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Does Sugar Go Bad? Here's What You Should Know About the Pantry Staple

If you're debating on tossing an old bag of sugar during your next kitchen clean-out, hold up. Here's how long the pantry staple actually lasts.

Written by
Riley Baker
Sugar is one of those pantry staples that seems to sit on the shelf for months... sometimes even years. But if you're debating on tossing an old bag during your next kitchen clean-out, hold up. It may last longer than you think, benefiting your taste buds, bank account, and the planet.

Does Sugar Go Bad?

Now, to answer the burning question: does sugar have an expiration date? Well, not quite. Unlike a forgotten fruit basket or a neglected yogurt cup, sugar doesn't exactly go bad in the traditional sense. Pure sugar—be it the classic granulated, the refined powder, or the caramel-kissed brown—holds an almost magical quality of lasting indefinitely if treated with care, helping to
reduce food waste
However, don't let the everlasting charm of sugar fool you. It might not spoil, but it's not completely invincible. Exposure to moisture can turn your sugar into a clumpy sugar sculpture, and if it loses its airtight haven, it might pick up some unsavory odors. Fear not, though! These sugar quirks won't render it inedible—just a tad less enchanting for your taste buds.

How to Keep Sugar Fresh for Longer

By understanding the sweet science behind sugar's shelf life and adopting a few simple storage tricks, we can ensure our sugary companion remains a perpetual delight, minimizing waste and sweetening our culinary escapades with a touch of eco-friendly flair.

1. Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Let's sprinkle a little magic to keep our sugar dancing in delight for as long as possible. First and foremost, sugar prefers to chill in cool, dry places—think of it as sending your sweet sidekick on a cozy vacation away from the sauna-like conditions of the kitchen.

2. Use Airtight Containers

Next up, introduce your sugar to its new best friend: the airtight container. Shield it from the elements, lock out contaminants, and let it revel in its protected sanctuary.

3. Avoid Contamination

Clean scoops and utensils are a must—no one wants unexpected guests like moisture or impurities crashing the sugary soirée!

4. Regularly Check for Clumps

Remember to check in on your sugar buddy regularly. Clumps happen, but a gentle whisk or a friendly fork can break up the party, restoring your sugar to its granular glory.