Yes or No: Does Sugar Go Bad?

Regardless of what they say about sugar, even with the abundance of studies proving its negative effects to your health, it is still a staple in many kitchens. As long as it is used in moderation, it is a great addition to your sweet treats and will result to a flavor that your tongue will surely love!

Does sugar go bad? If you are wondering about the answer to this question, reading the rest of this guide will help. I will let you know if it ever spoils, what are the factors that will make it go bad, and most importantly, I will also provide you with some tips on proper sugar storage, which will help to make it last longer.

Does Sugar Go Bad

Yes No Does Sugar Go Bad


You opened the kitchen cabinet. On the top shelf, you have seen a canister that is still filled with sugar. You don’t want to just throw it away. You are left wondering – is it still safe to use it? Can you still use it in your coffee or when baking a cake? Will it not cause food poisoning or other serious problems?

The good news is that sugar has an indefinite shelf life. Meaning, you can keep it in the pantry as long as you want too. Whether it is there for one month or one year, it will never expire. However, keep in mind that if it does not expire, this does not necessarily mean that it will never go bad.

While the shelf life of sugar is indefinite, there will come a time that it will go bad. Later in this post, we will discuss some of the most common signs that sugar has already spoiled. To prevent these things from happening, see to it that you store your sugar in the right place and follow the guidelines that I will later share with you.

Signs that Sugar Has Gone Bad

Signs that Sugar Has Gone Bad


Even if the shelf life of sugar is indefinite, it is inevitable that its flavor and quality will tend to worsen the longer it is left untouched. With this, one thing that you should do is look at the expiration date stated in the packaging. You can still use sugar past this date, but there is no longer an assurance that its quality will be superior.

One of the indications that sugar has gone bad is when it starts to form clumps or hard pieces. Some can be easily crushed, while others may be as hard as stone. In the case of the latter, this is one of the obvious signs that your sugar has gone off.

Changes in color is another thing that you should watch out for. If it is white or confectioner sugar, do not use it if it has turned darker. In the case of brown sugar, on the other hand, it can lighten or darken once it has gone bad.

You can also consider tasting a small portion of sugar to tell if it has already gone bad. There is no need to worry. You won’t die by tasting bad sugar. If the sweetness is not evident, this is a sign that you have to dispose it and get a new pack.

It is also important to look at the possible appearance of worms and insects in the pack of sugar. It is possible that there are already bugs in the sugar, especially if it has been untouched for a long time. Dispose it immediately rather than trying to still have it used.

Proper Storage of Sugar

To preserve the sweet flavor and overall quality of sugar, it is important that you make sure that it is stored properly. With this, one of the most important is to keep it in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as the kitchen cabinet.

Avoid leaving a pack of sugar in the counter or in any other open space in the kitchen. At all times, keep it away from direct sunlight or any supply of heat. High temperature can cause sugar to clump and melt before you can even use it.

You should not also place sugar in the fridge. This is because it can easily absorb moisture, and hence, it will be wet if it is kept in the refrigerator.

If the package has already been opened, it is best to keep it in a container with air-tight seal. This will help in the prevention of moisture and penetration for external elements that can possibly damage the quality of sugar.

If sugar is placed in a container, make sure to use only clean and dry spoon when scooping. If it is wet, this can cause the remaining sugar in the container to clump. Contamination can also be easily transferred when you use a dirty spoon.

Looking for the perfect way to keep sugar and make it free from contamination? One that you might want to consider is OXO Good Grips Sugar Dispenser. The latter is made from BPA-free body that is clear, making it easy to monitor what is inside. It also comes with a side sprout that has controlled opening.

Here is a quick video showing more tips on how to store sugar properly:​


So, does sugar go bad? In a nutshell, here is a rundown of the things I shared above:

  • Sugar has no expiration date. It has an indefinite shelf life.
  • Although sugar does not expire, however, this does not mean that you can use it indefinitely. There will come a time that it will go bad.
  • To know if sugar has gone bad, pay attention to possible changes in color and taste. Also, make sure there are no insects and bugs.
  • Store sugar in a cool, dry, and dark place. It should be away from direct heat. It will also be best to have it transferred in a clean container with air-tight seal.
  • To maintain sugar at its best, you might want to consider buying OXO Good Grips Sugar Dispenser. It helps to protect sugar from external elements that can possibly speed up its spoilage.​

Did you enjoy reading this post? Is there anything else that you would like to share? Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.​

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