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Side on - showing some 'bits' not on the surface

I recently discovered an ancient, sealed jar of Nutella at the back of a cupboard. Like, really ancient! Like, it claimed it expired in 2012!

When I open it, there are all these white 'bits' on the surface.

They don't at ALL look like mold or fungus - they're definitely not spores, to my eyes. My first thought is that they're "granules" of fat that have "condensed" together in some manner? Perhaps kinda like bloom on chocolate?

Does anyone have a better or more certain answer?

Obvious follow up... do the white bits indicate that it's unsafe to eat?

The expiry date doesn't concern me at all - if it looked fine and tasted fine then I'd eat it; if it were clearly moldy, then I might scrape the moldy layer off, microwave it and eat it.

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    What's the texture of the granules/globules like (to the touch, unless you're feeling brave enough to try eating it)? Comparable to butter/lard? If so, I'd definitely agree with the guess of fat — probably palm oil or some similar vegetable shortening. – PLL Sep 3 '16 at 23:17
  • There's a reason for expiration dates. Why risk an expensive trip to the doc or emergency room. Just go buy a new jar – Joshua W Apr 22 '17 at 16:22
  • There are two kinds of dates on food - Best before date and Use by date. The former usually means that the food can be safely eaten much longer than what the date specifies, but the manufacturer cannot guarantee that the sensory characteristics will be the same. The latter means that the food should not be eaten after the date. If your Nutella has a Best before date, I would just go ahead and eat it if it tastes OK. – JohnEye May 30 '18 at 12:45
  • I would expect the fat to have gone rancid, on the other hand, since it was sealed, maybe that's not the case. I have eaten some Nutella which has gone bad and I think you will easily recognize it. – JohnEye May 30 '18 at 12:45
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Great pictures: those are so clearly areas of oil/fat which have separated from the main nutella emulsion. Carefully gouge one out and smear it around or put it onto a heated surface & see if it doesn't melt immediately. See if they go right back into the mixture if you stir a little portion together. I wager you can convince yourself this nutella is right edible.

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If you touch the spots and they are dry and do not melt, it's sugar bloom. If they taste like sugar, it's a good indication, too.

I would not recommend eating it, because after this time the fat is likely rancid.

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