or many it is a piece of childhood memory: vanilla pudding in a bag. Best freshly prepared and spooned straight from the large bowl while still warm. Even today, there always has to be a packet lying around in the pantry for the small pudding hunger in between. According to Statista , over 25 million people in Germany use instant pudding at least once a month. No wonder something is left behind.
But what do you do if a bag of expired custard powder turns up while cleaning up? Still use or rather throw away? In this post, I tell you what you need to know when your custard powder has expired.
Let’s start with the most important things first.
1. Can custard powder go bad?
Pudding powder has a much longer shelf life than the BBD indicates. It can still be used without hesitation years after it has expired. Exceptions are varieties that have added extras such as chocolate or caramel.
Whether a pudding powder can go bad depends on the ingredients it contains. Basically, it only lasts as long as its most perishable ingredient. Accordingly, the custard powder can logically go bad if it contains perishable ingredients.
The usual standard pudding powder contains only a few ingredients: starch, aroma, salt and possibly coloring. These ingredients have an almost unlimited shelf life. If stored properly, the powder will not spoil. It can still be consumed without hesitation even years later.
Some types of pudding contain additional ingredients in addition to the basic ingredients. This can e.g. E.g. chocolate sprinkles, pieces of caramel, powdered cream or nuts and seeds. These ingredients do not keep indefinitely, so the custard powder can spoil.
Incorrect storage can cause the pudding powder to spoil. It should be stored as dry as possible. If the powder gets wet, it can become moldy and clump together. Airtight packaging ensures that the aroma cannot evaporate too quickly.
Tip: Other ingredients from the baking drawer also keep longer than you think. The shelf life of baking powder is z. B. significantly higher than you think.
With that we have cleared the basis. But then how bad is it really if custard powder is expired? What does that mean for taste and co?
2. How bad is it if custard powder is expired?
The best before date (MHD) says nothing about whether the product is spoiled after this date. Up to this date, the manufacturer must guarantee that the smell, taste and consistency of the product are still impeccable. If the best-before date is exceeded, that’s not a problem.
If the pudding powder has expired, you can still use it. Use your senses to examine the powder. Are the smell and consistency right? Has the pack gotten wet and the pudding powder is clumping? As long as the powder smells neutral and doesn’t look weird, you can use it without hesitation.
In any case, you will have to put up with a less intense taste as the flavors dissipate over time. But again, we’re talking about a timeline in years, not days.
Tip: Do you like making pudding from chia seeds? You can also significantly increase the chia seed shelf life. find out how here!
3. How long can custard powder be used after the best-before date?
Manufacturers and consumer sites online state that you can use custard powder that has expired for about a year. If cream powder, almonds and nuts or similar are included, the powder can be used for about 3 months.
But the same applies here: You do not have to adhere to these deadlines exactly. Depending on the ingredient, custard powder can be used much longer. Don’t just stare at the MHD, trust your senses. You would certainly no longer use a damp, musty-smelling pudding powder BEFORE the best-before date.
Tip: If you want to use up your pudding powder quickly now, why not bake a classic cheesecake! And here’s the right tip on how cheesecake doesn’t collapse.
4. Does expired custard powder become toxic?
If the pudding powder has expired, it does not automatically become poisonous. As explained above, expired does not automatically mean that the powder is spoiled. With the standard pudding powder, all ingredients can be kept almost indefinitely. If stored properly, nothing can go wrong.
If the powder is spoiled or even moldy, toxins may be produced. For example, some molds secrete toxic substances that could actually make the powder toxic. However, unless you’re up to no good, there’s little chance you’ll end up using a moldy bag of custard powder.
5. How can you tell if custard powder is spoiled?
You can check with your senses whether the pudding powder has expired and spoiled. Examine the pudding powder with your eyes, nose, touch and taste. If you find something suspicious, it’s better to dispose of the powder. If everything is perfect, then enjoy it.
First, take a closer look at the powder. Does it look blotchy or is it clumping? Can you see fine threads in it? Better throw it away then.
Sniff the powder. Good pudding powder smells neutral and like the flavoring aroma. Does the powder smell rancid, musty or somehow sour? Then it goes in the trash can.
Rub some custard powder between your thumb and forefinger. It must feel powdery and dry. If it feels damp or soapy, stop using it.
You can also tap and try with your fingertip. If the pudding powder has expired and spoiled, you would certainly taste it quickly.
6. How does custard made from expired custard powder taste?
Depending on how long the pudding powder has expired, the taste may have suffered a little. The aromatic substances contained evaporate over time. The prepared pudding then tastes much less intense and even a bit bland.
Maybe your vanilla pudding will no longer taste like vanilla, but only like sweet milk. You can easily remedy this here. Simply flavor the pudding a little, e.g. B. with fresh vanilla bean. Then it tastes even better than before.
7. Is there a difference in expired pudding powder varieties?
Standard pudding powder varieties only consist of the basic ingredients of starch, salt, flavoring and coloring. If the taste is achieved through flavorings, the type of custard powder makes no difference. The situation is different with pudding, which is flavored with other ingredients. These varieties have a limited shelf life. This depends on the ingredient used.
Most types of pudding powder get their flavor from added coloring and flavorings. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon, caramel or even very unusual varieties – the most diverse pudding variants are on offer. If such has expired in pudding powder, all varieties can be treated in the same way. They all keep almost indefinitely but lose their taste.
If pudding powder has expired, which has other ingredients in addition to the basic ingredients, you have to take a closer look. Caramel chips are made with butter, cream, and sugar and have a limited shelf life.
The same applies to almonds and nuts, which can become rancid if they have been stored for too long. Even pudding powder that contains cream powder does not keep indefinitely.
Tip: If you want to upgrade your stale pudding, a good old portion of cream will definitely help. So that this also works, you will find out what you can do if the cream does not become stiff.
With these types of pudding powder, you should take a closer look to see if the powder is still okay. So nothing stands in the way of carefree pudding enjoyment – even if the pudding powder has expired.