How Long Do Starbursts Last?

by Charlie
Starburst fruit chews

Starbursts are forms of fruit-flavored candies introduced in England in 1959. They’re popularly known for their sweet and vibrant flavor. They are irresistible to both kids and adults for their deliciously juicy and chewy texture.

But how long do starbursts last? Starbursts will remain fresh for 2 years. It is critical to store the candy properly to prolong its life and freshness.

Do Starbursts Go Bad?

Yes. Starbursts can spoil and lose their attractive flavor due to the following factors:

  • Exposure to high temperatures
  • Exposure to moisture 
  • Storage conditions
  • Ingredients used
  • The packaging
  • Type of starburst

When exposed to high temperatures, most starbursts types will melt, disfigure, discolor, and become too sticky. Some of them will become powdery on top when exposed to these conditions.

Also, moisture is an enemy of all starbursts. When exposed to it, they become watery and softer than their original form. The squashier it becomes, the shorter the life span.

Some ingredients, too, can make this candy rot quickly. For instance, seeds, fat, peanut butter, and nuts can reduce their shelf life. Generally, starbursts types with these ingredients will only last for a month.

How Can You Tell When Starbursts are Spoilt?

It’s easy to know when your delicious starburst is spoilt. If you notice some changes in color, texture, and taste, then it’s damaged.

Texture

A stale starburst has a gritty or grainy texture, and it’s exceedingly sticky. It’s hard to eat it as it can break your tooth, especially in children.

Color

The presence of sugar and fats in your starburst may make it turn whitish when spoilt. This is due to fat bloom due to exposure to extremely hot or cold temperatures for a long time. Although consuming it may not be harmful, it’s better to discard it.

Smell 

Some starbursts types, especially those that contain chocolate, have a terrible odor when spoilt. The reason is that most of them can absorb the flavors and smells of anything around them. 

So, if not stored in an airtight container, especially when in the refrigerator, they may develop an unpleasant smell after some weeks. In this case, it’s advisable to throw them away.

Taste

In most cases, both children and adults consume these candies due to their juicy and vibrant flavor. Therefore, it’s easy to tell when your starburst is expired as it develops an off-flavor or becomes tasteless.  

General Appearance

It’s easy to recognize a stale starburst depending on the appearance. If you notice some dots or cracks on its surface, it means that it’s past the expiry date and it’s dried out. If you see some molds, it’s time to discard the candy.

Is it Healthy to Eat Expired Starbursts?

No. Eating expired starbursts can be detrimental to your health. Usually, they carry microbes that can make you ill. According to research, spoilt starbursts contain salmonella, which causes food poisoning.

When exposed to this harmful bacterium, you may start noticing food poisoning symptoms after six to twenty-four hours.

These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • General body illness

However, cases of illnesses after eating expired starbursts are minimal. Generally, most types will not spoil to the point of making you ill. 

Although it will lose its flavor, freshness, misshapen and become too sticky, consuming it may not cause serious problems.

How Can You Increase Starbursts’ Shelf Life?

Most starbursts lovers’ concern is how they can increase their shelf life. You can maximize their life span by storing them at temperatures between 17 and 22 degrees Celsius, not exposing them to moisture, keeping them in airtight containers, and a clean environment.

1. Storing at Temperatures between 17°C and 22°C 

As seen earlier, exposing your starbursts to hot temperatures affects their texture, aroma, color, and taste. High temperatures make them develop fat blooms, disfigure, and melt. On the other hand, cold weather will cool these candies leading to distortion of texture and the crystalline structure.

It’s advisable to store them at temperatures between 17°C to 22°C. This helps in maintaining the candies’ quality and freshness for several months. 

2. Restraining Moisture

Just like high temperatures, moisture is an enemy of starbursts. When exposed to humidity, the sugar present in these candies will form sugar blooms. Even though they may be fit for consumption, they’re not appetizing with these colors. To prevent this, ensure you store them where the humidity level is below 50%.

3. Storing in a Clean Environment

Cleanliness and food hygiene is essential when storing starbursts. Keeping them open in a polluted atmosphere will reduce their shelf life. The reason is that they may get infected with the germs and bacteria present in the environment, making them rot eventually.

The presence of these bacteria will also make them unfit for consumption. It’s, therefore, advisable to store them unopened and in clean containers and the environment.

4. Storing in Airtight Containers

Starbursts may oxidize and change their color when exposed to sunlight and air. They may also lose their tangy and vibrant flavor. To avoid this, ensure you store them while in their wrappers or airtight containers.

5. Storing in Aluminum Wrappers

To maintain a fresh starburst and keep it away from air, wrapping their boxes with an aluminum wrapper is vital. The reason is that in case they melt, their original wrapper can move the discharge to the outside. Aluminum is the best material to maintain the melted butter inside.

Final Thoughts

  • A starburst is a form of candy that is popular due to its delicious and juicy flavor. Their shelf life depends on storage conditions, ingredients used, and packaging.
  • They can also spoil when exposed to high temperatures and humidity. 
  • Most starbursts will last for two years.
  • You can know when they are spoilt by checking their general appearance, texture, smell, and taste. Eating spoilt starburst can expose you to salmonella that can lead to food poisoning.
  • You can maximize the shelf life of starbursts by avoiding exposure to high or cold temperatures, humidity, air, and light.

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