If you have read any of our previous blogs on DIY long term food storage, you may have noticed we mentioned that cocoa powder is a great addition to your long-term food storage supply.
Cocoa powder can be mixed with milk or added to any baked products. It is cheap, and provides you with iron, zinc, protein, and magnesium along with antioxidants. So, cocoa powder has great health benefits without being heavy on your pocket! And you certainly want that during an emergency.
But how do you store cocoa powder long-term?
In this blog post, we will discuss the shelf-life of cocoa powder and ways to store cocoa powder long-term.
Can cocoa powder go bad?
Normally, cocoa powder doesn’t go bad when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Although it may have a best-by-date, it can still be consumed for years without any issues.
But when exposed to certain environmental factors, cocoa powder can go bad.
- Moisture: If you live in a humid area, exposure to moisture can ruin cocoa powder. For it to stay fresh and edible, the relative humidity in the air must be below 65% and 75%. This depends on the type of cocoa beans used to make the powder.
- Oxidation: Exposure to oxygen can cause degradation in nutrients over time. In cocoa powder, oxidation will cause it to go rancid thus lose flavor.
- Heat: Exposure to heat will cause the separation of fats. This can result in a loss of flavor, texture, and color. Cocoa powder will go rancid very quickly when exposed to heat.
How to Store Cocoa Powder Long-Term?
If you want to be completely sure that your cocoa powder will last as long as 20 years, you can store it in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.
The oxygen absorbers will remove all of the oxygen from the bag thus preventing the oxidation of cocoa powder, and the Mylar bags will block light and moisture which further protects it from spoilage.
All in all, Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers are your best bet for storing cocoa powder long-term. They will prevent cocoa powder from going rancid and losing essential nutrients.
Storing cocoa powder in the freezer is another option to store it long-term. If you have plenty of freezer space and you live in warm, humid area, storing cocoa powder in the freezer may even be your best option.
Cocoa powder won’t go rancid when stored in the freezer. However, you must pack the cocoa powder in two bags before storing it in the freezer. This will prevent cocoa powder from absorbing any other smells from the freezer items.
If you are planning to create a short-term food storage that lasts for about 1-2 years, you can use vacuum sealing as one of the methods to store cocoa powder.
We say so because vacuum sealing won’t remove all the oxygen (some oxygen may be removed but not all). So, vacuum sealing is not a great option for long-term storage.
As mentioned above, you need to prevent cocoa powder from moisture. So, you must repackage it in airtight containers. We suggest you choose a day with low-level humidity to repackage your cocoa powder. Also, if you want to be completely sure that you are maximizing the shelf-life of your cocoa powder, you can keep your dehumidifier running while you are repackaging it.
Moreover, you can use desiccants along with oxygen absorbers while repackaging cocoa powder. Just make sure you put desiccants in the bottom while oxygen absorbers are on the top of the containers.
Cocoa powder can be a part of your long-term food storage plan if you prevent its exposure to moisture, heat, and oxygen. This is why we suggest you store it in airtight containers or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers!If you want to enjoy cocoa powder in emergencies and reap the health benefits, stock up on cocoa powder and head to our website to purchase the best Mylar bag bundles.