and heaters. Keeping it in a dry place is especially important, as sugar absorbs water from its environment. That’s why it hardens.

As long as the package is unopened, you can store brown sugar in its original packaging. Once you’ve opened it, you need to make sure the sugar is tightly sealed. You can achieve that by using airtight containers or by simply covering the package with a plastic bag. Just make sure it’s sealed well when stored.


Brown sugar will harden once it dries out and loses its moisture. To soften it, it is duly recommended to add a slice of fresh bread to the bag for a day or two or a damp paper towel separated from the sugar by plastic wrap. You can also use an orange peel to place in the container as the natural oils from the orange will soften the sugar. The paper towel or orange peel method will soften brown sugar in a matter of several hours while the bread will soften brown sugar normally in one (1) to two (2) days, but don’t worry, as both methods are both highly recommended. If you don’t have all the time and you need a faster approach, you can cover a bowl of brown sugar with a damp paper towel and microwave for about 20 seconds.


As we already know, if stored well, brown sugar will be fine for a really long period of time even it has remained unused or consumed in a not so frequent manner. Storing it properly isn’t that difficult either as you just have just to make sure it stays in a dry environment, away from any sources of heat and closed tightly, so any bugs won’t be able to find a way to get into the package.


Just make sure to keep it in a cool, dry place, and you’re definitely good to go.

Mystery Revealed: Does Brown Sugar Go Bad?
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Mystery Revealed: Does Brown Sugar Go Bad?
Brown sugar is frequently formed by adding sugarcane molasses to totally refined white sugar crystals to more prudently control the ratio of molasses to sugar crystals and to decrease manufacturing costs
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