I'm starting to make a business of selling homemade sugar and oil free chocolate spread, which will be sweetened with dates.

My ingredients are:

Sugar free cocoa powder



And water.

I do not want to use any additives and that's where I'm stuck because I'm not sure who I would be able to preserve the spread.

Can I preserve the spread using the canning technique and how long would it last before opened?

Looking forward to hearing your tips.

Thank you in advance.

  • Note that while you didn't explicitly add oil or sugar, the dates do contain a lot of sugar and the hazelnuts have a significant fat content. So the nutritial information on your spread would show a significant proportion of oils/ fats and sugar so labelling it oil/ sugar free is at best misleading. It does sound very tasty.
    – quarague
    Mar 6, 2023 at 11:34

1 Answer 1


I have two different chocolate spreads in my cupboard and neither of them have any preservatives because they don't need them. Both are relatively dry and have a high sugar content, making them a hostile environment for microbes.

What they don't have, however, is added water. All of the spreads I've seen have oil instead, which makes them shelf stable and require no refrigeration. Oil also gives it a gooey, spreadable texture and a luscious mouth feel.

Whether you could make a shelf stable product with added water depends on how much water you end up adding. You could get by with a little, too much and you end up with a product that needs refrigeration after opening, which will make it hard as a rock and not spreadable. As for how much water makes it vulnerable to bacterial growth I cannot say, it depends on the type of dates you use and how dried they are. You'd need it analyzed in a lab to be sure.

  • Thank you so much for the feedback. GdD. As per the ingredients I listed above, would canning enable me to preserve the spread? Mar 4, 2023 at 11:53
  • @AbdelkadirKhellaf even if canning would preserve the spread until it's opened, once you open the jar you would need to refrigerate the spread, which would likely make it too hard to be "spreadable."
    – Esther
    Mar 5, 2023 at 23:39

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