Can Brown Sugar Mold

Can Brown Sugar Mold? Explained

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Lori Walker

Brown sugar gets used a lot in baking and cooking at my place. But even though it’s handy, some might wonder if it can go bad or get moldy.

We will explore whether brown sugar can mold and what factors can contribute to the growth of mold in brown sugar. 

I will also discuss the implications of mold in brown sugar and what steps can be taken to prevent it. Read on.

Does Brown Sugar Mold?

Brown sugar

Brown sugar [1], a hygroscopic substance, can absorb moisture from the air. This can cause the sugar to clump together and become hard. In some cases, if the conditions are right, mold can grow on the surface of the brown sugar. 

Mold can thrive in moist environments and grow quickly if the temperature is warm, air circulation is poor, or the sugar has been contaminated. 

“Even the sweetest of treasures can succumb to the whims of nature. Brown sugar, with its moisture-laden grains, may occasionally fall victim to mold.”

Leonelli Bakery

To prevent mold growth in brown sugar, storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, using clean utensils and containers, and regularly checking for signs of mold. 

If mold is present, discarding the brown sugar to avoid any potential health risks is essential.

What Does Mold On Brown Sugar Look Like?

Mold [2] on brown sugar is often visible as a fuzzy or powdery growth on the surface of the sugar. It can be any color ranging from white to green, blue, or black.

The mold can also spread to other food items stored near the contaminated brown sugar. 

Sometimes, the mold may not be readily visible, so checking the sugar regularly for any signs of spoilage is essential.

It is also important to clean the storage container and utensils thoroughly before using them again to prevent further contamination.

What Factors Can Cause Mold?

  1. Moisture: Brown sugar is hygroscopic, which means it can absorb moisture from the air. If the environment is too humid or the sugar is stored in a container that is not airtight, mold can grow on the surface.
  2. Warm temperatures: Mold thrives in warm environments. If the storage area temperature is too warm, the risk of mold growth increases.
  3. Poor air circulation: If the brown sugar is stored in an adequately ventilated container, mold can grow due to a lack of air circulation.
  4. Contamination: Mold spores can enter the sugar if the utensils, containers, or hands that come in contact with the sugar are contaminated.
  5. Age: The sugar may break down over time and become more prone to mold growth. It is essential to check the sugar regularly and discard it if it has been stored too long.

You might also want to read about how to enjoy your sweet treats without gaining weight here.

Is Mold In Brown Sugar Harmful?

close up shot of brown sugar

Consuming moldy brown sugar can pose a health risk as the mold can produce toxic substances called mycotoxins.

These mycotoxins can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe, depending on the type of mold, the amount consumed, and the individual’s overall health. 

“I was looking to show people I could act. I was looking for something that would take me away from the whole hunk riding off into the sunset thing that people wanted me to play after Brown Sugar.”

– Boris Kodjoe, Actor

Some common symptoms of consuming moldy food include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, mold exposure can lead to allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and other health issues. 

It is essential to avoid consuming moldy brown sugar and to discard it immediately if any signs of mold are present. Find out how to reduce chocolate chip cookies’ sugar content here.

Tips On How To Store Brown Sugar

  1. Use an airtight container: Store brown sugar in an airtight container to prevent moisture from entering and keep it fresh. A vacuum-sealed container is a great option.
  2. Store in a cool, dry place: Brown sugar should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. This will help to prevent mold growth and spoilage.
  3. Avoid moisture: Ensure the brown sugar is completely dry before storing it. If it is clumpy or moist, spread it out on a paper towel and let it dry before storing it.
  4. Use clean utensils: Always use clean utensils when handling brown sugar to prevent contamination.
  5. Check regularly: Check the brown sugar regularly for any signs of mold or spoilage. If mold is present, discard the entire container and clean the storage area thoroughly before using it again.

Also Read: How To Use A KitchenAid Mixer To Cream Butter & Sugar?


Can white sugar harden?

White sugar can become hard and difficult to use if not stored properly. Find out why sugar is thought of as a wet ingredient here.

Can brown sugar turn white?

Yes, brown sugar can turn white over time due to exposure to moisture and air. The brown sugar’s brown color and moist texture come from the molasses content, which can start to dissolve and separate from the sugar crystals over time if not stored properly.¬†

But how can you make a sugar cookie syrup?

In Conclusion

Brown sugar can mold if it is exposed to moisture and air. This is due to molasses in brown sugar, which provides a suitable environment for mold growth. 

However, storing brown sugar in airtight containers and keeping it in a cool, dry place can prevent mold from growing. 

If you notice any signs of mold on your brown sugar, it’s best to discard the entire container and take steps to prevent future contamination. 

Regular checks and proper storage can help ensure that your brown sugar stays fresh and mold-free.


Lori Walker

1 thought on “Can Brown Sugar Mold? Explained”

  1. I opened a bag of brown sugar that was in my pantry and it started to puff up as I poured it in the bowl to make some cookies. I was afraid to use it. So I tossed it. Does that mean the brown sugar was bad?

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